Saturday, January 15, 2011
New Favorite in the Kitchen
I love to cook. There are certainly days and even seasons where I do less of it, but on a good week we eat all of our meals at home. Hospitality is a gift DH and I share. We love to have others to our home, and try to do so as often as possible. Some of our favorite evenings are spent at home with a good meal and a game or deck of cards to entertain everyone following the meal. Great memories are often forged around the dinner table!
One of my new favorite ingredients is PANCETTA. Pancetta is an Italian bacon that has been cured with salt and pepper. It is much saltier than bacon. It is delicious! You buy pancetta in the deli section at the grocery store. Ask for a size 2 slice. At Thanksgiving, my dear friend, Rachel, who is an incredible cook, made the best appetizer! It was pancetta with arugula, goat cheese, and figs. I believe the recipe below is similar:
Pancetta Crisps with Goat Cheese and Figs
12 thin Pancetta slices
12 Arugula leaves
12 tsp. soft, fresh Goat Cheese
Fig jam or preserves
6 fresh Figs (You can substitute 6 plump dried Mission figs or 12 small fresh persimmon wedges)
You can add chopped thyme on top if you so desire
Fresh ground pepper
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place pancetta in single layer on large rimmed baking sheet. Bake until crisp, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool 15 minutes and transfer to platter. I have also cooked pancetta in the pan like you cook bacon and that also works well. I love the little rounds it makes!
2. Top each slice with 1 arugula leaf, 1 teaspoon of goat cheese and 1/4 teaspoon of jam.
3. Depending on the size of your figs, top with 1/2 a fig. (The figs I purchased were large, so I used 1/6 of a fig per appetizer). Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper. You may want to add the thyme as well.