As the crisp blankets of January snow give way to the bitter days of February, and the relentless advance of winter thickens the very air, my aimless mind wanders back to memories of the frozen streets and ice-slicked alleyways of Philadelphia… And if you have never actually been to Philadelphia then pull up a chair and join me. I haven’t either. Boss is a New York City boy. All I know about Philly is, well:
(Apparently, the Sauce Boss has wandered off the reservation again. We sincerely apologize to any Philadelphians out there…and anyone else reading this, really.)
But I have watched my share of the classics so I consider myself more-than-adequately qualified. Like any good Generation X-er growing up in Cold War-era America*, I learned all I needed to know about the laissez-faire mechanics of a self-regulating market and the subtle nuance of economic liberalism from the incomparably rich educational cinema of the time…
Yes, like the legendary Billy Ray Valentine and Louis Winthorpe before me, I too was a disciple of the immortal Philly-based Randolph and Mortimer Duke and their theatrical ilk, and it is in honor of these mercurial titans of enterprise that I present the following Ode to Capitalism… Also, bacon.
You see, as the Dukes would have you understand, American infrastructure was built not on the smokescreen of “hard work and ingenuity” but rather on the commodity futures market – more specifically, the twin pillars of pork bellies and frozen concentrated orange juice. In this time of gentle reflection, with the new year still so tenderly upon us and its potential so limitless…and stuff…this got me to thinking. And that, as always, got me to cooking.
Orange-Habanero Thick Cut Bacon
1 pound thick cut bacon
3 1/2 tbsp dark brown sugar
3 tbsp orange juice concentrate (if you don’t use frozen then you’re just not paying attention)
1/4 orange habanero (or 1/2 if, you know, you grow a pair)
Space bacon strips on a cooling rack that is set on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet and place in a pre-heated 400 degree oven for 15 minutes, until the fat begins to render. This would also be a great time to whip out the mortar, pestle and remaining ingredients to make our glaze. If you’ve got an aggressive friend nearby (or hostility issues of your own – dude, I don’t judge…we all hate daddy sometimes), this is a great task to pawn off on them. Mashing the fiery little botanical hellspawn into a pulpy oblivion = BEST. CATHARSIS. EVER.
After you pulverize the habanero, mix in the orange juice and brown sugar until dissolved. Adding the orange juice before mashing would lead to a lot of splashing and nobody is going to feel sorry for you because you’re a damn idiot. Trust me, I know…
After your 15 minutes are up (rethink the Andy Warhol wisecracks – I have a handful of habanero juice and a pretty good arm), glaze the bacon on one side and cook for another 8 minutes. Then flip, glaze the other side and cook for a final 8 minutes.
*BOOM* — I have just made bacon better. You’re welcome.
Now I ask you, what is the true future of pork bellies and F.C.O.J.? Not to be immodest (more than usual, I mean), but I’m pretty sure the Duke Brothers would not have been so eager to sell, sell, SELL if they had seen this coming.
In fact, I’ll even bet you………………..……one dollar.