Wednesday, June 1, 2011

What's Cooking Wednesday - Appetizers with Bacon

After a nice long weekend full of fun with family and friends and the arrival of some warm weather (finally!), I am finding myself shocked today that it is already Wednesday!  But I have been mulling over a recipe, though I am hard-pressed to call it a recipe since it is so very easy.  But this time of year I find that the easier the better around here, just in case I am distracted by the need to be outside in the sunshine.

A few weeks ago I needed a quick but fancy-looking appetizer, so I remembered that one year for New Year's Eve we had a bit of a puff-pastry theme for finger foods to eat all evening long.  The favorite of my family was a bacon and onion tart-like thing, which I will now very creatively call Onion-Bacon Pastry Tart.  Here's the recipe:

Onion-Bacon Pastry Tart
(Makes 48 appetizers)

1 box frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 tub garlic-flavored spreadable cheese, softened (I like Alouette garlic and herb flavor.)
12-16 ounces bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
1-2 onions, thinly sliced

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Cook the bacon pieces until just short of crispy; remove bacon to drain on paper towels.  Remove all but 1-2 tablespoons of the bacon grease and discard.  Cook the onions in the remaining grease until onions are very soft and golden.  Drain the onion on paper towels.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll out one piece of puff pastry on each pan.  You can opt to just unfold it and leave it as is, which will make a puffier pastry, or you can roll it to make it a bit thinner.  (I have tried both and like it both ways.) Spread half of the cream cheese on each piece of pastry.  This is much easier if the cream cheese is nice and soft before you try it!  Then place half of the bacon and half of the onion on each piece of pastry; it will be easier if you just spread it out with your fingers.

Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the pastry is brown and puffy.  Remove from the oven and cool a bit before cutting into any shape you like (squares, rectangles, or diamonds are the easiest). 

These are good hot or at room temperature.  They can also be made earlier in the day and reheated before serving.

Once you try a single recipe with puff pastry you can imagine a million other things to do with it, so don't be afraid to branch out!