Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Bacon, Manchego and Marmalade Bites


Most cultures offer sweet and savory dishes. The Thai like to dip their skewered beef in a peanut butter sauce. The English like a bit of mint jelly with lamb (or a strong flavored mutton). French Canadians add sweet cream-style corn to cottage pie, called pâté chinois (Chinese pie) here. North Africans braise chicken or lamb alongside dried fruits, such as apricots and prunes. The Chinese like a bit of plum sauce with their duck. Southerners, well...

Southerners never shy away from blackberry jam slathered on savory corn bread (not the yellow cake variety served in the North) or a smear of strawberry jelly on a sausage and cheese breakfast biscuit. I won't get started on the Coca-Cola recipes of the South, like drowning peanuts in Coke and my Grandma's delicious Coca-Cola ham which she made for us every Christmas.

This appetizer is inspired by my love for sweet and savory combinations. It started back at my college in Mississippi. A friend of mine got me addicted to Keebler Club Crackers topped with marble cheddar and a small dollop of grape jelly. What could be better than that? Well, top it with bacon. So this is my new addiction - an orange, Manchego and bacon variation.  

Ingredients
2 slices of smoked (streaky) bacon
8 wholegrain crackers
8 small slices of Manchego cheese
Orange marmalade, to serve
 
Cook the bacon according to the package instructions. Or cook on a microwave tray, covered with paper towel, for about 2 minutes or until crisp. Cut each slice of bacon into four pieces.
 
Top each cracker with a slice of cheese, a smear of marmalade and a piece of bacon.
 
Makes 8 bites for 2-4 people.
 
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