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9.29.2006

Out with the old, in with the white

It’s about time, I think. We all need a spiff-up every now and then, and my little Orangette, love her though I do, is no exception. I hope you like her new look.

I was awfully fond of that old, familiar, black background, but it didn’t quite fit anymore. A clean, white page feels much better. Maybe this white wedding stuff is getting to me; that could be the culprit. Whatever the reason, I love the way that white looks on almost anything these days, from the painted metal top of our kitchen table to the dishes that sit atop it. To my mind, food looks best on a plain white plate. It looks graceful and unfussy and good. The same goes, I hope, for a plain white food blog.

Have a great weekend, everyone.

9.25.2006

Late September, sung in the key of salad

Okay, so, remember what I wrote about summer? All my gushing and carrying on, with a scoop of sorbet on top? Well, scratch that. I've changed my mind. Call me fickle, but now I’m feeling sort of smitten with fall. Oh sweet, sweet, slate-colored autumn, I think I love you. For now, at least.

Only a few weeks ago, when August gave way to September, I wasn’t sure that I was ready. With the exception of one—okay, maybe two—heat waves, Seattle had a pretty mild summer, and though I did whine a bit about the heat when it actually came, I wasn’t convinced that I’d gotten my fill. But apparently, bossy Mother Nature had gotten hers, and so while Brandon and I were away in Oklahoma and safely out of range, she bought fall a first-class ticket to Seattle. Last week, it rained, it rained, and it rained some more. It was gray and gloomy. I even got out a coat. And though it surprised the heck out of me, I sort of liked it.

It’s only natural, I guess. We humans seem to crave variety in nearly everything, from our meals to the color of our underwear, so the seasons should be no exception. Summer was nice, but so, in its own way, is September. I’m hard-wired to think so. Either that, or this Rainy City has really sunk its teeth into me. Whatever the reason, I kind of like sleeping with socks on, and waking up to a chilly room. I like turning on the heat and hearing the furnace whirr and thrum. The evenings are perfect for taking walks right now, in the few weeks before night comes at five o’clock sharp. I love the smell of smoke from a chimney nearby—the ne plus ultra of seasonal scents—and the way that the dim, grayish daylight makes everything look brighter: the leaves, the last few flowers, even signs and billboards. I’m a total sap, I know. I’m a real sucker for this fall stuff. But tell me this: who doesn’t love sweaters and scarves and boots and layers? He who denies the lure of fall is a big, fat liar.

So, even if the sun does happen to be shining today in Seattle, it is with pleasure that I swoon a little in the direction of fall, and that I make in its honor my favorite salad of the season.



In my kitchen, every climatic change calls for its own signature salad: a sliced one for spring, with endive, cilantro, radishes, and feta; a cooling one for summer, with lime and garlic; and for winter, a festive red cabbage slaw. As for fall, it wants warm flavors, I think: a cool-weather green, some olives, pine nuts, and peppers, and a few homemade croutons rubbed with plenty of garlic. And since any girl worth her salt knows that roasted chicken is a good way to show affection—whether for a season or a someone—it’s an obvious addition. Tossed together in an oven-warmed bowl, the elements melt softly into each other: the arugula around the chicken, the pine nuts into the olives, the oil and vinegar over it all. Eaten by the window, and maybe with slippers on, it is late September sung in the key of salad. I could eat this every night. For now, at least.


Warm Chicken Salad with Arugula, Olives, and Pine Nuts
Inspired by The Zuni Café Cookbook

I first made this salad two years ago, and I have never forgotten it. Every time I roast a chicken, it is in the back of my mind, and now, with any luck, it will be in the back of yours too. It’s a delicious way to dispose of leftover chicken, but it’s also tasty enough to warrant roasting one to begin with. In fact, that’s exactly what I did this weekend: I roasted the bird on Friday, ate a couple of pieces, and then socked away the rest for salads on Saturday and Sunday. It was heaven, and since Brandon doesn’t eat meat, I got to hog it all for myself. [Oink, oink!] Something tells me that, so long as arugula is available, there will be several more weekends like this.

Before you begin, a couple of notes. First, I have left the quantities somewhat vague. This salad is very malleable, so feel free to play with ratios of various ingredients. But be sure, if you can, to start with all ingredients at room temperature. (If you’re a cheater like me, you can warm the chicken for a few seconds in the microwave.) As for the arugula, it is quite fragile, so make sure that it is very fresh and free of wilty leaves. I used baby arugula, but if you can find the more sturdy, wild-looking, mature type—which seems to be more common in Europe, I’ve noticed—use that. I wish I could find it more often around here.

1 crusty chunk of country bread or baguette
Olive oil
1 large garlic clove, peeled and halved lengthwise
1 handful of coarsely shredded meat from a roasted chicken
Red wine-mustard vinaigrette
1 Tbs pine nuts
6 Niçoise olives, pitted and halved
1 generous handful of arugula
1 small handful of very thin slices from a yellow or red bell pepper
Sea salt

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Tear the bread into a handful of irregular croutons. Brush them with olive oil to coat, spread them on a sheet pan, and toast until golden at the edges, about 6 minutes. Cool the croutons slightly; then rub them the garlic while still warm. Be as thorough as you are fond of garlic. Turn off the oven.

Meanwhile, toss the chicken with a bit of the vinaigrette—just a touch, for moisture and flavor—and set aside.

Place the pine nuts and olives in an ovenproof serving bowl—I use my favorite round, vintage Pyrex bowl—and place it in the turned-off oven for about 2 minutes to warm through. Carefully remove the bowl from the oven—it may be hotter than you think—and add to it the arugula and the peppers. Toss with vinaigrette to coat lightly but thoroughly. Add the chicken and the croutons, crumbling some of the latter over the bowl to let garlicky crumbs fall into the salad. Add a little more vinaigrette, and toss gently to coat. Taste, and add more vinaigrette or salt if necessary.

Serve promptly—straight from the bowl, if you like.

Yield: 1 serving

9.19.2006

OOOOO - klahoma!

I had been needing a change of scenery, and this weekend, boy, did I ever get one.


I also got a steak and a soufflé; an engagement party with fifty longtime family friends, a few pork tenderloins with pistachio chutney, and an enormous mocha fudge cake; a ring that once belonged to my great-grandmother Millicent; and a four-and-a-half-day weekend with family old and new. Oklahoma, you may be flatter than a pancake, but you sure know how to throw a party. From now on, I’m going to get engaged a lot more often.

Last Thursday, while most of North America was sleeping—at 3:30 am, to be precise—Brandon and I hopped a shuttle to SeaTac. A few hours later, we arrived at Will Rogers World Airport—though the “world” part is a bit optimistic, if you ask me—ready for a weekend of festivities, with a suitcase containing five chocolate bars and a pound of coffee for my mother, a lacy black dress for me, and for Brandon, a (gorgeous! 12-dollar!) green vintage suit. [Oklahoma may have lots of oil, but some things have to be imported.] My mother met us at the baggage claim, and from there, the rest of our stay brought a very busy, very welcome onslaught of family and friends, and even a shockingly good falafel sandwich.

Going home is a strange sensation. It’s a little like stepping into a warm swimming pool: something familiar and safe and inviting, but also not entirely of my element. It was good to be home, to hear the crickets and cicadas and the benevolent roar of the air conditioner in my old bedroom, and to fall asleep in mid-afternoon in my father’s armchair. I can still navigate the streets without a thought, although the prayer on the front page of the daily newspaper does give me pause. Oklahoma City is still my hometown, even if it does strike me as kind of a strange place. It always has. But if this city loves you, it lets you know. It remembers the poems you wrote for the school literary magazine when you were sixteen. It gets teary-eyed when it talks about your dad. It pinches your fiancé’s dimples. And sometimes, it’s awfully hard to leave.

To everyone who celebrated with us this weekend, thank you. Please accept this cookie recipe as a belated party favor from two devoted Seattlites. We’ll be back soon.



Chocolate Chip Cookies with Dried Apricots and Espresso
Adapted from Leslie Mackie’s Macrina Bakery and Café Cookbook

Given all the regulations on liquids, gels, lotions, creams, soups, sauces, and other sort-of-solids, few foods can slip past the security checkpoint these days. Brandon managed to sneak hummus on board by camouflaging it under a nubbly cloak of toasted pine nuts, and I got away with a Tupperware of ratatouille and a boiled egg, but otherwise, the airplane is a pretty desperate place where food is concerned. Quite handily, however, cookies are one of the few items that seem to be a safe bet. I packed a baggie of these on Thursday morning, stashed them in my bag, and got them on board without skipping a beat. Phew.


Tender and chewy, they make a perfect traveling companion: warm with the flavor of ground espresso beans and chunky with chocolate chips and dried apricots, they satisfy a handful of cravings in one fell swoop, which is very useful when you’re several thousand feet up, and with only beverage service. The recipe comes from Macrina Bakery, one of the best bakeries in Seattle. Although I love popping into their First Avenue storefront for a cookie, these are simple enough to make that it’s almost easier to go home and preheat the oven. Anyway, the cookies from the bakery sometimes taste too sweet, but my homemade ones are always spot-on, thanks to my rigorous quality-control measures in the form of, um, frequent dough sampling.

Should you pack a few for your next trip, I recommend asking your flight attendant for one of those tiny cartons of milk to drink alongside. Or, on second thought, if you’re trying to save some for family or friends at the other end of the flight, maybe you’d better not. Oklahoma, I’m so sorry. We ate them all. But I did bring you the recipe.



A few words about ingredients:

Note that the apricots called for here are unsulfured. Because of that, they don’t have the pretty, pale orange color that more common sulfured apricots do. Instead, they’re a sort of deep brown. I don’t mind, but if you would prefer orangey apricots, feel free to use them. Also, about the espresso beans: their flavor is quite mild here – more of a supporting player than a star – so if you want something stronger, you might play with upping the amount of ground espresso beans by, say, a quarter of a teaspoon at a time. I like them as is, but Brandon thought a bit more espresso would be nice.

2 ¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp finely ground espresso beans
10 ounces good-quality semisweet chocolate chips, such as Ghirardelli
¾ cup unsulfured dried apricots, diced
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp pure vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, and espresso. Stir with a whisk until well mixed. Add chocolate chips and apricots, and mix well with a spoon. [Adding the apricot bits at this stage and coating them with flour helps to keep them from sticking to one another.] Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large mixing bowl), combine the butter and sugars. Using the paddle attachment (or the regular beaters of your handheld mixer), mix on medium speed until the mixture is smooth, fluffy, and pale in color about 5 minutes. Add 1 egg, and mix to incorporate. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula; then add the remaining egg and the vanilla extract. Continue mixing until incorporated, about 1 minute. The batter should look very fluffy, almost like frosting. Remove the bowl from the mixer, if using, and scrape down its sides again.

Using a rubber spatula, gently fold half of the dry ingredients into the batter. After the first half is fully incorporated, add the second, and continue folding until all of the flour has been absorbed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and cover it with plastic wrap. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to 4 days. [I made a few cookies after 1 hour, but I saved most of the dough for the next day. The dough that chilled longer made for a chewier, chunkier cookie, like the ones pictured above.]

When you are ready to bake the cookies, position a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Scoop hunks of dough out of the bowl—I used a medium-size spring-loaded ice cream scoop—and roll them into fat, 2-inch balls. Place 8 balls on the baking sheet, leaving 2 inches between each ball. Place the remaining dough in the refrigerator while the first batch bakes.

Bake cookies for 15 to 18 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges and slightly soft in the center. To help them bake evenly, rotate the baking sheet every four minutes. When the cookies are ready, remove the pan from the oven, and carefully slide the sheet of parchment paper and its cookies onto a countertop, cutting board, or cooling rack. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes, if you can possibly wait, before eating. Repeat with the remaining chilled dough.

Note: Cooled cookies will keep in an airtight container or plastic bag for up to 3 days at room temperature. Brandon, my live-in Heloise, taught me to put a paper towel in the container or bag with them, and I find that it helps to regulate humidity and keep their good, chewy texture intact. These cookies also freeze well.

Yield: About 20 cookies, give or take a few tastes of raw dough for the baker

9.11.2006

Sheer luxuries, with chevre

I love to cook. But if there’s one thing that I like even more, it’s having someone else cook for me. Playing hostess is very nice, but it has nothing on the sheer luxury of sitting (or heck, even standing) in someone else’s kitchen, sipping a glass of wine (or, in a pinch, a cold Pabst), and watching that someone whip up a meal for me. Just tell me where to show up and when, and I’ll be right over. I’ll also reward you with a prompt thank-you note. I don’t care if it’s a cheeseburger or a four-course country-French hoop-dee-doo: it’s all pretty wonderful to me. And as luck would have it—which is also pretty wonderful—I have, over the years, amassed a good collection of Friends Who Like to Cook, which means that often I don’t have to. Among types of friends, this is my favorite by far. Cooking is what we do, and even more importantly, it’s what we do for each other.

Just last week, for example, there was Jimmy, who baked eggs and bacon while I sat, thanked my lucky stars, and sipped a Mimosa. The week before that, there was Shauna, who served up pork chops with a sweet-tart sauce of Italian plums, and all I had to do was set the table. [A blessedly low-pressure task, since I was, ahem, a bit slowed by our champagne aperitif.] And then there was my friend Keaton and her man Mark, who invited us to dinner this past Saturday. The evening was billed as a birthday celebration for Brandon and me—both Virgos, born on the 10th and 14th, respectively—but really, mainly, it was an excuse to spend a few hours together, and to stand around the kitchen and sip something cold on a warm night. Best of all, it was a delicious meal, and all I had to do were the hors d’oeuvres. Keaton knew just what I wanted for my birthday.

In keeping with the spirit of things, I wanted to make something that was supremely unfussy. So, recalling a recipe that I once clipped from Saveur, I sliced a log of goat cheese into thick, white discs, which I lay like loose paving stones in a shallow dish. Then I ran a bath of olive oil over the top and scattered around lemon zest, herbs, and sea salt. Standing in Mark’s kitchen, we scooped up drippy hunks of the soft cheese and ate them with water crackers and beer, which I highly recommend.


It was almost as good as the late-summer meal they made for us: a salad of sweet onions, okra, and homegrown tomatoes; slices of pan con tomate with slivered manchego; eggplant involtini filled with onions, sweet peppers, and something else that I ate too eagerly to identify; a spicy, brothy stew of olive oil, artichokes, and potatoes; and a two-layer coconut cake. It was sheer luxury, the stuff of great birthdays—right up to the sad moment near midnight when Brandon and I were soundly defeated at Trivial Pursuit. But we got to take home the leftovers of the marinated goat cheese, and no crappy Millennium Edition can cast a shadow over that.

In fact, we so loved this cheese that on Sunday, I found myself making a second go-round—a one-off riff this time, inspired by a recipe of my sister’s—for a second birthday gathering with friends that night. Next to not cooking at all, it is the easiest thing I can imagine.

Marinated Chèvre with Lemon Zest and Fresh Herbs
Inspired by Laura Chenel and Saveur

This recipe marks one of the rare occasions on which I am choosing to not give precise quantities—mainly because I didn’t use them myself. [Brandon is so proud of me.] I put this dish together by eye, mostly, and so far as I can tell, it would be hard to go wrong. The original formula calls for Italian parsley and chives, but I used basil, thyme, and marjoram instead, because that’s what we had on the patio. The only element to be careful with is the lemon zest, which can easily overwhelm the other flavors. I like this best after it has had a good day to rest in the refrigerator, where the lemon flavor softens wonderfully and melds with the oil and herbs. It makes for an easy, refreshing, end-of-summer appetizer.

About 6 oz. fresh, mild goats’ milk cheese, such as Laura Chenel’s Fresh Goat Log
Good-tasting olive oil
About 4 pinches of finely grated lemon zest
About 1 Tbs chopped fresh basil
About 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
About ½ tsp chopped fresh marjoram
Sea salt, such as Maldon, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Slice the cheese into ½”-thick slices, and place them in a single layer on a serving platter or in a shallow dish. Drizzle olive oil over the cheese to just—or nearly—cover. Scatter the lemon zest and herbs over the top, and season with salt and pepper. Cover with plastic wrap, and allow the cheese to sit for a couple of hours at room temperature, or, preferably, in the refrigerator for a day or so. Allow to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before serving with crackers, such as water crackers, or warm, crusty bread.

Yield: 4 or so servings

_____________


My Sister’s Marinated Chèvre


My sister Lisa made this delicious mixture at Christmastime a few years ago, and with a bit of prodding, she wrote the recipe for me on a sheet of lined paper, which I have kept in my clippings file ever since. My mother thinks that the recipe may have originally come from my father’s cousin Sharon, so perhaps I should call it “My Father’s Cousin’s Marinated Chèvre, as Made for Me by My Sister.” Either way, it makes a rustic but elegant appetizer and, like the recipe above, is wonderfully easy. If you can, make it a day ahead, and stash it in the refrigerator to let the flavors meld.

1 lb. fresh, mild goats’ milk cheese, such as Laura Chenel’s Fresh Goat Log
2 cloves garlic, cut in half and smashed under the side of a chef’s knife
½ tsp dried rosemary (or a bit more, minced, if you use fresh)
½ tsp dried thyme (or a bit more, minced, if you use fresh)
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp peppercorns, either black or multicolored
1 Tbs chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 Tbs chopped fresh basil
½ cup kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes
Good-tasting olive oil

Slice the cheese into ½”-thick slices, and place them in a single layer on a serving platter or in a shallow dish. Place the garlic pieces among the slices, and sprinkle with herbs, pepper flakes, peppercorns, olives, and tomatoes. Add olive oil to nearly cover the slices. Cover with plastic wrap, and allow the cheese to marinate for a few hours at room temperature or in the refrigerator for a few days. Allow to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before serving with crackers, such as water crackers, or warm, crusty bread.

Note: On a whim, Brandon put part of a batch of this into the food processor, and it became a delicious creamy spread that would be perfect for sandwiches of grilled vegetables or meats, or on a crostini. Mmm, mmm.

Yield: Quite a bit

9.04.2006

9 am Sunday: baked eggs and bacon

The call came last Thursday.

“Molly.” Rebecca said sternly. “Sunday morning. Jimmy’s.” I wasn’t sure if this was a command or a question. “He’s doing baked eggs. Don’t eat after three o’clock on Saturday.”

In only a few words, there it was: the return of the Jimmy.


Longtime readers of this site will remember Jimmy, my former employer Rebecca’s gay husband and the crowned king of Sunday mornings, the man whose bold, fearless conquests of the kitchen have clogged many an artery, spawned Dutch babies across the land, and won countless full-bellied followers. For a while there, I had the honor of spending nearly one Sunday out of four in Jimmy’s petite, astoundingly productive kitchen, and astounded I was by the quantities of fat, sugar, and cream that fell upon my plate. It was delightful; it was delicious; it was completely immoderate. I loved those mornings, but in all honesty, I feared them a little too. So when a few months passed without a call from Rebecca, I was sad, but I took it as a sign that my waistline and I were supposed to stay at home, where the milk is (mostly) nonfat and the chocolate stays in the cabinet until well after noon.

You’d better believe, though, that when the call did come, Brandon and I wasted no time in getting to Jimmy’s. While we did get off the elevator on the wrong floor and pace the hallway for a few minutes, wondering why none of the doors were emitting the usual bacon-scented tractor beam, when we finally reached the right floor and the right door, oh, we were ready.

There was a skillet of potatoes on the stove, browning slowly in butter with a dice of bell pepper. Rebecca, wearing a Café du Monde apron and a Band-Aid on her thumb—“Jimmy made me grate the cheese,” she explained cheerfully—poured mimosas and stirred the potatoes. Jimmy stood at the counter with three small sheet pans of bacon and a bowl of sugar, cayenne, and black pepper, which he spooned atop the slices before sliding them into the oven, where they began to slowly sizzle and crisp, turning a gorgeous shade of shiny, burnished red.


Then he prepared the eggs. I have had baked eggs in many incarnations, but I had never seen any like these. The whites were seasoned and whipped separately, so that they formed a frothy nest in which to place the yolk. A dollop of crème fraîche sat on top like a cap, along with a few feathery shreds of the Cantal cheese that gives this dish its elegant name: oeufs à la Cantalienne. Once in the oven, the whites puffed around the yolk like a rumpled lace collar, and the whole thing went airy and golden, like a sort of deconstructed soufflé.


It was eggs, bacon, and hash browns, but served up Jimmy-style: on oblong Fiestaware plates, and at 9 am.

I stabbed at the yolk with my fork, and it split into the soft, spongy whites with a rush of yellow. The melted cheese wove a fine web over the top and down into the egg, where it wound delicately around the tines when I scooped up a bite. It was almost cloudlike—but then it was creamy too, swallowing with the soothing, milky tang of crème fraîche. My only regret, having quickly scraped my ramekin clean, was that I didn’t drag at least one of the potatoes through the saucy, yolky stuff at the bottom. But I swallowed my remorse with a few bites of bacon, whose sweet-hot burn made a tasty distraction—tasty enough, in fact, to tide me over until the next call.


Oeufs à la Cantalienne
Gourmet, September 2006

Rather than the Cantal cheese called for here, Jimmy used Beaufort, and although that might technically make these oeufs à la Beaufortienne, we found the substitution more than acceptable. In fact, so far as I could tell, every single speck of these beauties was gobbled up. Jimmy served them in individual ramekins, but Gourmet’s recipe indicates that you could also use a single 9”-by-13” baking dish, which would make this easy recipe even simpler.

A note to those who, like me, have mixed feelings about rich breakfasts and brunches: this is the recipe for you. It feels almost virtuous somehow—so much so that I’m tempted to call it “Jimmy lite.” But I won’t.

Butter, for greasing ramekins
6 large eggs
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
3 oz coarsely grated Cantal cheese, about 1 cup
6 Tbs crème fraîche
Chopped fresh chives, for garnish

Position an oven rack in the middle position, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter 6 (8-ounce) ramekins or a 9”-by-13” baking dish. If you are using ramekins, place them on a rimmed baking sheet for ease of transport.

Separate the eggs, putting the whites into a large mixing bowl and carefully sliding the whole, unbroken yolks into a small bowl of cold water.

Using an electric mixer at medium-high speed, beat the egg whites with salt, pepper, nutmeg, and cream of tartar until they just hold stiff peaks. Fold in ½ cup cheese gently but thoroughly. Divide the egg white mixture among ramekins or transfer to the baking dish, smoothing the top slightly. [The whites will stand above the rims of the ramekins.] Make an indentation in the center of the whites in each ramekin, or, if you are using the baking dish, make 6 evenly spaced indentations. Using your fingers, carefully remove the yolks from the water one at a time, and slip one yolk into each indentation.

Stir the crème fraîche so that it is smooth and free of lumps, and spoon one tablespoon on top of each yolk. Sprinkle the eggs with the remaining cheese.

Bake the eggs until the whites are puffed and pale golden, 10 to 14 minutes. The yolks should jiggle slightly. Sprinkle with chives, and serve immediately.

Yield: 6 servings

_______


Sweet-and-Spicy Bacon
Gourmet, September 2006


I should begin by saying this: I am not a huge fan of bacon. The thought of it is certainly pleasant enough, but it doesn’t send me clawing for a plateful. I like it better as a flavor component in a larger dish, I guess, than as a stand-alone thing. This bacon, however, is no ordinary stuff. No one—not even I—can straddle the fence when pork fat meets sugar, cayenne, and black pepper. I ate three pieces, and that’s no small potatoes.

1 ½ Tbs packed light brown sugar
Rounded ¼ tsp cayenne
Rounded ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 lb thick-cut bacon (about 12 slices)

Position an oven rack in the middle position, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, cayenne, and black pepper.

Arrange the bacon slices in 1 layer—not overlapping—on the rack of a large broiler pan. [Jimmy didn’t use a broiler pan. Instead, he lined a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and put the bacon on the foil. It seemed to work just fine.] Bake the bacon for 20 minutes. Turn the slices over, and sprinkle them evenly with the spiced sugar. Continue baking until the bacon is crisp and deep golden, about 20-35 minutes more, checking every 5 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain before serving.