As my friend, Sally, said - 'When you have quality ingredients, even a simple meal tastes like a masterpiece'. Such was the case when I found myself with a fresh loaf of oatmeal bread from Cricket Creek Farm, plus a head of fresh-picked leaf lettuce and pastured pork bacon from Holiday Brook Farm on hand. It was clear to me that my lunchtime mission was to prepare a BLT; once I accepted this mission, I set off to pick up a lovely heirloom tomato from Berkshire Organics.
Now the realization that I had these ingredients on hand coincided with my desire to try the Baked Brown Sugar Bacon recipe in the Savory Sweet Life cookbook. I've been a big fan of baking bacon for quite some time. It's the no-mess, set-it-and-forget-it method! Normally, I would line my jelly roll pan with foil, lay the bacon in the pan and bake for 20 to 30 minutes at 375 degrees until the bacon is nice and crispy.
For this recipe, you preheat the oven to 400 degrees and place a wire rack on top of a rimmed baking sheet (I used my standard jelly roll pan). Toss one pound of bacon slices with 1/4 cup of brown sugar in a medium bowl. then lay the bacon slices on the wire rack and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until crisp.
Note: If desired, you can add 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne powder to the brown sugar for some added heat.
While the bacon was baking, I toasted two hardy slices of farm-fresh oatmeal bread. Once everything was done, I assembled my masterpiece. I slathered one slice of toasted bread with mayonnaise (which I'm going to try making myself with farm-fresh eggs one day soon)! I topped this with with several leaves of lettuce, two generous slices of heirloom tomato, four slices of brown sugar bacon, followed by another piece of toasted bread.
PERFECTION! The perfect combination of sweet and savory and oh, so satisfying goodness. Fresh, local ingredients really DO make a difference. In so many ways.