Monday, September 3, 2012

Bacon, Tomato, and Roasted Herb Garlic Cream Cheese Crostini- An everyday party in my kitchen

It's hard to find an appetizer that fails, but it's equally as hard to find one that makes you salivate at the thought of it.  Almost everyone knows that bacon on its own is heavenly so imagine tweaking it up a notch or two to take heavenly to another level.  OK, I might me exaggerating a bit, but let me just say that this appetizer made me dance immediately after eating it.  This is one of my most favorite creations. I hope you try it out.  Enjoy!

10-20mins; ~40 small pieces

~8 slices bacon crisped
1 large very ripe tomato sliced to size of bread

1 1/2- 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
5 cloves garlic thinly sliced or diced into chunks (for texture and a flavorful punch)
~4 sprigs thyme (the bunch that usually comes with chives IGA, Food Fair, MNIB)
salt to taste

~1 loaf french bread sliced into bite size pieces or any rustic light kind of bread that toasts well
butter for toasting
smoked cheddar cheese (IGA)

1 bar of cream cheese
~2 heaping tbsp sour cream (add more or less depending on desired consistency)
dash white pepper or black pepper
dash cayenne pepper
juice of 1/2 a very ripe lemon or lime
zest of a lime or a lemon
~1 tsp sugar

1 bundle of green onion (more firm and sweet) or chives chopped (more flimsy)
pinch salt

1. Spread each bread piece with butter. Top with cheese and bake in an over till crispy.  Carefully watch.  If you don't have an oven, you can easily toast your bread in a non-stick pan.  You can add the cheese after.  Set you bread pieces on a rack to prevent them from turning soggy.  or you can leave them in your off oven.
2. in a pan, heat olive oil. medium low heat. add garlic, thyme, and salt. you can throw the whole thyme sprigs in. I leave them in the oil to infuse it with flavor.  you can also or instead use rosemary to flavor oil, but just keep in mind that rosemary is stronger in flavor.  Continuously stir and be careful not to burn the garlic as it will turn bitter. If you have to, turn down your flame to lowest temp.  cooking garlic slowly will result in a sweet nice flavor.  This step cannot be rushed. At the end, your garlic should be mushy and sweet. If you're unsure as to when it is finished, you can easily taste one.
3. in a mixing bowl, add roasted garlic along with oil, cream cheese, sour cream, black or white pepper, lime or lemon juice, sugar, cayenne pepper and mix well. refrigerate and allow for mixture to set and flavors to develop.
4. Cook bacon to a crisp and place aside. save drippings.
5. remove bacon drippings leaving 1 tbsp. use to saute green onions. place to the side.
6. slice tomato into bite size pieces. set aside.
7. assemble- take a piece of bread, spread garlic thyme cream cheese, sliced tomato, a piece of bacon, and top with green onions.

Categorized under "Recipes with Pictures"

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