Bacon. Element number one on the Periodic Table of Awesome. It is a quintessential and delicious food that improves almost everything you eat it with. There is only one method of cooking that could make bacon taste better than it already does. Yes ladies and gentlemen, we are talking about the deep fry.
Step 1: The Path of Bacon
There have been two attempts to fry bacon. The first one while delicious, will always be remembered as "probably worth it". The second one featured a lighter, tempura batter.
Step 2: Step One: Cook the Bacon
Step 3: Step Two: Batter Up
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup water
Regarding the water. It needs to be cold. Leave it in the fridge or the freezer for a bit. I even went a step further and used carbonated water, the aeration making the batter a bit lighter still.
To assemble the batter, mix the egg and the water and stir in the flour but try not to over mix it. You want it to be loose and light, the more you mess with it, and the more you beat it, the tougher its going to be.
Step 4: Step Three: Out of the Frying Pan
(As a side note, for those of you with thermometers, 340-360 degrees Farenheit, or about 170-180 degrees Celsius is said to be a good temperature range for tempura frying)
I used canola oil. It can withstand higher temperatures without giving off as much smoke. I had the stove set to about a medium-high temperature, and to test the oil I dropped in some of the batter. It sank, but immediately started bubbling and floated to the surface shortly after. In my experience, this is good. It allows for more even cooking through, and doesn't leave the food in the oil overlong to become greasy and unappetizing.
Step 5: Into the Fryer
So to fry, we have our precooked bacon. Dredge it in a shallow pan of flour to give the batter something to adhere to. Coverage does not need to be perfect, but even is best.
Then using your other hand, take the bacon out of the flour and dip it in the batter. Its okay to submerge it and get some on your fingers, we want total coverage of the bacon at this point for the frying. After you have it coated, take it out, let some of the excess drip off, and set it in the oil. There are two reasons its okay to do this with your bare hands. One is control. If you let the bacon almost lay into the oil, have it almost just in contact and gently release it there will be no risk of splashing the oil or having pieces stick together. The other, is if you get some of the batter on your fingers while coating the bacon, it will give you protection from the heat, should you be a little clumsy.
The next part is where I tended to run out of clean hands. The bacon should start floating almost immediately after you set it in the oil. Let it for a time, and then using a slotted spoon, preferably a heat tolerant plastic or silicon, turn them over to cook on the other side. Each side should not take more than even a few minutes, watch them closely! When they are golden brown and delicious on both sides, remove them and place them on paper towels so as they don't absorb the extra grease from frying.
Step 6: A Touch of Irony
Easy. Take your head of lettuce, rinse it off. Then cut off the stem. After that cut it in half, and then into quarters. While I had it apart I did pull out the piece of the stem. You will instantly have four portions of salad, that is fresh and crisp all through as well as visually appealing.