Try something different for the big game. Win big with your guests with this savory, sophisticated take on pigs in a blanket from Aaron McCargo's book Simply Done, Well Done (John Wiley & Sons, $13.90). Want more entertaining tips? Check out our interview with Aaron McCargo.
Serves 4 to 6; makes 32 pieces
12 slices par-cooked bacon (Note below)
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 cup coarsely chopped honey-roasted cashews
1 cup finely chopped scallions, white and green parts
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
8 spicy smoked beef sausages, each about 4 inches long, cut into 1-inch pieces
Preheat the oven to 400.
Lay the bacon slices on a baking sheet and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or just until the bacon softens and is still limp and pliable. Drain on paper towels.
In a medium bowl, stir together the sugar, cashews, scallions, cayenne, and cinnamon.
Lay each slice of bacon on a work surface and sprinkle an equal amount of the sugar mixture along the length of the bacon. Press gently to make sure the mixture adheres to the bacon. Lay a sausage piece near the end of each bacon slice and roll the sausage in the bacon. Transfer each roll to a shallow baking pan, seam side down. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until the bacon is crispy and cooked through. Serve hot.
Note: Par-cooking, or undercooking, bacon is easy. Cook the bacon on a grill, in the oven, or in a skillet as usual, but cook it only until it’s barely done, still flabby and soft.
Photo credit: John Wiley & Sons; Lucy Schaeffer