The company Mike works for had their annual steak roast yesterday and, as usual, the wives were instructed to bring an appetizer. I'm not fond of making appetizers - they always seems like a waste. All that work and you usually end up with a runny mess of leftover dip, a tray of flaccid vegetables, and a platter of cold soggy sauerkraut balls that you have to throw in the trash at the end of the night - or the next morning, depending on how much you drank.
But having been given the task of presenting something delicious to Mike's boss(!) and the other wives(!), I started to get anxious. I deliberated between brie en croute and Vietnamese summer rolls. Delicious, sure - but too fancy, too complicated. So just as I was about to throw up my hands in defeat and resort to cocktail weenies, Mike made a suggestion...
The ingredients couldn't be simpler - bacon, brown sugar, some ginger powder and maybe a little cayenne for heat.
Cut the bacon in half, coat both sides of each slice in the sugar mixture and put the slices on a broiler pan. Add a little more of the sugar on top and bake at 350°F for 18-20 minutes. Cool on a rack over some newspaper or paper towels.
(Be very careful when you take the bacon out of the oven. The mixture of hot grease and melted sugar would be very painful indeed.)
Sticky, sweet, spicy, crunchy, chewy, salty, smoky...
The pig candy was a hit and confirmed my theory that, unless you're going to a mosque or a bar mitzvah, you can't ever go wrong with bacon. I was repeatedly asked for the recipe and mine was the only appetizer plate on the buffet* that was empty. Always make more than you think you'll need.
*A chocolate fountain was also on the buffet. And yes, chocolate covered pig candy is as decadent and as scrumptious as it sounds.