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Bacon with Brown Sugar and Cardamom (Cardamom)

Seasoning bacon with brown sugar and fragrant cardamom and baking it in the oven puts this breakfast mainstay over the top. Cardamom boasts warm, spicy sweetness with hints of ginger, nutmeg and pepper. For the best flavor, lightly crush whole cardamom pods and then whirl them, along with the seeds inside, in an electric spice grinder until finely ground.  

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb. thick-sliced lean bacon
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper

Directions:

Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and another rack in the lower third, and preheat to 350°F. Line the bottom and sides of 2 rimmed baking sheets with aluminum foil.

Arrange the bacon slices in a single layer on the prepared pans. In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, cardamom and pepper. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the bacon slices.

Place 1 pan on the upper rack and the other pan on the lower rack. Bake the bacon, without turning, for 25 minutes. Switch the position of the pans and rotate them 180 degrees. Continue to bake the bacon, without turning, until dark brown but not quite crisp, 10 to 15 minutes more. Using tongs, lift the bacon slices from the pans, gently shaking off the excess drippings, and transfer them to paper towels to drain briefly.

Arrange the bacon on a warmed platter and serve immediately. Serves 10 to 12.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Breakfast and Brunch, by Georgeanne Brennan, Elinor Klivans, Jordan Mackay and Charles Pierce (Oxmoor House, 2007).