My brother is in town this weekend so we're having a family get-together at my sister's place. I was looking for a fun and different appetizer recipe to try and Chris and I settled on Bacon Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes, which we renamed BLT Bites (the fresh basil fills in for the lettuce).
2 lbs. bacon, cooked, drained and crumbled
1.5 cups mayo
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 cup grated parmesan
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
4 pints of cherry tomatoes
Cook the bacon to desired crispiness. I inadvertently picked up two different types at the store, one a regular cut and one a thick cut. I cooked both packages in shifts in a 400 degree oven and the thick cut slices turned out better as far as this recipe was concerned. While the regular cut was inconsistently cooked and about half of each piece had to be chopped up the thick cut worked out great... consistent and easy to crumble. Not to mention the nice chunks of bacon fat!
Place all the ingredients except the tomatoes in a large bowl and blend.
Cut the tops off the tomatoes and scoop out the insides with a good melon baller. (By the way, just try finding a melon baller – good or bad – in your local supermarket! We found every kitchen gadget but this so Chris picked one up at Williams Sonoma.)
Try for pints that have a good ratio of large cherry tomatoes which are easier to clean out (and hold more filling!). Turn the hollowed out tomatoes upside down on a tray lined with paper towels and let them drain a bit.
Fill a pastry bag with a large tip (you don't want the tip to get clogged with bacon bits as we had happen with our first tip). Fill each tomato with a blast of the mixture, cover and place in the fridge to chill. We found that while it was a good idea to let the mixture get a little soft before piping it into the tomatoes be careful because you may have some of the bacon grease liquify and rise to the top of the bag as you're filling the tomatoes. In other words, wearing a nice Patagonia polo shirt is probably not the best attire for this job!
Original recipe calls for dried basil (fah!) and says that this amount will serve 16.