(Originally published 7/30/11)
A few days ago I was watching a video of Imelda May and Wanda Jackson singing Shakin' All Over, and suddenly it occurred to the songwriter in me: Shakin' rhymes with bacon. If they go well together in song, they must go well together in my mouth. And that, boys and girls, is how Shake n' Bacon™©® came to be.
I googled "Shake n' Bacon"™©® and came up with no recipes, so clearly I have invented this concept (never mind that I could have googled "breaded bacon"). I vowed that, before my vacation was over, I would attempt this unholy union. And with oodles of time to kill today, I let 'er rip. Here are the results (skip to the end for a recipe synopsis):
The egg and milk are for an egg wash, which is commonly used in baking to give a crust a golden glow, but is also used as a sort of glue. Onion rings and chicken fingers are typically made with this, so it stood to reason that Shake n' Bacon™©® would benefit from this. I bought regular pork Shake n' Bake, because it made the most sense. Obviously, any one will do, and seasoning is probably an excellent idea for future attempts. For now, I just wanted to see if it would work.
2) Mise en place and preparation:
Preheat the oven to 400°C. Maybe you could fry the bacon in a pan, but I decided to go straight to the oven. Incidentally, this is how I cook regular bacon these days. It's no-fuss no-muss, with little clean-up and no splatter (I cook topless so this is very important to me). Anyway, I went oven because I didn't want to move the bacon once it was coated in bread crumbs. Doing it in the oven allows you to just leave it unattended for 10-20 minutes, depending on the level of crispiness you're looking for. Line a baking sheet with tin foil, no need to grease it because duh bacon is fatty as fuck.
For the egg wash, mix one egg with about 1/3 cup of milk, and pour into a shallow bowl. This should be enough for half a pound of bacon. For the Shake n' Bake, use one packet (the box comes with two). Spread on a 9-12" diameter plate (the one pictured is too small, I changed it after I snapped the pic). I cut the bacon in half because the pieces are easier to handle (you'll see what I mean).
Dip a strip of bacon in the egg wash, making sure to cover both sides fully. Lay it out on the bread crumbs, flip it and do the same to the other side, and lay that sucker on the baking sheet. Repeat until you run out of room and/or bacon.
3) Cook them bitches. I cooked the first batch for 10 minutes, and they didn't look quite done so I gave them another 8. The end product was technically delicious, but stiff as a board and definitely had that overcooked bacon taste to it.
I knew I could do better so I made a second batch, cooked as follows: 10 minutes on one side, then flip and cook 2 minutes on the other side, for good luck. The outcome:
Shake n' Bacon™©® tastes exactly how you expect it to taste: delicious. Bacon to the breadth degree. It was fully cooked but not too chewy. The bread crumbs were perfectly adhered to the bacon - I was afraid they'd crumble off once I picked up the bacon, but the egg wash really did the trick. Oh, and all the grease that normally floats around the baking sheet? Totally absorbed into the bread crumbs. The tin foil was practically dry. Which meant the Shake n' Bacon™©® was completely saturated in bacon fat, and therefore completely saturated in awesome. As pointed out by Peter Pritchard, these are almost begging to be dipped in a melted cheese sauce of some sort. Someone try it and let me know how it tastes.
Shake n' Bacon™©® would make an excellent treat for when you're having friends over and you're feeling a little bit silly, or when you're alone and sad and you want something salty before you eat that pint of ice cream. Serve with beer, even at breakfast time. Especially at breakfast time.
-Bacon (1/2 pound)
-Shake n' Bake or some such shit
-1 large egg
-1/3 cup milk
-Beer (you need something to do for 12 minutes)
Preheat the oven to 400°C. Line a baking sheet with tin foil, no need to grease it. Mix one egg with about 1/3 cup of milk, and pour into a shallow bowl. Spread Shake n' Bake on a 9-12" diameter plate. Cut the bacon in half because the pieces are easier to handle. Dip a strip of bacon in the egg wash, making sure to cover both sides fully. Lay it out on the bread crumbs, flip it and do the same to the other side, and lay that sucker on the baking sheet. Repeat until you run out of room and/or bacon. Bake for 10 minutes, then flip and bake another 2 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit 2 minutes, crack another beer and enjoy.