16 thick slices Applewood-smoked bacon

¼ cup course-ground yellow cornmeal

3 tablespoons brown sugar, optional*

1½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, optional*

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line two jellyroll baking sheets with aluminum foil. Place wire racks on top. Pour cornmeal into a shallow pan (add brown sugar and pepper if using). Dredge bacon in mixture, shaking off excess. Place half the bacon in a single layer on wire rack. Repeat with second rack. Bake for 6 minutes. Turn the cookie sheet around and bake for another 4 to 7 minutes or to desired degree of crispiness. Lift the bacon out with tongs and set on a platter covered in paper towels. Dab the tops with paper towel too. Yield: 8 servings. *Kitchen Ade Note: I used both the brown sugar and the pepper for this recipe; it was delicious.