When I first saw on the instructables website that you can make cute cups out of bacon I just knew I had to make them. Bacon might not be the healthiest option out there, but you can make an exception from time to time. Especially if used in such a creative way. And paired with a crunchy fresh salad.
Bacon cups for four
16 thin bacon strips
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp butter
some spinach leaves
4 gem lettuces
1 red shallot
2 tbsp walnut oil (or olive oil)
2 tbsp sherry
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp vinegar
freshly ground black pepper
Probably the most intimidating part of this recipe is making the bacon cups. Well, don't worry, they will be ready before you realise. Now go and preheat your oven at 220°C.
Take a muffin tray (one made out of silicone is best) and turn it upside down. Wrap two strips of bacon around each cup, making sure you don't leave any big holes. Tuck the ends of the bacon strips inside - otherwise they will curl while cooking.
Place your muffin tray in a bigger oven tray (to prevent grease dripping all over) and pop in the oven for a few minutes. Watch closely. You want the bacon to brown, not to burn.
When your cups look appetising enough, take them out of the oven and let cool. Remove carefully from the muffin tray.
Slice the pears and sprinkle the tablespoon of sugar over them. This will help them caramelize more quickly. Heat the butter in a skillet, wait until it foams and add the pear slices. Saute until golden on both sides. Set aside.
Go back to the bacon cups now. Line each cup with a thin strip of spinach. Arrange some pear slices on the sides and fill with crumbled gorgonzola. Sprinkle toasted walnuts on top. Warm for two minutes in the oven, to soften the cheese.
For the salad, torn the lettuce and finely cut the shallot. Mix the rest of ingredients in a jar and give it a good shake. Toss everything together.
Arrange two bacon cups and salad on each plate and prepare to hear surprised "wows" from your guests.
P.S.: the flowers I used for decoration are nasturtiums. They're probably the easiest and quickest edible plants you can grow. I have some spare seeds if you're willing to give them a try.
This recipe makes 0.2kilos/person of pure goodness.