For a flavor-packed appetizer, make bite-sized portions inspired by the classic bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich. The small pieces of bacon make the vegetables much more attractive to people, including your kids. Serve them at a party or just make them with your family as a special appetizer for dinner one night.
One way to create BLT bites is to stack them like a miniature open-faced sandwich. Use crackers or bread rounds for the bases and top them with a light layer of creamy ranch dressing, piece of bacon, slice of a small tomato and leaf of lettuce. Kids can easily help you with the assembly process. Just set out crackers or bread rounds around the perimeter of your table and have each child walk around the table putting an ingredient on each bite.
For dainty appetizers, make BLT bites by stuffing all of the components into a hollowed-out tomato. Older kids can help you cut the top off each cherry or grape tomato and scoop out the inside seeds. Fill the tomato with a mixture of finely chopped lettuce and bacon, held together by creamy bleu cheese dressing. The easiest way to fill them is to put the filling in a pastry bag with a wide opening. Even young kids can help squeeze the filling from the bag into the hollowed tomatoes.
Many BLT bite recipes call for lots of mayonnaise and bacon, neither of which is very healthy. Adjust the recipe by using light dressing mixed with Greek yogurt in place of all or some of the mayonnaise. You still get the creamy flavor, but without all the fat. Instead of regular pork bacon, use turkey bacon, pat off all the oil with a paper towel and break the bacon into smaller pieces so each bite just has a little bit of bacon in it.
Purchase pre-cooked bacon to expedite the process of putting these bites together. If you are making stuffed tomato bites, you can even use crumbled bacon bits. If you prefer to cook your own bacon, bake it instead of frying it so you don't have to worry about turning the pieces and splattering oil all over. Just lay the strips out on a rack set over a baking sheet that can catch all the grease and bake them at 350 F for 15 to 20 minutes. If you don't have much time to prepare the bites on the day you need them, get all the ingredients ready one day and assemble the bites the day you will serve them.
- "Joy of Cooking"; Irma S. Rombauer; 2006
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