If you take a peek into our apartment about half an hour before company is supposed to arrive you might be a little alarmed. It is a hot bed of fast and furious activity. Mr NQN will be half naked and wearing a towel and polishing the cutlery. I will be busy taking photos of food while my hair and makeup is half done and running around in my underwear.
And that's why when people are coming over, I desperately pray that they don't arrive early!
My mother has some relatives that always arrive early-fifteen minutes to be precise and my mother will cluck her disapproval. They need to be entertained and given a drink all while she is busy cooking because of course most family gatherings are about the food and food that is served past its prime is to be avoided. Thankfully most of my friends will err on the side of the late than the early and that allows me a little time for a breather and to get my makeup just right (or as right as I can make it).
Sometimes shortcuts help when entertaining. One thing that I have used when time poor is bacon salt. It provides a hit of flavour and seasoning but keeps in a jar so that you all have to do is dip into it with a spoon and voila, it's like magical fairy dust for food-except bacon flavoured. Because bacon makes everything taste better.
I came across this recipe on Chopinandmysaucepan and bookmarked it immediately. It didn't have a great deal of salt in it (well for a salt product) and I was curious to see how I could use it. The first thought was sprinkled on pasta, salad or soups for an added flavour hit but really once you think about it the possibilities are endless and you will count yourself lucky. Especially when people arrive early and that 5 minutes you saved making a seasoning meant that you could actually answer the door fully dressed and not wearing a towel ;)
So tell me Dear Reader, are you calm and prepared for early drop ins or are you busy right up until the very last minute before company arrives?
Adapted from Chopinandmysaucepan originally from The Wannabe Chef and the Food Network.
500g/1 pound bacon
1.5 tablespoons good quality sea salt
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
Step 1 - Preheat oven to 180C/350F and place a rack on top of a baking tray (line with foil if you want to minimise the cleaning necessary). Cook bacon for 15-20 minutes checking after 15 minutes and drain on paper towels removing any excess fat.
Step 2 - Cool slightly and then place the bacon, salt and pepper in a food processor and blitz until fine (or as fine as you want). Store in the fridge in an airtight container and extend the life of this by using a clean spoon every time you use it.