Potatoes and bacon are such good friends, why deny them their togetherness? The bacon, unctuously addicitive. The tiny potatoes, with the whisper of a soft pop, burst earthy sweetness right into your mouth. Sumptuous BFFs.
It's late spring in the blossoming Okanagan. Which usually means, shorts and T's, long leisurely patio dinners, basking in copious amounts of soothingly warm Vitamin D and plunking camp chairs out under the night canopy to watch God's little lanterns blinking on and off in the heavens. Marvelous summery pleasures.
This year though, um, er, nope, not so much. This is the chilliest, rainiest June I can remember. These days we're pulling on the winter woolies, overhearing the next person in line at the grocery store exclaiming that their furnace is back on too, scanning the endless grey skies for promise of a patch of blue and getting comfy for rewatches of favorite old movies, whilst glancing longingly outside ......wishing.
The upside? Getting cozy and snuggling back into our comfort zones. And comfort food. Soothing soups, slow braised stews and as much soul warming munching as needed to stave off the shivers.
Which brings me to the best darn little, easy peasy appie I've made in.....forever. Gloriously petite, creamy, potato gems cloaked in delicious crispy, tender bacon. Ridiculously good.
Don't roll your eyes at me! I know what you're thinking. Sure, sure, this is just baked potatoes and bacon. Whoopie do, right? Noooo.
These, my friends, are hot, luscious little bites of texture, comfort and familiar seduction. They'd be a hit and equally as suitable at a Grey Cup Party as an Evening Cocktail gathering. And they're crazy simple dimple to make.
I use teensy tiny President's Choice "Golden Little Gems", which are barely an inch long, but any very small potato will work, of course. That said, if you are not able to find the really tiny potatoes you will need to adjust the recipe. Instead of cutting the bacon slices in thirds, cut them in half, in which case you will need more bacon for wrapping than is called for in the recipe below.
And I always use 'thick cut' bacon as it gives you a little more bang for your mouthful.
This time I was looking for mostly crispy tender bacon so I cranked up the oven for the last 5 minutes of baking and voila. If you like your bacon a little softer, just shorten the cooking time a bit. Either way, served hot from the oven with cool, indulgent sour cream on the side for swooping. Sublime.
I know right now that I am going to make these often. Very. In every season. Thanks Martha Stewart. You've always rocked.
BACON-WRAPPED CUTE LITTLE POTATO GEMS - Serves 6
8 thick-sliced bacon slices, cut in thirds
24 tiny little potato gems
Preheat oven to 400F. Line a large, rimmed, baking sheet with parchment paper. Wrap each bacon piece around a potato and secure with a round toothpick. Place on prepared baking sheet and bake until bacon is cooked and partially crisp, and potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife, 35-40 minutes.
If you want to crisp up the bacon a little more, simply turn the oven up to 450F for just 5 minutes.
Serve with sour cream, ranch dip or blue cheese dressing on the side. Now that was easy for such fantastic results, wasn't it?