Bacon Everywhere

Does bacon make everything better? Some people swear it does. I love bacon, but I can't claim to be bacon obsessed.

Even so, my friends dragged me to a sliver of a restaurant in the East Village recently to try Permanent Brunch. What lured them in? Bacon, of course. But this place takes it a step further. They have an "artisanal bacon bar" that includes country-peppered to Swiss sugar-cubed cottage bacon.

So the bacon feast began. We ordered a flurry of dishes to accompany the porcine love affair. With every bite of our buttermilk pancakes or baked eggs, we couldn't stop eating bacon. The slabs of meat struck a perfect balance between fat and the just-cooked meat.

In school, we did our fair share of using bacon. We'd brine it and have it ready to cube the next week so we could render fat for entrees like beef burgundy. Or we'd make some for weekend brunch service.

At home, though, I rarely cook bacon. For one, I live in a tiny studio and any cooking endeavor beyond boiling water fills my 250-square-foot space with the recipe's aroma for days. But I'm sure the day will come when I just have to have bacon. There's a hunk of bacon sitting in my freezer right now that I'll defrost and slice up. And my trick for cooking it without creating a mess? Line a sheet pan with tin foil and line up the bacon. Throw it in a 350-degree oven and in about 15 to 20 minutes, you'll have your bacon ready to go.

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