I know bacon recipes have almost become cliché on food blogs, but bacon captures attention like a bride walking down the aisle—no one turns away, all eyes are where they’re supposed to be … on the bacon recipe.
Can the love of bacon be strong enough to handle one more?
Besides, this isn’t all about the bacon anyway.
It’s about the maple dress.
Like a traditional white dress, adding maple to bacon is not culinary genius, but it works. It always works. Here, we go a step further finishing the smoky-sweet-nutty treat with a splash of Vermont Maple Balsamic.
Maple balsamic, you say?
Think of it as the hand-stitched beaded trim, sweet and elegant. Not some artificial maple wanna be, it tastes exactly like you’d imagine if you mixed maple syrup and aged balsamic. Its tangy, sweet, maple-y richness rocks everything we’ve tried it on, especially breakfast sausage and bacon.
I made this Pecan & Maple Balsamic Bacon at Christmas for a white elephant gift exchange. I figured I could take a singing trout or a dancing Santa, but the bacon seemed more tasteful and just as ornery. Who wouldn’t fight over Pecan & Maple Balsamic Bacon? Luckily, no fights broke out, and the one person who I knew would want it more than anyone, got it. He was very happy and it was a worthy consolation prize considering the Yoda Gumball Machine had already been taken from him. I couldn’t convince him to share; he took it straight to the car, Yoda a distant memory.
Back to the Vermont Maple Balsamic.
All over the country, stores offering single source extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars are popping up everywhere. We are one such lucky community with several to choose from, but my favorite is Venice Olive Oil Co at 109 N. Tejon, downtown, Colorado Springs. They are careful with the oils, protecting them from heat and light, ensuring the source and ingredients are pure. Their flavored oils and balsamics have a straightforward, clean taste—nothing artificial or overdone. Free tastings are offered in the store so you can sample various parings and make the best selection. A few of the combinations we enjoy most are:
Blood Orange EVOO & Cinnamon Pear Balsamic
Lemon EVOO & Wild Blueberry Balsamic
Tuscan Herb EVOO & Traditional 18 yr old Balsamic (think of this as the ‘little black dress’ for any fine meal)
Persian Lime EVOO & Cranberry Pear Balsamic
We use them on salads, cheese trays, fresh fruits, desserts, and for finishing meats just before serving. Tangy, sweet, assertive, yet smooth, aged balsamic brings a balance to many flavors.
I’m not just trying to tease you with something only available where I live, check here to find a store in your area. Any of the stores listed with a VF indicates a distributor of Veronica Foods and will have similar products to those mentioned. If you do not have a specialty shop in your area, order on-line through one of the highlighted links below; each one has a slightly different offering of flavors.
Oliverde – (this site has a great list of recipes)
Midtown Olive Press (this vender has the Vermont Maple Balsamic)
Outrageous Olive Oils (this site has helpful paring suggestions)
EVOO Marketplace (recipes, gifts, excellent resource information)
Have you tried flavored EVOO or aged balsamic?
Do you have a favorite we could add to this list?
- Preheat oven to 400°.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and set a wire rack inside. Brush the rack with oil to prevent sticking.
- Place maple syrup in a shallow bowl and chopped pecans on a large plate or platter. Dip bacon in maple syrup, covering completely, let excess drip off. Place syrup covered bacon in the chopped pecans and press pecans onto the bacon.
- Lay prepared bacon on the wire rack leaving about ¼ inch between pieces. Bacon can be cut to fit as many pieces on the rack as possible.
- Bake in the center of the oven for 15-20 minutes, remove from oven and gently turn bacon over. Some of the pecans will fall off, but that's okay, they make tasty nibbles for later.
- Continue to bake 15-20 minutes longer, or until desired crispness is reached. Bacon will continue to crisp once removed from the oven and cooled.
- Once the bacon is done, remove from oven and carefully lift wire rack out of pan. Now is the time to nibble on the pecans in the pan or save them for salad toppings later. Drizzle Vermont Maple Balsamic over bacon and enjoy.