Iron Chef Alex Guarnaschelli’s Trick for Making Weekday Breakfasts Feel Special

Alex Guarnaschelli
Chef Alex Guarnaschelli at the Woodbridge Wine 'Cue Sauce Block Party at Butter in New York City. Brian Ach/Getty Images

Order’s up! In Alex Guarnaschelli’s kitchen, a quick trip to the pantry can turn any breakfast into an occasion. “Spice-rubbed bacon perks up a weekday like little else,” enthuses the Chopped judge. 

“Breakfast can set the mood for the whole day,” says the native New Yorker, so she tries to eat breakfast with her 10-year-old daughter Ava about four times a week. She’ll often serve the protein-rich side with runny-yolked eggs and toast soldiers for dipping. “Ava enjoys soft-boiled or poached eggs and some homemade home fries,” adds Guarnaschelli. “She has just begun her love affair with avocados and pumpkin seeds, so we shall see where that leads … She is a culinary adventurer — far more so than I was at her age.”

In the rare event of leftovers, the Iron Chef recommends using extra rashers as the star of BLT sandwiches or crumbling them up to sprinkle over baked potatoes. Try the recipe below for yourself!

Alex Guarnaschelli

Spice-Rubbed Bacon

Serves 6

2 tsp mild curry powder

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

2 tsp coriander seeds, lightly crushed

2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper

1/3 cup packed light brown sugar

12 thin slices bacon

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the curry powder, red pepper flakes, coriander, pepper and brown sugar. Add the bacon slices and coat them on both sides with the mix. Arrange the bacon strips in a single layer, gently stretching them so they’re completely flat. Sprinkle on any remaining sugar mix, then lay a sheet of parchment or foil on top to cover and place another baking sheet squarely on top.
  3. Bake in the oven until golden brown and fairly crispy. Check the bacon after 20 minutes by lifting the top baking sheet and parchment. 
  4. It will go from ready to burned fairly quickly because of the brown sugar. If it’s not ready, resist the temptation to turn up the oven temperature. Instead, bake for 10 to 15 minutes longer before checking again. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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