Fig-Glazed Bacon Sliders with Brussels Sprouts, Grapes, Walnuts and Mint Yogurt Sauce are an irresistible appetizer recipe!
Hey hey everyone, I hope you had a nice weekend! We laid super low over these past couple of days. Ben, the baby boy and I spent Saturday at my parent’s house watching football then we had some friends over on Sunday to watch more football and devour an entire pot of Ben’s Beef Stew while the wind howled and rain fell outside. I didn’t change out of my yoga pants and sweatshirt all weekend but it was just what the doctor ordered. I was due for a couple of cozy, lazy days!
Well today I’m excited to share some more details about my time in New York City meeting celebrity chef Alex Guarnaschelli thanks to Fisher Nuts a few weeks ago! (Here’s a few initial pictures from my trip and experience >)
I’ve been developing recipes for Fisher Nuts for the past year and a half and a few weeks ago they brought all the other bloggers who’ve been doing the same to NYC to meet their celebrity spokesperson, Chef Alex, at her midtown restaurant Butter. I saw “Butter” on the invitation and nearly blacked out. I’d been wanting to eat there forever! Although Butter’s past is in downtown NYC, Alex recently moved it to Midtown and brought a lot of the old features – down to the actual wood from the original location – to the new location, so I imagine the vibe is still very similar.
Put simply, Butter is buttery. Familiar, comfortable, and a place you want to spend some time in.
Chef Alex was a joy to meet. Totally real and totally obsessed with good food. The way she talked about it was mesmerizing and I think you’d feel the same even if you didn’t work in the foodie world. I think listening to people who are passionate about their jobs to the point where it’s a calling is extremely inspiring and that’s how I left our afternoon with Chef Alex – feeling inspired.
Chef Alex has been creating recipes using Fisher Nuts for three years and demonstrated a few of her holiday themed recipes for us bloggers during the event. My favorite was her Walnut-Stuffed Cherry Tomato Halves and the rest of the ladies were going bonkers for her individual Walnut and Fontina Macaroni and Cheese (like, bonkers – I’m definitely going to try it with gluten-free pasta at home!) Put simply, we had a wonderful time and I will never forget meeting Chef A. Even more obsessed with her than I was before from watching her on Chopped and Iron Chef!
Since the theme of the get together was holiday entertaining I thought I’d create a holiday bite for my next recipe using all natural Fisher Nuts – Fig-Glazed Bacon Sliders with Brussels Sprouts, Grapes, Walnuts and Mint Yogurt Sauce!
This appetizer is a MOUTHFUL, people!! It’s inspired by Chef Alex who thinks outside the box, but based on a side dish I had at Ilili with my friends in NYC after our event. The combination of roasted brussels sprouts topped with fresh grapes, crunchy walnuts, sweet fig spread, and a creamy, cooling mint yogurt sauce was unforgettable and I thought it would be perfect to turn into a one-bite holiday appetizer on a bed of dunh, dunh, dunnnnhh…bacon!
Crisp, fig jam-glazed bacon bites topped with roasted brussels sprouts, red grapes, buttery chopped walnuts, mint yogurt sauce and a big crack of fresh black pepper are the perfect size to pop and savor. Sweet, salty, decadent – a must-try flavor combination.
These appetizers are great for the holiday parties served on amuse bouche spoons, or arranged on an appetizer platter. I got these white ceramic spoons at World Market but you can get a pack of disposable spoons for a bigger party. These sliders are so full of flavor that 2 or 3 totally satisfy (though I had about 23.) Hope you’ll give them a try!
Start by baking the bacon sliders. You’ll need 3/4lb thick-cut bacon which is about 9 slices of thick-cut bacon. Thick cut vs center or regular cut bacon is best for this recipe so each slider can stand up to the mountain of delicious toppings on top!
Slice the bacon into quarters then save the thinnest quarter (the far left in the picture below) for another day…or breakfast! That end is too narrow to hold all the toppings.
Arrange the bacon on a foil-lined, nonstick-sprayed, cooling rack-topped (whew!) baking sheet then bake at 375 degrees until crisp, 18-20 minutes.
After the bacon comes out of the oven, microwave 1/4 cup fig jam in a bowl for 15-20 seconds then stir until smooth. I fell in love with fig jam several years ago while visiting a friend in Chicago. We went to happy hour at their ginormous Whole Foods which has a little wine bar in the center. I KNOW. Anyway, we bought some cheese, crackers, and fig jam then sat down to enjoy it all with a glass of wine. It was basically the coolest thing ever (seriously, bar in a grocery store?) and me and fig jam have been like this ever since. It’s thick, sticky, sweet, and was made to marry with hot, salty bacon.
Brush the warmed fig jam onto the warm bacon slices then set aside. As the fig jam and bacon cool they meld into an impossibly delicious, sweet and salty bite!
Meanwhile, trim and halve 12oz brussels sprouts then toss with 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper, and then roast on another foil-lined, nonstick-sprayed baking sheet until golden brown, 15-17 minutes,
While those babies are sizzlin’, chop 1/4 cup Fisher Halves and Pieces which provide a perfect crunch and buttery richness to these bites.
Finally make the mint yogurt sauce, which is super easy to make. Combine 6oz plain yogurt, 1/4 cup packed mint leaves, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, 1 minced garlic cloves, salt, and pepper in a food processor or blender, then blend until smooth. This sauce is killer and great for cutting through the richness of the fig-glazed bacon, brussels sprouts and walnuts.
Assembly time! Place the fig-glazed bacon pieces on amuse bouche spoons (here’s those disposable ones again >) or a platter then top with a brussels sprout half, a seedless red grape half, sprinkling of chopped walnuts and a big crack of fresh black pepper. Dollop with mint yogurt sauce then slide and slam!
Fig-Glazed Bacon Sliders with Brussels Sprouts, Grapes, Walnuts and
Mint Yogurt Sauce
makes 27 sliders
3/4lb thick-cut bacon (about 9 slices)
1/4 cup fig jam
12oz brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
1/2 cup red seedless grapes, halved
1/4 cup walnut halves and pieces, chopped
For the mint yogurt sauce:
6oz plain yogurt
1/4 cup packed fresh mint leaves
1 garlic clove, minced
2 teaspoons lemon juice
salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees then line two baking sheets with foil. Top one with a cooling rack then spray both with nonstick spray and set aside. Cut bacon into quarters then set aside the thinnest quarter to use for another day. Place remaining bacon pieces on the nonstick sprayed cooling rack then bake until crisp, 18-20 minutes. After bacon comes out of the oven microwave fig jam for 15-20 seconds then brush onto bacon while still warm and set aside.
- Add brussels sprouts to remaining foil lined baking sheet then toss with extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper. Arrange brussels sprouts cut side down then roast until golden brown, 15-17 minutes.
- Combine all ingredients for mint yogurt sauce in a food processor or blender then process until smooth.
- Place fig-glazed bacon onto appetizer spoons or a platter then top with a brussels sprout half, red grape half, chopped walnuts, and a generous crack of fresh black pepper. Serve mint yogurt sauce on the side for dolloping on top.
Beyond, people. B E Y O N D. This combo may sound crazy but the sweet, salty, fresh, savory, and cooling flavors are so, so delicious together. Hope you’ll give them a whirl!