I'm going to be crisping lardons made from a hunk of pancetta for a salad. How far ahead can I do this, ensuring the lardons will be crisp and nice? Is 2-3 hours ahead of when I'm going to serve the salad a bad idea?
You could do them ahead in a frying pan, put them in the fridge and then just before serving spread them on a baking sheet to re-crisp them in the oven. Should only take a few minutes, if they're already cooked.
I've done this with regular slab bacon for a lardon/poached egg/frisee salad - can't imagine pancetta wouldn't work just as well.
Oh, frisee au lardons? Ooohh La La! You can fridgerate em but be sure to bring them back to room temperature before serving with a gooey, runny poached egg over the top.