I had a couple of requests for bacon snack recipes (literally, a couple of requests – I guess my fear of internet fame has been laid to rest!), so I’m just going to list them here. Most of them came from The Bacon Cookbook, which I had purchased for T as a gift. I only flipped through the appetizer section because I didn’t want a full on bacon entree. I thought that might be too much. Plus, I didn’t see anything that could easily be done on the grill. I did cook all the appetizers in the kitchen, but once we were outside and eating, I didn’t want to have to go back to the kitchen, hence the desire for grill-only entrees. Well, that, and if food was being grill-cooked it meant I didn’t have to do it. =)
The water chestnuts I’ve made before. They’re one of the easiest appetizers to make (aside from the wrapping) and you don’t have to worry about overcooking them. I love the crunch from the water chestnuts, which is different from the bacon crunch. When wrapping things in bacon, I find that the cheap bacon works really, really well. It’s usually thinner than the fancy bacon, which means it cooks faster and crisps up without causing the wrapped food to overcook.
I made the hot blue cheese bacon dip from the cookbook, but I found it to be lacking… something. Maybe there was too much blue cheese. I don’t know, but I didn’t really like it. So I’m not going to give you the recipe for it because I don’t endorse it. Having said that, I’m sure you all know that you can search certain books on Amazon.com, which allows you to look up a particular recipe. You know, like a sneak peak.
The peanut butter, bacon, and scallion canapes were okay. I like bacon and peanut butter and I think the scallions added a nice flavor touch. I totally did not have enough peanut butter spread for the amount of bread the recipe calls for. I’ll give you the recipe for what I did, but I would either drop the slices of bread or up the peanut butter by 50%.
Now, the bacon wrapped bananas were really good, in my opinion. And really easy, compared to the other recipes. I guess my only complaint is that the recipe only makes 16 pieces. I would have rather had more banana pieces than peanut butter scallion things. I think it was the mustard that rounded it all out. You’re all going to be disappointed to learn that it’s really just mustard and bananas, with a little lemon juice (which I suspect is to keep the bananas from turning brown). So easy.
We also made bacon-wrapped scallops, which I am just not a fan of. It’s really easy to overcook scallops, especially if you’re trying to also crisp up the bacon around it. I even tried to make it easy with that pre-cooked bacon, but it still didn’t really work. I’d rather have seared scallops with a bacon chip on top. Huh. Have I ever given you the best recipe ever for seared scallops? Here it is: Drain scallops on paper towels overnight. Sear in a hot pan with butter, 2 minutes on each side. Remove scallops and deglaze pan with a generous slosh of apricot brandy. Pour sauce over scallops. Try not to like the plate in front of company.
On to the recipes!
Peanut Butter, Bacon, & Scallion Canapes
adapted from The Bacon Cookbook
6 slices bacon, cooked to a moderate crisp
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
4 scallions, white part only, minced
2 TB lemon juice
2 TB Worcestershire sauce
1 TB mayonnaise
1 tsp. brown sugar
9 slices whole grain bread, crusts removed (I didn’t remove the crusts and I only used 8 slices of bread and it was still too many)
Directions (more my recommendations, less actual recipe procedure):
1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
2. Combine all the ingredients (except for the bacon and bread, obviously). Do not cut the bacon slices yet.
3. The original recipe says to spread additional mayo on the bread, but I didn’t like the sound of that, so I skipped it. Spread “equal amounts” of the peanut butter mixture on the slices of bread. Start by putting a nice layer of pb on the bread and just keep going until you run out of spread. Cut each slice of bread into 4 pieces. I did triangles, you could do squares.
4. Count your bread pieces. Now cut the bacon so you have enough bacon pieces to match peanut butter slices. Place a piece of bacon on top of your bread.
5. Place the bread on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Let cool and serve.
Bacon Banana Treats
adapted from The Bacon Cookbook
2 TB lemon juice
1 TB grainy dark mustard
2 ripe but firm bananas
8 slices bacon, half-cooked (not crisp!) and then sliced in half
1. Combine the lemon juice and mustard in a bowl. You could add salt and pepper to taste, but I forgot to do this and I don’t think my banana treats suffered.
2. Slice each banana into 8 rounds. Add the banana to the mustard bowl, toss gently (don’t mush the bananas!), and let it marinate for about 15 minutes. More or less.
3. Turn on the oven broiler. I’d say medium, medium-high? My broiler has, like, 5 settings. Maybe yours only has 2?
4. Wrap each banana slice with a half piece of bacon. Secure with a toothpick. Arrange on a baking rack. I placed them standing up, like a tire, instead of lying on the flat banana side. I figured this might broil the bacon better.
5. Broil for a couple of minutes, flip, then broil for a couple more minutes. Keep an eye on them because you don’t want burned bacon.
Good stuff. How can you go wrong with bacon? I suppose you could even use fake bacon (bakon?) and then the water chestnuts and banana treats would be vegetarian! But, if you’re a vegetarian and you miss eating bacon, are you really a vegetarian? I would just give in and eat the real stuff.