8.31.2012

bacon, books + bite sized treats

Don't you just love how a book can take your imagination to a different place?! Am I the only one who watches a movie or reads a book and gets lost in thought? It's like I lose touch with reality and get transported to a fantasy world of limitless possibility.  How can I hold on to that thought/feeling?! It's a new goal - live in this place of euphoria!

I'm in a cooking book club with this great organization called the Cooking Chicks in Chicago. Every month they pick a food memoir of sorts and then each person brings a dish from the book or a dish inspired by the book. This month's book was Apron Anxiety. I'm telling you, Alyssa Shelasky has an amazing way with words. It seemed fitting to me to create a dish inspired by a simple sandwich her chef used to make that became a bit of a ritual for them. Since tomatoes are in season right now, this is a great appetizer to serve at your next BBQ, party, or to just make for eating. They're awesome and bite sized and before you know it you've scarfed 12 of these bad boys. Because lets be real, what's better than bacon? Bacon with fresh tomatoes and cheese is a good start, mmmmm…

BLT bites
yields about 60 bites

ingredients:
2 pints cherry tomatoes (20 oz - about 60)
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
12 strips of bacon cooked extra crispy and broken into bits
¼ c. mayonnaise 
1 green onion, finely chopped

garnish plate with spinach or basil leaves (optional)

In a medium bowl, mix cream cheese, bacon bits, mayo, and green onion and mix until well combined. Place in ziplock bag or piping bag. Set aside until ready to fill.

Cut the tops off the cherry tomatoes and gently squeeze the seeds out with your finger. To make them sit flat on the plate you can very thinly slice a layer off the bottom of the tomatoes too. No worries if you cut through and make an O shape… the filling will still stay put and no one will notice. Place sliced tomatoes on a paper towel and let sit for a few minutes to absorb the extra moisture. This can be done the day before to make assembly quicker. If doing that, be sure to pull the cream cheese mixture out of the refrigerator a few hours before serving so it softens up. Cut the tip off the bag and fill the tomatoes. 

Tomatoes can be filled a few hours before serving, just place in the refrigerator before serving to keep cold. 

improv style:
seem like too much work to cut and de-seed 60 cherry tomatoes? you can just place this filling on top of tomato slices and serve as an appetizer course at a sit down dinner. similarly, you could serve the cherry tomatoes whole with the cream cheese mixture as a dip for veggies, crackers and bread slices. 

you can add in your favorite mixins. a goat cheese or blue cheese would be delish. you can add pepper, red pepper flakes, or a little hot sauce to liven it up. i like the balance the green onion gives the mixture but if you're not a fan, leave it out. you could add in some basil or rosemary to freshen it up. it's a very simple and easy dish to change up! 

looking to lighten it up? use lowfat or fat free cream cheese and mayo with turkey bacon instead or maybe even some greek yogurt?! 




2 comments:

  1. Hi Morgan!
    I love cooking as well as food photography, and you tie the two together brilliantly for me!
    I am planning on a few people over and I was trying to brain storm on what appetiser to serve since the chip and dip thing gets a bit old - and this is perfect! :)

    Thanks for your luuurvvely blog!

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    1. hi genevive! thanks so much for your kind words. i'm glad you discovered my blog! hopefully i can continue to be a source of inspiration for you :)

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