Like Peas and Carrots. Ross and Rachel. Fish and Chips.... Some things just go. The next recipe quest had to include::
Jif Peanut Butter.
Well, immediately one thinks of PB&J. Another combo that just works. Period. I had the choice of entering either the "sweet" or "savory" category, but it had to be an appetizer or food that would be appropriate for entertaining. My mind flooded with sweet treats. Just off the heels of Pie day and Frozen Cranberry Pie, I had sweet on the brain. I decided to go with the "savory" category.
My food-train of thought::
Cold Noodle Salad with a Peanuty Dressing...so delish, but too obvious.
Some sort of Stir-Fry with a Spicy Peanut sauce...obvious.
Springrolls with a Peanut Dipping Sauce...obvious, and not really a recipe.
Then I remembered as a kid, my mom would serve us Peanut Butter, Lettuce and Tomato Sandwiches. I think she thought the peanut butter was a good protein source and an excellent "glue" to hold the sandwich together...who knows? She also did it because her mother did it, and it's likely that I will do it too.
I will add the bacon!
So I googled it to be sure that it wasn't a super popular recipe. I was shocked. It was all over the web. It seems people everywhere love Peanut Butter and Bacon.
After tasting, I see why. Peanut Butter and Bacon are like French Fries and a Chocolate Milkshake...
Not an obvious match, but they indeed go together.
I couldn't do the well-loved PBLT, but I could take the flavors and tweak them to fit my contest.
I was inspired by the oh, so, very delicious Bruschetta recipe featured in the foodie flick Julie and Julia.
That's a whole other blog, but seriously toasted bread with a yummy topping...how can that go wrong?
Stay with me...
Think outside the PB&J.
I give you my "savory" submission:
1 Baguette, sliced on the bias
8 tablespoons ( ½ cup) Creamy Jif Peanut Butter
12 slices Bacon, good quality
1 Romaine Lettuce Heart, light green mid section only
3 Ripe Tomatoes, deseeded and diced
½ teaspoon Kosher salt
Cook bacon on a parchment lined baking sheet until glistening and crisp. Remove from oven and set aside on a paper towel lined plate. Once cooled, crumble with fingers or rough chop. Set aside.
Deseed the tomatoes and dice. Place diced tomato in a strainer over the sink and toss with salt. Let sit while preparing the remaining ingredients.
Slice the baguette into 1 inch slices on the bias and place in the oven at 425 degrees until golden brown. Remove and let cool.
Chop Romaine lettuce hearts, using only the light green mid section. The lettuce should be crunchy and crisp. Discard any discolored or wilted sections. Once chopped, set aside.
Spread 1 tablespoon of Jif creamy peanut butter on each piece of baguette. Top each piece with 1 slice crumbled bacon, lettuce and tomato. Yield: Approximately 12 slices/ 2 per person. May vary slightly depending on size of baguette.
This recipe is a great appetizer, or main dish. Swear!