Maria Sinskey’s bacon recipe

“Making your own bacon gives you total control over a food that is frequently out of control,” says chef Maria Sinskey in a Bloomberg article. Recipe:

1/2 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp. sweet pimenton (optional)
2 1/2 lbs. skinless pork belly, about 1 ½ inches thick
Coarsely ground black pepper (optional)

Make it
Mix the salt, sugar, and pimenton (if using). Rub three-quarters of the mix into the meat side and the remaining one-quarter into the fat side; rub it in around the sides of the slab, too. If using black pepper, pat into the fat side of the meat before adding the salt-sugar mixture.

Seal the belly in a Ziploc bag, pressing the air out. Refrigerate for 3 days, turning each day. (Liquid will collect in the bag; do not pour it out.)

Rinse the bacon briefly with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Place it on a rack over a pan and refrigerate, uncovered, to dry for two hours. Slice the bacon from the slab—thick or thin, according to your preference—and fry it up. For smoky bacon, cook according to manufacturer’s directions over an indoor smoker or smoke it on an outdoor grill.

Store it, well-wrapped, in the refrigerator for a week. For longer life, slice it, place parchment paper between the slices, wrap them in plastic, and store in the freezer; you’ll have bacon on demand for months.

Helen’s Tennessee Corn Bread

1.5 cups corn meal
0.5 cup flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
0.25 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons agave or sugar
3 eggs
2 tablespoons butter plus butter for skillet
1 cup milk

Mix all ingredients
Heat oven to 375℉
Put cast iron skillet in oven, melt butter in it, pour wet mixture into it
Bake for 20-30 minutes