The Holiday season is the time of year that I most associate with home-cooked appetizers and finger foods. Whether it be for Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve, it’s nice to set some savory treats out that your guests can munch on at their leisure.
Anything that involves bacon and cheese dip is sure to be crowd pleaser. This is a recipe that appeared in the December Southern Living issue. I altered it just a little. The original recipe had an entire slice of bacon wrapped around each little potato wedge. I didn’t see how the bacon could crisp if it wrapped around it self too many times. When I tried the recipe, I cut the bacon in thirds and I was able to get it to stretch all the way around the potato wedges, but while cooking, a few of the bacon pieces came unwrapped. I think cutting the bacon slices in half would make them the perfect length.
I also used a roasted poblano instead of a can of chopped green chilies. I haven’t included very good directions for roasting a pepper. If you haven’t done it before, you can find better instructions here.
Bacon-Wrapped Potatoes with Queso
- 3 medium-size red potatoes, each cut into 8 wedges
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 12 bacon slices, cut in half
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 cup diced red onion
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 12 ounces queso blanco pasteurized prepared cheese product (such as Velvetta)
- 1 (8-ounce) block pepper jack cheese, shredded
- 1/2 cup half-and-half
- 1 poblano pepper
- 1 plum tomato, seeded and diced
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place a wire rack on top of a large rimmed baking sheet and lightly coat the rack with cooking spray.
- Sprinkle potatoes with salt and wrap each one with a bacon slice. Arrange on wire rack and sprinkle with pepper.
- Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until bacon is browned and potatoes are cooked through.
- Meanwhile roast poblano pepper either by broiling it in the oven or cooking over the flame of a gas cook top. Once the skin is blackened on all sides and the pepper is soft, place in a zip-top bag for 5 minutes. Remove from bag, scrape skin off and discard, and remove seeds. Dice the pepper and set aside.
- Place canola oil in a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Saute onion for 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute 1 more minute. Remove from heat.
- In a large microwave safe bowl, combine queso blanco, pepper jack cheese, half-and-half, poblano pepper, and onion mixture. Microwave on HIGH for 2 minutes, stir well, and microwave an additional 2 minutes or until cheese is fully melted.
- Stir in diced tomato and cilantro and serve with potato wedges.
Yield: 8 servings
Recipe Source: adapted from Southern Living December 2012