The Fulton Market area of Chicago where I work is filled with food wholesale companies – fish, meat, eggs, butter, …and (xoxo) bacon. This week I walked into Meadow Brook Egg Company and walked out with a twelve-pound box of premier restaurant quality bacon.
I’ve been dreaming about trying Megan’s famous bacon cups since Shane passed along the link last spring. Megan creatively made her cups in the oven using upside down muffin pans covered in foil. While they turned out lovely, Megan reported some smoking and fat burning by using the oven so I decided to see if I could make them 100% in the microwave. And as a tip of the hat to Shane’s 2007 Mac and Cheese Cooking Championship victory, I filled the cups with mac and cheese.
- Glass Prep Bowls to make small bacon cups (see mac and cheese photo above) or ramekins to make large bacon cups (see salad photo below)
- Glass baking dish
- Lots of paper towels
- Rachael Ray Moppine Kitchen Towel – Orange Stripe (not required but pictured below …Shane’s mom got it for me and I really like it)
- Mac and cheese (Shane’s not quite ready to pass along his winning recipe so I recommend Elise’s quick mac and cheese)
I tried two variations of cups in the microwave: solid bacon cups and open bacon cup.
Method 1: Solid bacon cup using glass prep bowls
This method creates a tighter, more solid cup that’s great for holding mac and cheese.
First line your Pyrex baking dish with a bunch of paper towels. Set your glass prep bowl in the middle of the dish. Fold one paper towel into quarters and set on top of the glass bowl to help catch some of the grease and make it easier to remove the finished cup from the bowl. Drape three strips of bacon across the top.
Now weave strips over and under the three core strips, covering the entire glass prep bowl and overlapping slices so to ensure it cooks with few holes in the cup. Cover with more paper towel and microwave for up to 4 minutes. Check it midway to see how it’s doing. When it’s ready, slip the bacon cup off of the glass prep bowl. Peel back the grease-soaked paper towel while it’s still warm and pliable. Fill with mac and cheese.
Method 2: Open bacon cups “baskets” using 10-oz ceramic ramekins
This method ended up creating large open spaces which look really cute when filled with fresh green salad. I didn’t overlap the pieces on this try and used fattier pieces of bacon which shrunk up more and created larger spaces in the cup.
Line your Pyrex baking dish with a bunch of paper towels. Then take two sheets and fold in half or thirds depending on the size of your ramekins, joining to make a single long rectangle. Wrap it around the ramekin and tuck under the paper towel on the open edge. Set it back in your baking dish, open end down, on top of the paper towels.
Put two pieces of bacon across the top with one piece perpendicular. Next, wrap the bacon around in a basket weave, over under the three pieces.
Cover and microwave for up to 4 minutes. Gently lift the cup off of the ramekin and peel back the paper towel. Thanks again to Megan for the original oven-baked inspiration!
So what about my 12 pounds of bacon? Well, I used about 1 pound making cups, froze 6 pounds for later and gave three pounds away which leaves 2 more pound sitting in my refrigerator …I’ll be trying more bacon-centric recipes soon. Viva la bacon!