Bringing home the bacon (for an appetizer recipe)

Bacon, Cheese and Fig Jam Palmiers

I think we can all agree that the price of bacon has gone through the roof. A one-pound package costs almost $7 at my beloved Publix. And, yet, I can’t stop buying it. There are a few basics always in my fridge and bacon is one of them.

Being a bacon connoisseur, I have definite opinions on the best bacon. And every bacon isn’t right for every job so I’ll give you the lowdown on my favorite three brands.

  1. Benton’s Bacon: For straight up bacon consumption without the frills, Benton’s is at the top of the list. It’s made by a guy in East Tennessee who got so caught by surprise when the nation’s star chefs discovered it that he now has a five-week waiting list to ship it. It’s thick, meaty and ultra smoky.
  2. Niman Ranch Applewood Smoked Bacon: This is the gold standard for Pig Candy. It’s thick, but not too thick and has apple undertones from the wood smoking.
  3. Oscar Mayer Center Cut Bacon: This is what you want for wrapping and stuffing. It is relatively thin so it cooks up crisp and is perfect for bacon appetizers like bacon-wrapped cocktail weenies or water chestnuts.

And speaking of bacon appetizers, let’s make some bacon, cheese and fig jam pinwheels, shall we? So simple. If you haven’t met frozen puff pastry yet, shake hands and get acquainted. It makes short work of stunning appetizers.

Bacon, cheese and fig jam pinwheels
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 1 sheet of puff pastry
  • Fig jam
  • 1½ cups grated Cheddar cheese
  • 10 strips of bacon, cooked until crisp and minced
  1. Defrost the puff pastry and flatten slightly with a rolling pin. Top with a thin layer of fig jam, then the cheese and bacon. Roll tightly and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the puff pastry into ¼-inch rounds and place them on a parchment paper covered cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

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