Cluster Bombs

January 23rd, 2011

It seems everything these days is being wrapped in bacon. A common hors-d’oeuvre served at restaurants all over the world is a bacon-wrapped prune, or a bacon-wrapped fig, or bacon-wrapped shrimp, or bacon-wrapped scallops. Serve these delicious balls at a dinner party, convinced of its novelty and you’ll hear half your guests tell you they’ve already made the same thing, “except I use pancetta” one guest mentions nonchalantly  (and the table oohs and aahs as if pancetta were some mythical nub plucked from the anus of a long-extinct species of boar). Then someone else says they stuff their dates with goat cheese using an icing tube and then drizzles, overtop the hors d’oeuvres, a tangy sherry reduction. You are instantly made a fool.

Next time, try my variation. I call them Cluster Bombs: Pancetta-wrapped prosciutto, wrapped in bacon. First, scrunch the strips of prosciutto into little balls, then cover the balls with pancetta, and then cover the meat envelopes with a strip of bacon. Pin them together with toothpicks. Bake them in the oven for fifteen to twenty minutes until the bacon is crispy. You will be tempted, with this recipe, to over-complicate them, to add one or more ingredients. But that would be destroying the Cluster Bomb’s spirit. I would consent to a substitution of capicola for prosciutto or perhaps you’re daring enough to do all four layers. Also, you may start with an un-encased lump of chorizo, and then wrap the sausage with all three meats.

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