Thinking it would be a fun way to spend time together, my daughter and I spent a Saturday morning cooking with Ina Garten or at least with her recipes. The focus of this Sur La Table class was easy fixings for a holiday party, so if you are still thinking about what goodies to serve New Year’s you may find the answer here.
While the crab cakes were baking, we were busy preparing caramelized bacon (recipe follows), cheddar/jalapeno crackers, smoked salmon deviled eggs, sausage in puff pastry and mini coconut cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. Even though each of these was easy to prepare, I kept reminding myself it would take some time to make enough for a large gathering.
Of course, when everything was done we got to sample the work of our hands. I’m not sure what I liked the best, but being a real fan of deviled eggs, they were at the top of my list. The caramelized bacon was outrageous, and it would be delish as a garnish for a salad.
The only disappointment was my camera battery was dead and the iPhone was not a great substitute under the lighting. Oh well…..
1/2 c. light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 c. chopped pecans
1 t. kosher salt
1 t. ground black pepper
1/8 t. cayenne
2 T. maple syrup
1/2 lb. thick sliced applewood smoked bacon
Preheat oven to 375. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil and place a wire baking rack on top.
Combine brown sugar and pecans in a food processor and process until the pecans are finely ground. Add salt, black pepper and cayenne. Pulse to combine. Add the maple syrup and pulse until crumbs are moistened.
Cut each bacon slice in halt crosswise and line up the pieces on the baking rack without touching. With a small spoon evenly spread the pecan mixture on top of each piece of bacon.
Bake for 25-30 minutes until the topping is browned but not burnt. If it’s under baked, the bacon won’t crisp as it cools.
While it’s hot, transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels and set aside to cool. Serve at room temperature.
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