Sunday, July 29, 2012

BLT Bites - with bacon bowls! Need I say more?

A BLT bite is a delicous appetizer sized bit of bacon, lettuce & tomato with a twist. The lettuce and tomato are served in a bacon bowl. How do you make these tiny but perfect little salads? You start with a bacon bowl. Here's how that goes:

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Then start with two upside down muffin tins on a sheetpan. The older, darker and grodier the muffin tins are, the better they look in photographs.

Cover the tins completely with foil. Mold it very carefully, so the government won't be able to monitor the pan's thoughts.

Now take some bacon. Make it thin sliced bacon. It works good for this application.

Have a pair of scissors ready, that works best for cutting up bacon for this application. It doesn't hurt to keep a special pair of kitchen scissors for snipping herbs and other applications.

Wrap a piece of bacon around the muffin cup, molding it to the cup as you go. Cut just enough to have an overlap. It should fit the form nicely.

Add a shorter piece over the bottom to make a good solid base. You can add an additonal piece if one doesn't do a good job of covering any gaps.

Scissors really do come in handy here.

If you allow your bacony hand to dangle, your cat will attempt to eat it.

A package of bacon gave me enough for 10 bacon bowls. Now put these on a sheetpan and into the 450 degree oven. Bake until brown and crisp. Took me about 15 minutes, but just keep an eye on them in case you get some smoking. 

Now slice up some smallish tomato wedges. If tomatoes are not in season, please to not use one of those pinkish hockey pucks from the grocery store. You can substitue grape tomatoes sliced in two. By the way, these tomatoes need to be room temperature. Never put a tomato in a refrigerator if you can help it. Here's a little something I like to do to tomatoes so they aren't watery in salads. Slice them, add salt and pepper, then put them in a container on top of some paper towels.

Now cover with a some paper towels and let sit for a couple of hours at room temperature.

When the bacon is good and brown and crispy. Perhaps not quite as crispy as some of it is here, take it out of the oven and let them cool for about half an hour.

Once cool, they are pretty easy to unmold, just lift the foil from the pan and push it in around the bacon. Mine came right off.

And now you have a beautiful bacon bowl!

Actually you have several

You could put all kinds of things in these crispy beauties. I'm using some nice romaine lettuce. It has been chopped, rinsed and dried completely, because we don't want these pretties to get soggy. That's why I'd advise against making them too far in advance. I'd be afraid they would soften in the fridge.

Now place the lettuce in the beautiful bowls of bacon goodness.

Then add a wedge of tomato, which should be fairly dry and decliciously seasoned from the salt and pepper.

I drizzled with an asiago peppercorn dressing. But any creamy dressing you like would work well. Even plain mayo - homemade mayo if you're just plain awesome. And you are, cause you make bacon bowls.

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