The Speckled Palate

February 27, 2013

Spicy Praline Bacon

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Spicy Praline Bacon // The Speckled Palate

You know that moment when you stumble upon the perfect balance of sweet and salty, all in the same bite?

This happened to me last summer at a little restaurant called The French Press in my husband’s hometown of Lafayette, Louisiana.

We were at brunch for Mother’s Day, and Winston’s grandfather mentioned that we had to try the Praline Bacon offered on the menu because it was something ever person needed to try at least once. I remember dragging my feet a little, skeptical that bacon topped with praline was the best idea. Pa went ahead and ordered us a side of the decadent pork, not accepting my skepticism and telling me it was worth a try.

When our dish of Praline Bacon was delivered to the table, I took a bite, and my mind was blown. Not only was the bacon salty and sweet, but there was a hint of spice in it, as well. And any doubts I might have had about the dish vanished… and I became a Praline Bacon convert.

Spicy Praline Bacon // The Speckled Palate

So you must be wondering why I decided to give this dish a shot in my own kitchen, right?

Why not just go back to The French Press and indulge myself every time we visit family in Louisiana?

Spicy Praline Bacon // The Speckled Palate

I was struck by a moment of inspiration last week, and it had to do with the James Beard Foundation.

Yes, you heard me right. And no, I don’t normally follow what’s going on at the James Beard Foundation… but I fell down a rabbit hole last week, and I am so happy I did.

Spicy Praline Bacon // The Speckled Palate

Last week, the 2013 James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Award Semi-Finalists were announced, and I was thrilled to learn that Justin Girouard, the chef at The French Press, is a semi-finalist for Best Chef in the South.

And I started thinking about that Praline Bacon I ate last year.

And then I realized I had a package of bacon in the fridge.

And then I realized I had all the other toppings to make pralines in my pantry.

And then, the idea snowballed, and I was making my own Praline Bacon. Because that is how my brain works, folks.

Spicy Praline Bacon
Yield: 4 servings

Spicy Praline Bacon

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

Sweet, salty and slightly spicy bacon is topped with a decadent brown sugar-pecan praline topping. Spicy Praline Bacon makes a delightful addition to any brunch get together.

Ingredients

  • ½ pound thick-cut bacon
  • 3 tablespoons pecans
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • A dash of cayenne pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Toast the pecans for about 8 minutes or until just golden brown. Do not overcook the pecans here, as they will be in the oven roasting again before this dish is completed.
  3. Once the pecans are toasted and cooled, combine with the brown sugar in a food processor, chopping and mixing the ingredients together.
  4. Place the bacon on a wire baking rack atop your baking sheet, and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the bacon is partially cooked through. (You want the bacon to be about 3/4 of the way done at this point, but you don't want it to be browning already.)
  5. Push the bacon close together on the rack using tongs and brush the slices with the molasses. The molasses is going to mix with the fat that has bubbled on the top of the slices, so this may look a little funny. Just brush the molasses on each strip until every one is coated.
  6. Using a spoon or your fingers, sprinkle the sugar-pecan topping onto the slices of bacon, patting them down slightly.
  7. Sprinkle the cayenne pepper on top of each slice. This should be a light dusting and will add a little kick to the bacon.
  8. Bake for an additional 5-10 minutes or until the topping is bubbly, and the bacon is brown and cooked through. Keep an eye on your bacon for this, as you do NOT want the topping to burn! I'd start it out at 5 minutes and check, then add additional time if necessary. (I baked mine for around 20 because my oven is sad and slow... and I really like crispy, unburnt bacon, so I took the risk.)
  9. Let cool, then enjoy these chewy breakfast treats!

Notes

Adapted from NOLA Cuisine

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1 serving

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 335 Total Fat: 23g Saturated Fat: 7g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 15g Cholesterol: 56mg Sodium: 958mg Carbohydrates: 11g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 0g Sugar: 9g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 20g
Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

Spicy Praline Bacon // The Speckled Palate

Have you ever tried Praline Bacon? Are you as crazy about it as I am? Would you try it now?


19 Comments

  1. Holly

    Wow..that looks amazing!

    • Erin

      Not gonna lie: It’s pretty darn delicious, Holly!

  2. Katherine

    Oh my what. I’ve heard about this before (I believe it’s served at Elizabeth’s and a few other NOLA restaurants) but had never actually seen a photo of it. And now I understand. Thanks for sharing this, Erin. I will definitely have to try it out the next time I make a special brunch!

    • Erin

      I’m glad you could see your first photo of Praline Bacon here, lady. 🙂 And I believe that the dish was started at Elizabeth’s, if my internet research is correct. Please let me know if you give this a shot and what you think of the final product! I thought it was delightful… in a decadent, ‘I’m only going to have one slice because OH MY GOODNESS’ kind of way.

  3. Lindsey d.

    Love praline bacon! And I’ve made it before… Pretty much the same concept you described, but we were making SIX pounds of praline bacon for a food competition. My friend’s house (she was the master chef; I just followed orders) smelled like bacon for a week!

    • Erin

      You and me both, girl! And I love that you’ve made it before except y’all were making SIX POUNDS of the decadent breakfast side! I cannot even imagine how bacon-y your friend’s house smelled after that! Not that it’s a bad thing… but I bet it was pretty overwhelming sometimes. Wow. How did y’all do in the competition?

      • Lindsey

        We did fabulously, actually finishing third overall. We made 250 mini pain perdue cupcakes with a strawberry/triple sec compote and buttercream frosting and a bit of praline bacon for the 2011 Food Experiments competition in New Orleans ). Such a cool experience.

  4. Gina @ So Lets Hang Out

    I am pretty sure you just blew my mind.

    • Erin

      You’re welcome? 😉

  5. Natalie

    Where has this been all my life?? This looks like actual CANDY and I would likely eat so much of it that I would end up feeling very sick afterwards lol Such a unique recipe and easy too. I am going to make this for my parents as they will go bonkers over it, sweet and salty is the best.

    • Erin

      Haha. Better late than never, right? And it really is like candy… except it’s candy on top of bacon, which makes it even better than regular candy! Please let me know what y’all think of the recipe when you make it! And indulge selectively. I had a few slices of it for lunch the day I made it — because why NOT have it for lunch, right? — and had a stomachache afterward. It’s super decadent, so you only need a slice or two to fit the bill. Sadly, I learned this lesson the hard way.

  6. Jayne

    Lady, this is crazy. Why did you have to make bacon even more irresistible than they already are?

    • Erin

      It really is crazy… but I am SO thankful for the soul who decided to put a praline atop a slice of bacon. It’s a little slice of heaven… and it a lot ridiculous. 🙂

  7. Maria

    Hmmm I would taste test it but I’ll be honest and say I’m apprehensive. (you’re judging me aren’t you?!)

    • Erin

      I’m not judging you. 😉 Like you, I was a bit skeptical the first time I tried this dish… but I ended up LOVING it. Should you ever see it on a menu, I suggest trying a bite to see what you think! It might surprise you.

  8. Kelly @ Hidden Fruits and Veggies

    I don’t let my BF cook real bacon in the house (as I don’t eat it and the smell somehow makes me feel like I’m dying) but I feel like he might straight up kill me for some of this bacon! Don’t let him see this recipe! [or maybe I’ll just try it out with veggie bacon :)]

    • Erin

      Oh. Goodness. I hate that the smell of bacon somehow makes you feel like you’re dying… but I kind of get it. (We don’t make bacon here often because I hate the “bacon halo” that follows me around and encompasses my house for the day.) I’d love to hear what you think of this with veggie bacon and how it turned out!

  9. Erica

    I posted this on Facebook last night as something I needed to make and my Mom emailed me a recipe that she picked up yesterday from a pecan company with the same basic ingredients!

    • Erin

      I love that you and your mom were on the same wavelength as far as this bacon goes! Have y’all tried either recipe yet? I’d love to know what you think! It’s just such a fun and decadent brunch side dish.

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