Happy New Year Dill Bacon Bites
Bacon is always the right answer. Even if the question has nothing to do with food. (Okay, not really. But if the question is food related, then bacon is definitely the right answer 67% of the time.)
For New Year’s, I wanted to bring two appetizers. The first was my root beer onion tarts, which had the bonus of using up some leftovers. Appetizer two needed to feature bacon (I was spending the evening with a very pro-bacon crowd).
I’ve become very enamored with bacon baskets lately. They are so easy and so cute…and the perfect conduit for all sorts of meaty or cheese fillings. So off I went to the McLean Organic Butcher to get some local bacon (and a few other goodies like truffle butter…but I didn’t use that for these).
For the filling, I thought I’d see what kind of local goodies I could find that would go with the ground venison I wanted to use. At Mom’s Organic Market I found a creamy dill dip from The Farm at Red Hill (North Garden, VA, 118 miles from me). It was easier than I thought to make this appetizer totally local. I used the Nick’s All purpose seasoning my friend gave me for Christmas (from Hyattsville, MD, 29 miles) and local eggs.
I actually made two batches—one large size for a friend I saw on the 30th and the other batch mini sized for the party last night. Both are great. I’d say do the big ones for a meal and the small ones for appetizers. Regardless of the size, you won’t get any complaints.
Recipe: Dill Bacon Bites
Summary: the perfect bacon-based appetizer
- 1 lb applewood smoked bacon
- 1 lb ground venison or beef
- ¼ cup creamy dill sauce (plus extra for topping at the end) (I got my sauce in the dips section of the refrigerator aisle)
- 1 egg (if you use beef, you don’t need the egg…the venison is so lean it needs a binding agent)
- 2 tsp Nick’s all-purpose seasoning (salt, herbs, spices, garlic, onion, and parsley)
- To make the bacon baskets:
- Preheat the oven to 325°.
- Turn the muffin tin upside down. Put one piece of bacon over the bottom of the muffin cup, then wrap another piece around the side (for the small ones, I trim a slice for the bottom piece, and then I cut full slices down the middle to make them thinner). Secure with a toothpick to keep the cup formed while baking. Don’t wrap the bacon too tightly—the bacon will shrink while cooking.
- Place the muffin tin on another baking sheet to catch the grease. Bake for about 25 minutes, until the bacon is cooked through. Remove from oven and let cool. Don’t worry if the baskets don’t look perfect when they come out…that’s part of the fun of this appetizer.
- Reheat the oven to 325° if you’ve made the bacon baskets in advance (which I always do).
- Mix the meat, spices, dill sauce, and egg together well.
- Fill each bacon basket with a scoop the meat mixture.
- Bake for about until the meat is cooked through (about 25 minutes for the large and 15 minutes for the small).
- Remove from oven and top with a dollop of the dill sauce.
- Serve immediately. These are best warm, but they’re still very tasty cold.
These can be made large (for an entrée) or small (for appetizers). For large bite (about 2 oz of meat), use a full size muffin pan. For small, use a mini muffin pan. The only difference in preparation is that for the small bites, you’ll need to cut the bacon down to fit the pan.
I use venison in these, but they’d be great with beef or turkey too.
Preparation time: 10 minute(s)
Cooking time: 40 minute(s)
Diet tags: High protein
Number of servings (yield): 6
Copyright © Susan Rose.