That is the image that went through my head when I read my November issue Bon Appetit. They had a series of recipes for the "modern cocktail party" and reading through the recipes REALLY made me want to throw such a thing...only I know that my party cannot be modern (our house is sooooooooooooooo old) and cocktails are more likely to be beers that are being drunk while holding a screaming child or soothing an argumentative toddler. The image above, I had to admit to myself, is more than a few years off.
But one recipe really consumed me and made me want to make it and taste it. I mean REALLY made me want to make it. It looked so easy to make, but the flavors of goat cheese and fig and pancetta so intrigued me that I couldn't stop thinking about it. So I spent the next week picking up the ingredients I knew I would need, the tricky ones being thinly sliced pancetta (in rounds, not the long strips the way you think of American bacon) and fig jam. I managed to find the thinly sliced pancetta at my local Safeway (Vons or Pavillions may have it as well) and the fig jam was scored at Whole Foods. I also picked up a slightly different goat cheese at Trader Joe's, instead of the regular chevre I had originally intended on getting.
I wanted to make them for someone, but finally decided that I didn't want to wait anymore for someone worthy to eat the dish. I decided that I alone was worthy of such scrumptiousness and went for it. So yesterday, for lunch, I made myself the little appetizer. As I assembled them for the photograph, I knew that it would be so delicious, so I snapped the photographs rather impatiently. And when I took the first bite, I was in love. It was such a delicious bite of food I subsequently consumed four more of them.
I had enough pancetta, jam and goat cheese leftover, so that when friend BF came over today, I offered to make her some. She was intrigued and said sure. I made four more and SHE went nuts over them as well. And that is, as we say, history. I didn't get my fancy cocktail party, and I didn't have any fancy drinks, but I sure had a delicious bite of food which I was able to share with a good friend. Now, if only I could get my hands on a cocktail...
Pancetta Crisps with Goat Cheese and Persimmons/Apples
Adapted from Bon Appetit | November 2010
12 thin pancetta slices (The Primo Taglio brand I used from Safeway was TOO thin, so I had to double them up)
24 arugula leaves
12 teaspoons soft fresh goat cheese
Fig jam or preserves
12 small fresh persimmon wedges or fuji apple wedges
Preheat oven to 400. Place pancetta in single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet Bake until crisp 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to platter.
Top each slice with 2 arugula leaves, 1 teaspoon goat cheese, and 1/4 teaspoon jam, and 1 persimmon wedge or apple wedge. Sprinkle with ground pepper if desired.
Also delicious topped with an apple.