Amusing Ma Bouche

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Theresa Rice

Theresa Rice
Location
North Georgia Mountains, Georgia, United States
Birthday
August 24
Bio
I cook. I eat. I write. I grow things. I teach. I paint. Louisiana-born and southern bred, I love people intelligent enough to be optimistic and generous enough to bring their gifts to the table.

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APRIL 3, 2011 9:14PM

Big Easy Praline Bacon

Rate: 27 Flag

 IMG_2329 resize

 

 “Special day! Oh, what have I forgotten now? Now, don’t panic. Is it Bacon Day? No, that’s crazy talk!” ~Homer, The Simpsons

 

Mmm . . . Bacon Day. It sounds like Homer Simpson nirvana, doesn't it?  Now imagine thick cut bacon, packed with a deep layer of pecans and brown sugar, then baked to salty-sweet perfection. Crazy talk? Maybe, but it's Bacon Day, every day at Elizabeth's Restaurant in New Orleans, where they invented Praline Bacon in 1998.

Etienne_de_BoréIt's no wonder New Orleans is the place where praline bacon, aka pig candy, first saw the light of day. The Big Easy's sugar karma goes way back.

When his indigo crop failed, Jean Etienne de Boré, descendant of French nobility, gambled on sugar to refurbish his dwindled fortunes. He worked to develop a way to granulate sugar and suceeded in 1795. Monsieur de Boré was highly respected and served as the city's first mayor. His plantation was at the site that is now New Orleans landmark,  Audubon Park.

 

sweet potato queenJill Connor Browne is probably not a descendent of French nobility and she may hail from next door in Jackson, Mississippi, but she has New Orleans written all over her. She worked out her own unique take on the necessary food groups—salty, sweet, fried and cheese. Ms. Browne is the Original Sweet Potato Queen and played her part in the spread of the tempting porky treat. Pig candy (which fills three out of four of Ms. Browne's criteria) was immortalized in "The Sweet Potato Queens' Big-Ass Cookbook and Financial Planner."

 

 The book was published in January, 2003 and tells about the time Queen Jill was at low ebb, with pneumonia and book tour lag in Kansas City. Fan Patty Leathers passed her a paper bag full of the brown sugared bacon. The rest is Sweet Potato Queen history. Women in tiaras with big red hair have been responsible for tons of bacon and brown sugar colliding in ovens all across America. 

 

Pig candy knows no social barriers and is beloved by high- and low-brows alike. John Burnett gave a report for NPR from New Orleans in 2006. He and his family had breakfast at Elizabeth's. After a bit of discussion about Praline Bacon he headed to the kitchen to find out how it's made. Conclusion? Bacon candy is healing. The solace of having Elizabeth's familiar dishes back gave great comfort to locals in post-Katrina New Orleans.

 

 Bacon . . . is there anything it can't do?

 

 

PRALINE BACON

 

Ingredients:


3/4 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 cup chopped pecans

1 pound high quality thick-cut bacon

 

Directions:

 

IMG_2303 resizeMix the pecans and brown sugar together until evenly blended and set aside.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_2288 resizPreheat the oven to 400 degrees. Position wire racks onto two baking sheets. Lay the bacon strips side by side on the rack, edges not touching.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_2301 resizeBake for 10-12 minutes, or until bacon is rendered and browning on the edges but not anywhere near done. NOTE: Time will vary according to the thickness of the bacon so watch it carefully. Remove the pans  from the oven and CAREFULLY drain off bacon fat if you desire.

 

 

 

 

IMG_2308 resizeWhen cool enough to handle move the strips very close together. Spread the brown sugar and pecan mixture evenly over all the slices.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_2331 resizePut back in the oven for about 8 to 10 minutes more or until the topping is bubbly and the bacon is browned. Allow to cool. The bacon will firm as it sits.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Variation:

 

4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 teaspoon shortening

1 recipe Praline Bacon

1/2 cup chopped pecans

Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning

 

Combine chocolate chips and shortening in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at 50% power in 30 second increments, stirring after each. Times will vary depending on your microwave and the quality of the chocolate, but will be about 3 minutes or so. Stop before the chips are thoroughly melted and allow them to finish melting as you stir to blend them.

 

Place bacon slices on a rack over a clean baking sheet. Drizzle chocolate over all. Distribute pecan pieces evenly and sprinkle very lightly with Tony's. Allow to harden before serving. 

 

 

 

 


 LAGNIAPPE

In which Christopher Walken tells the story of the Three Little Pigs. Priceless.

 


 

 


Jean Etienne de Boré image courtesy of Wikipedia

Sweet Potato Queen image courtesy of PhotoBucket

Video courtesy of YouTube

All other images and texts copyright 2011 Theresa Rice

 


 

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Comments

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Great post!! Sounds a lot better than the healthy turkey bacon we ate this morning -
OMGGGGGGGGgg bring on the bacon and add the chocolate chips too.
Yum: I am so glad I just finished dinner.
rated with hugs
Awesome! I love how you combine food, history, and a bit of everything else in your stories. And what's not to love about praline bacon?
Praline Bacon! Am I in trouble now! We are pig candy sisters after our posts. Love it. :-)
This is brilliantly decadent and unhealthy! So many jokes have been made about the major food groups. Mine is a cartoon of a guy who looked like Norm on Cheers saying, "Here you got your four major food groups: hamburger, pickle, chips and beer."
So many dishes from my childhood just don't taste the same without bacon grease. I can't wait to try this.
Christopher Walken's version of the Three Little Pigs was very funny. Thanks.
Yum! I've had brown sugar bacon, but adding the pecans sounds divine (not to mention the chocolate option!). I made chocolate covered bacon for my husband for Valentine's Day, and he thought he'd died and gone to heaven.
There is nothing to not love about this post. -R-
holymotherofgod! I coule wrap myself in this bacon, wear it and eat it. Sharing is out of the question.... also, another beautiful bost.
::slurp::crunch::

mmmmmmm.
Oh this is an amazing recepie and more. thanks for the over the top bacon delight.
Fascinating and wow!
You'd have had me at Big Easy, Praline, or Bacon!
All 3 is just overkill.
This actually sounds good and I shudder at bacon-wrapped scallops.
I don't dare try this--I'm unlikely to stop eating it once I have!
but rated!
The older I get the more I love bacon.
Goodness gracious! Are you trying to convert a non-porc eater through her sweet tooth? Wonderful post and story comme d'habitude.

♥R
Oh wow! Another runaway favorite. Sugar and fat, can't go wrong. Ever!
Great work in the kitchen this week. (And is that dogwood blooming around the plate in the photo? Jealous.) We're still freezing up here in Michigan.
What a great approach to one of my favorite food groups--bacon! I did a post a year and half ago on chocolate bacon. But I'm going to try this--even though it is decidedly un-Cheap Bastidly due to the $9 a pound cost of pecans. It's WORTH IT!
With pecans -zOMG. Just when I thought it had reached the summit of decadence.
I soooooo miss bacon. And praline bacon sounds so awesome that I can't even allow myself to imagine what I'm missing.
Ohhh! I just thought of a great idea for a Vegetarian "Queen" Pageant -- things vegetarians "miss." I'd be "Miss Bacon" and others would be "Miss Fried Chicken" and so forth...Wouldn't that be fun?
Wow, you can always leave it to those from NO to make fatty dishes even fattier ;-). I wonder if I could try this with soy bacon. I might. I saw Jill Connor Browne perform once at a writer's conference. Funny. One thing she said was shocking. She never edits her work. I think every writer in the audience gasped. ;-) R
Good ol' pig candy! The Christopher Walken clip is priceless!
Bacon is Herman's delight! I loved the Three Little Pigs.
Thank you Theresa.
Miss Lea