cooking 101

Since moving to Fort Bragg exactly 17 days ago, I think I’ve cooked more than I ever really have in my life. Okay, so maybe that’s a slight exaggeration, but I have cooked more days in a row consecutively than I ever have in my life. And that’s saying something since I’m going on 27 years old (less than a month til my birthday!!).

But my dad’s a chef, so growing up he cooked almost every meal. One would think that because my dad’s a chef, I would be some amazing cook as well. Wrong. He would try to teach me and when I would mess something up he would take over and do it for me, so I stopped trying to learn. But I did pick some things up just from observation and I’m fairly decent at cooking. By no means am I anything like my father, but I don’t think I’d ever get picked for Food Network’s “Worst Cooks in America” either.

But in cooking for almost 17 days straight (the first night we were here we had dinner with one of Daniel’s friends and another night we did a cook out so I made a dish but didn’t actually cook dinner), I’ve found one dish that is absolutely loved by my husband and just about everyone who ate it (minus his old roommate because that kid doesn’t believe in vegetables).

Bacon Wrapped Asparagus

I figured I’d share this recipe with you kids because it’s actually really simple and delicious. Even reheated.

Now, when I do this recipe I buy Black Label bacon from Hormel. Not thick cut or honey cured, though I’m sure it would be just as delicious with the latter. My only reservation with the thick cut is the bacon taking longer to cook than the asparagus. Now if you use the same bacon I do, there are 15 strips per package. Be sure to count the strips so you know how many asparagus you’re cooking. When I make this dish, I use one full package for two people and it’s more than enough. We always have left overs, which is fine because reheating this dish doesn’t make it any less delicious.

You’re going to cut the ends off your asparagus as if you were just going to cook them regular. Run them under warm water to wash them and then lay them on paper towels or a hand towel to dry. Set them to the side and open your package of bacon. At this time you should put your pan on your stove as well, dribbling a little bit (I’d say a tablespoon) of oil (vegetable or canola, doesn’t matter) and turning it on to medium heat. Let that pan heat up as you prep your asparagus.

You’re going to want to carefully pull each piece out of the package, either as you do this next step or before. Cut each strip in half length wise. Basically, you’re taking your 15 (or however many slices are in your package) long strips and making 30 long strips. Now lay your strip of bacon diagonal on your cutting board so that it cuts it like this: | / |

Take your asparagus and lay the end (top or bottom) at one of the corners and roll the asparagus towards the other end of the bacon, making sure to wrap the bacon around the vegetable as you go. Once you reach the end of the bacon, set your asparagus aside and repeat on the next piece.

Now, by the time you get three pieces finished, your pan should be hot enough to place your first three pieces in it. You can check by running the tips of your fingers under water and flicking that water onto the pan. If it sizzles, you’re ready. While those first pieces (however many it is you can fit in your pan) cook, continue wrapping pieces of asparagus. You’re welcome to wrap all the asparagus before you start cooking, but I like to multitask when I cook. Just don’t forget to rotate the asparagus in your pan as you wrap. Once one side of the bacon cooks (it should look like bacon you’d be making for breakfast), rotate the asparagus to cook the other sides.

When they’re finished cooking, place on a plate or serving tray (with paper towel on the plate to catch the grease) to cool. As it cools, the bacon will crisp slightly. Just like with cooking bacon for breakfast, the longer the bacon is in the pan, the crispier the piece is. How crispy you make it is all based on preference, but I’ve found that having it still a bit flexible makes for the best flavor.

Once you’ve finished cooking your bacon wrapped asparagus, let it sit for a few more minutes before serving. Three to five minutes should do you fine.

And voila! There you have it! A dish that will make any bacon lover happy. I hope you find as much success with this dish as I have. Be sure to let me know how it goes for you in the comments and don’t forget to share with friends and family!!

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