It all started when I stopped eating bacon. Who stops eating bacon? Crazy nuts, vegetarians, pregnant moms or those of us who think to themselves maybe bacon is what's causing my stomach pains. It couldn't be the stressful day I had that I ended with a milkshake, fries and double burger loaded with bacon and cheese. Oh no must have been the bacon's fault. You know it's true we all love to blame our issues on something, but, bacon? Don't worry that idea soon vanished and I went back to my dosage of weekly bacon servings Okay to be honest maybe twice a week. (insert winky eye emoji here...) Recently, however Food52's outreach on "what do you do with bacon grease?" made me decide to reveal what I do with my leftover bacon drippings. On a sidenote: Grease never sounded as appealing to me as drippings. So after much debate over calling them savory puffs, gougeres, mini sandwiches, mini B.L.T. puffs won out. Sharing the secret below with all of you because I know you're gonna have me over for dinner and share your Secret chicken wing sauce with me right? Or at least make these mini B.L.T. 's for the big game? What are you making for game day? Please share!
Dough Adapted from Dorie Greenspan Around my French Table
- 185 grams all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp bacon salt
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 4 oz water
- 4 oz whole milk or half cream and half lowfat milk
- 100 oz unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
- 13 oz bacon drippings
- 2 pieces of bacon cooked and diced into bits
Ingredients: BLT fixings
- 6 pieces cooked bacon
- Romaine lettuce washed and dried
- 4 tomatoes sliced thin
- mayonnaise and dijon mustard for spreading
Preheat oven to 425 degrees if cooking that day. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
Bring the milk, water, butter, bacon drippings and salt to a rapid boil in a medium heavy bottomed saucepan over high heat. Add the flour all at once, lower the heat to medium-low and immediately start stirring with a heavy whisk. The dough will come together, and a light crust will form on the bottom of the pan. Keep stirring for another minute or two to dry the dough. The dough should be very smooth.
Turn the dough into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or into a bowl you can use to mix with a hand mixer or a wooden spoon and lots of arm work. Let the dough sit for a minute, then add the eggs one by one and beat, until the dough is thick and shiny. Make sure that each egg is completely incorporated before you add the next, and don't be concerned if the dough fall apart (it will)- by the time the last egg goes in, the dough will come together again. Once the dough is made, it should be used immediately.
Using about 1/2 tablespoon of dough for each puff, drop the dough from a spoon onto the lined baking sheets, leaving about 1 1/2 inches of space between the mounds of dough. Or fill a piping bag and pipe the small mounds onto the baking sheet for a more even complex look. Slide the baking sheets into the oven and immediately turn the oven temperature down to 375 degrees F. Bake for 12 minutes, then rotate the pans from front to back and top to bottom. Continue baking until the puffs are golden, firm, and of course, puffed, another 12 to 15 minutes or so. Allow the puffs to cool on the baking sheet.
When cool, using a serrated knife slice the puffs in half and spread the bottom with mayonnaise and mustard very gently. Next top with small piece of bacon, tomato and then lettuce. Place top of puff on lettuce and arrange on a platter and serve.
- Puffs can be made ahead for game day or any day and frozen. Just shape them on baking sheet and place in freezer for 30 minutes then remove and place in airtight bag or container. Bake as above straight from freezer, do not defrost and give them an extra minute or two in the oven.
- Where to find bacon salt: here or here or make your own.
- Buy good bacon for these mini BLT's since it is all about the bacon-local if you can.
- If you want to dress these up another notch make them BLTA- just add avocado
- Don't forget the beer!
Looking forward to hearing how you decide to serve these at your next party or game day? Or maybe you add a whole new flavor inside? Let me know.