I wanted to try something special this week. Yes, those salads are in little bowls made out of bacon! So much for vegetarian tendencies, but I saw this idea on notmartha.org and was itching to try it for myself. It was pretty easy, and made this meal fun and unique.
I think that in the future, I'll try to make the bowls bigger. These tiny ones were perfect for eating like finger food, but the bacon to salad ratio was like 50:50. Awesome for the bacon lover in your life, but not exactly healthful.
To make your own bacon bowls, use an oven safe dish that is slightly larger than your desired bowl. The bacon does shrink up a bit as you cook it. I used the back of my muffin tin to make these mini-sized ones.
Preheat the oven to 400. Cover whatever your form is with foil. I buttered my foil before I fit it around the cups. This was supposed to help start the bacon cooking, generating a little oil before the fat starts to render. I feel like it also may have made the bacon a little more tender and soft. If you want your bacon cups crispy, you may want to skip that step.
I used about 2 1/2 slices of bacon per cup. I didn't do the fancy weaving pattern that they did on not martha, but simply alternated vertical and horizontal pieces as I wrapped it. They still held together and held their shape really well. The structural integrity of bacon is awesome.
You should bake your cups for 25-35 minutes, checking on them intermittently. You should also be sure to place a pan underneath your bacon, to catch drippings and prevent your house from burning down.
Be very, very careful taking them out of the oven, as there will be hot grease all over your pan. Once they have cooled, carefully remove them from the foil and put them on a paper towel to drain.
The other cool thing about these is that you can make them in advance, and throw a salad (or maybe even scrambled eggs?) into them when you want to eat. These were positively bacon-tastic!
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