So I threw a little party. A special little party with a very important guest of honour. Our very special guest was none other than "Bacon". I invite "Bacon" quite often to the Bee household. We know "Bacon" well. It gets invited to all special occasions and holidays. Christmas Brunch, New Year's Day Brunch, Easter Brunch, Mother's Day Breakfast, Father's Day Breakfast, the odd Sunday and once in a while just a random Wednesday.
I had the pleasure of working with Aurora Importing recently. They sent me some cannoli shells to take for a test ride so I made some pistachio filling and chomped down on Pistachio Cannoli's. They sent along a Fiasconaro Dolce Verde Pistachio which is basically like a pistachio panettone. It came with this amazing pistachio cream you spread over top of the cake. So good I may have cried a little bit. I have the pleasure of giving one away to 1 fellow Canuck so if you love pistachios you should stop by to enter the giveaway.
They also sent along a Frantoi Cutrera Specialty Tasting Box for me to have some fun with. It's a lovely olive oil tasting kit that will knock your socks off. Assuming you are wearing socks. Which I almost never am. Anyhow, I was thrilled when they sent it. Mini-me and myself frequent a tasting bar in St. Jacobs every year when we visit. It's one of our favourite things to do while we're there. They have this little store in the old mill where you belly up to the bar and try out olive oils and sauces. It's just the coolest little place. We can spend hours in there sampling different oils and sauces. We usually end up spending all our money in there, and when we leave we realize we bought enough oil and sauce to last a decade. Yet it never does. We're huge olive oil fans here so we go through massive amounts of it.
We had a little tasting party of our own with this amazing kit. There are six beautiful bottles of oil to try out. It comes in a gorgeous box with a tasting glass included. We used the tasting glass to house little pieces of baguette on tiny forks to dunk in the oil. It's a perfect way to get the taste and compare them. The kit includes instructions to guide you through a sensory journey. It's such a cool addition, although it might be a little lost on the Bee household when the hooligans are hungry. They can whip through a zillion forks of baguettes dunked in fancy oils without breaking a sweat. So Mama Bee had to get creative. I needed a way to quell the raging hunger of hooligans before the tasting began otherwise it would be a free for all with forks flying everywhere and no fancy bottle of oil would be safe from being guzzled or swilled with wild abandon. So what did Mama Bee do? Well she made pizza of course. Duh!
I've said it before and I'll say it again, pizza is a staple in this house. We love it far too much. We'll use any excuse in the book to get our pizza on. It's just the way we roll. I've made Deep Dish Pizza, Panzerotti aka Deep Fried Pizza, Vidalia Onion Pizza for Meatless Mondays, Healthy Wild Rice Pizza, and even a Low Carb Cauliflower Pizza. When I worked with Aurora last summer I made an Antipasto Pizza that was spectacular with their La Bomba Hot Antipasto Spread. I make my own dough most of the time with recipes like Killer Spicy Pizza Dough. I also make my own pizza sauce in my slow cooker which I've dubbed Sweetums Pizza Sauce. So yup, you could say I like pizza. You could say my family likes pizza. But you would all be wrong. We don't like pizza. We freaking LOVE pizza.
I wanted to come up with a recipe that used one of the olive oils from the tasting kit. Normally oils like this I would savour and not use for things like pizza or cooking, but for salads and well, drinking straight from the bottle. But after tasting them all I had the distinct feeling the Nocellara would hold up well and heighten the taste of a simple appetizer I had been wanting to post about. This recipe is super simple, you can make it relatively quickly and it's not overly expensive to make. It can be used as an appetizer or after school snack. Since it's easy to make your kids can do it themselves after school when they are ravenous and cannot wait for dinner. Which is like every day with kids right.
Bacon Pizza Bites
- 1 fresh baquette cut into slices
- ¼ cup Nocellara Olive Oil or Olive Oil of your choice
- 1 cup pizza sauce homemade or store bought (if using store bought add a touch of sugar for extra sweetness, it works wonders!)
- 1 package 500 g Mozzarellissima Cheese (this is Pizza Mozzarella which is fabulous, if you can't find it substitute regular Mozzarella)
- ½ to 1 pound of bacon pre-cooked (I'll admit I ate half the bacon before it got on the pizza)
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
- Pre-cook your bacon. Or buy pre-cooked bacon if necessary. (I've never tried it but I'm sure it's good. How can bacon be bad?)
- Drain excess grease off it by blotting with a paper towel. Rip or chop bacon into pieces.
- Cut your baguette into slices. You want them thick enough to hold the ingredients but not so thick you can't bite into it.
- Lay your cut baguette pieces on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
- Spread olive oil over each piece.
- Spread pizza sauce over each piece.
- Sprinkle cheese over each piece.
- Add bacon pieces on top.
- Slip into the pre-heated oven and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, depending on how well cooked you like your cheese.
- Remove from oven and plate.
- Serve with a big old "I Love Me Some Bacon" smile!
Now a quick note about these fancy shmancy oils. They are cold extracted so they tend to break down at high heat. They are something I would typically not use for cooking, and particularly not for frying. If you are going to fry anything with olive oil use a more cost-effective type. Ones that say "olive oil" or "pure olive oil" are what I normally use for frying things, making stir-fries and things of that nature. Cold Pressed or Cold Extracted are fabulous for salad dressings, soups, stews, and dunking bread into (or swilling, swigging or glugging for that matter). In this case I made an exception as I do on occasion for some flavoured or wonderful oils. I used it to brush on the baguette under the sauce. So it would not be getting direct heat, it has a sort of buffer if you will, with the bread under it, and the sauce/cheese/bacon on top. This is a recipe I broke my rules for. Why? I really loved the taste of the Nocellara so I made an executive decision it was worth using. I knew it would be spectacular spread over the bread for added oomph. And I was right. May I also add if you've never popped the top off a great bottle of olive oil and sniffed it like a good bottle of wine you just haven't lived. Trust me! Try this next time you open a high quality bottle of the stuff. I have Aurora Importing's Frantoi Cutrera Frescolio and Frantoi Cutrera Primo oils and I can be caught sniffing them at all hours of the day and night. Hubs and the kids think I'm nuts but then I shove the bottles at them and make them sniff them. I'll make a believer out of you. Sniff your olive oil today people!
Giveaway Now Closed. Winner has been drawn and notified.
Okay so for those of you who are still here and not convinced I'm a complete loon, I have a special treat for you all today. I happen to have the good fortune of being able to give away 1 Aurora Importing Frantoi Cutrera Specialty Tasting Box to a lucky reader. There's one condition though folks. You MUST be a Canadian Resident to enter. Sorry all my U.S. and International friends. For those Canucks who would like to enter please just leave a comment telling me what is your favourite way to use Olive Oil! Keep those answers clean though folks, young hooligans read the blog so we're sorta of PG rated here.
For extra entries you can do any or all of the things below. (These are optional though. Your first entry is simply stating your fave use for olive oil. The ones below are bonus entries):
1. Follow Cravings of a Lunatic by email. Just look to the right where you see a little "subscribe via email box", you just fill in your email, confirm and you're good to go! Leave a separate comment saying you did so! 2. Like Cravings of a Lunatic on Facebook. Leave a separate comment saying you did so! 3. Like Aurora Importing on Facebook. Leave a separate comment saying you did so! 4. Follow Cravings of a Lunatic on Twitter. Leave a separate comment saying you did so! 5. Follow Aurora Importing on Twitter. Leave a separate comment saying you did so!
Reminder that giveaway is open to Canadian residents only. Giveaway will close on January 7th at midnight. Winner will be selected by random.org and has 72 hours to claim their prize after they are notified. If they do not claim the prize within the time allowed it I will draw another winner.
Good Luck all you fellow Canucks!
Toodles and smoochies! xx