The Bacon Poler Express
October 22, 2009
So I figured something out, something that should really help my time-crunched, messed-up schedule quite a bit. I just need to multitask. Everything I do must serve a dual purpose. Like, I can put Swiffer cloths on the baby's knees, color my roots while I drive, teach my preschooler how to use his pragmatic language skills to argue with our health insurance. And lunch! Oh, what a pointless uni-task waste of time that is! Until now!
Yep. Time for another adventure in microwavery. On today's menu:
So I actually felt a little sad about how terrible that poor souffle turned out, especially since...well, come on. It was a souffle. That I microwaved. Let's not stack the deck too high against any chance of success, shall we? So I chose this recipe because 1) it contains bacon, 2) I had a coupon for bacon, 3) microwaved bacon is actually pretty darn good, and 4) BACON POLES, YOU GUYS.
BEEFLOGS. (Okay, PORKLOGS, if you buy into the idea of a single magical animal that gives us pork and bacon and ham and logs.)
(Also pictured, top right: "Seaside Cheese Dip." The secret ingredient is canned clams!)
I'm a big fan of things wrapped in bacon, and an even bigger fan of meats on sticks. Put meat on a stick and wrap it in bacon, and I will...uh. I will eat it. Yeah. I'm that serious. (Although if you present me with the other recipe on page 55 -- Microwaved Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Livers -- I may pass on those.)
ANYWAY! It's a pretty straightforward recipe. Packaged breadsticks, bacon, scissors, paper towels and a paper plate.'Twas a simpler time, in a way.
I wish I could say that my perfectly seasonal choice of paper plate was intentional, but it's actually a leftover from last Halloween. (I also may have some fun-sized toffee bars or some other thing that no one in our household likes. You know, in case our BACON POLES! don't turn out so well.)
Cut bacon in half with scissors. Ew. This is actually not super fun, but I suppose it's necessary to achieve true spiral "barber pole fashion."
Mmmm, meat barber lollipops.
Now, there was no way I was going to follow the times in the recipe -- while "Defrost" and "Medium" have proven to be fairly comparable, cooking on "High" in a modern-day microwave is the 1977-equivalent to roasting over an open rod of plutonium.
My microwave actually has a "bacon" setting, but it requires math and stuff, like dividing an 8-ounce package of bacon by 10 strips and then multiplying by three strips, which means this is about 2.4 ounces of bacon but you can only enter whole numbers awwww fuck it, let's just nuke the plate for a minute and a half or so.
The crackling sound means it's working! Or that it's about to explode. Definitely one of those two things.
Okay, so the first batch came out a leeeeeettle well-done. They tasted distinctly burnt, with playful undernotes of char-broiled nitrates. The bacon-wrapped section of breadstick was cooked to the point of blackened petrification.
(STOP MOCKING ME, STUPID JACK O' LANTERN PLATE.)
Take two! I was determined to succeed this time, since DUDE. It's a fucking microwave. Surely I can not fuck up a fucking recipe that involves little more than pressing a a fucking button. I mean, for all my mockery of this cookbook, I am running dangerously close to being run over by a GE-powered truckload of irony.
I also wanted to eat some bacon, so I made a few modern-day concessions: the rotating turntable went back in, and I used the "bacon" setting, figuring that even if the cooking time wasn't exact, the power level would be. I aimed for underdone, and checked on them compulsively. Come on, BACON POLES!
Huzzah! Close enough, more or less. Eh.
For cookbook-photo comparison purposes. I am so serving these at our next Key Party! They'll be awesome dipped into some Canned Clam Cream Cheese Dip!
Okay, so of course I tasted the BACON POLES!, despite the fact that the end product sort of alarmingly reminded me of these dog treats we used to give Ceiba, until we figured out that she was just gnawing off the bacon-like wrapping and then hiding the rawhide stick-part under the sofa cushions.
These were neither especially bacon-y nor pole-like -- eaten warm, the breadstick was kind of chewy. Once they cooled, the breadstick STILL tasted overcooked and the bacon was rendered down to little more than salt. A thick, reddish-brown crunchy coating of salt.
The first one was pretty good, in a "wow, it's like they figured out how to sell bacon in a vending machine" sort of way.
The second one was...uncomfortably salty. What is this world, where bacon is something other than completely delicious? I am distinctly unsettled.
By the time I nibbled on a third one my tongue was shriveling up and I needed WATER WATER MAYDAY WATER.
Ceiba really liked them, so...that's something.
(It will probably surprise absolutely NO ONE AT ALL that Paula Deen has her own recipe for BACON POLES! She makes hers in a fancydancy oven. And then she covers them in cheese.)