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5 ways to add bacon to almost anything

Bacon is an incredibly versatile food — which is a wonderful thing, given how addictively delicious it is. In fact, if you’re still eating your bacon as a side for eggs, you’re doing yourself a vast injustice. Take any humdrum dish, and you can be sure there’s some way to make it better with bacon.

Feeling inspired? Enter your bacon-inspired dish ideas into The Bacon Strip’s recipe contest, and you could win $100 and a year’s worth of free food. Submissions open through Sept. 7.

Bake it.

Bakin’ bacon is much more low-maintenance than frying it on the stovetop, but why stop there? Roll strips of bacon inside cinnamon rolls before popping them in the oven, or bake coarsely chopped pieces into cornbread or quiche.

The baking method also allows you to infuse the bacon itself with endless flavor possibilities. Case in point: The Bacon Strip in Elkhart uses marinades to bake in flavors like jalapeno, ancho chili, maple cinnamon and mesquite.

Wrap it.

This technique started with the age-old concept of wrapping meat in more meat — bratwurst, chicken, fish … even the classic “turducken” has been wrapped in bacon — but we are way past that now.

Wrap bacon around roasted vegetables (asparagus, tomatoes, avocado, corn), or go the sweet-savory route and wrap fruit like pears, strawberries or pineapple. One of our favorites: bacon-wrapped, cheese-stuffed jalapenos.

Weave it.

The bacon weave is basically an advanced form of the bacon wrap. We’ve seen it top apple pies, serve as the shell for breakfast tacos, or even baked into bowls for things like mac and cheese or poached eggs. This method happens to be genius for a BLT.

Candy it.

Making candied bacon is easier than it sounds, and it makes an amazing topping for ice cream, salad or a bonus garnish for cocktails. Just coat the bacon in brown sugar (and spice, if you’d like), then pop it in the oven. Some winning combinations to try: brown sugar and cinnamon, maple syrup and brown sugar, brown sugar and chile powder (or cayenne).

Flavor with it.

All that rendered bacon fat left in the pan has a whole lot of flavor left to give, so it’s a shame to let it go to waste. Use that rendered bacon fat in place of other fats (like butter, lard or shortening) in basically any recipe for instant baconification. You can even use it to pop popcorn. Needless to say, there are also plenty of bacon-flavored products out there you can use in your kitchen. Think bacon vodka (perfect for Bloody Marys), bacon salt and bacon syrup.

This article is brought to you by The Bacon Strip. For everything bacon and more. Now open for breakfast and lunch, Tue.-Sun. 561 East Jackson Blvd, Elkhart, 574.343.2899.

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