Tuesday, January 5, 2010

App Envy

Although I'm extremely devoted to my Blackberry, I reluctantly admit I feel twinges of "App Envy" when I'm around my friends with iPhones. They can't seem to resist showing off their phones but more importantly the myriad of cool applications that are now available. You want to "bump" phones to exchange contact information? Yeah, there's an app for that. Want to predict flight delays based upon developing weather patterns? They've got the app. How about photoshopping the mobile picture you just took? You guessed it: The app exists. For that matter, I think you'd be hard pressed to find an app that
doesn't exist. 

While I may not have an iPhone with cool apps, I did recently serve up an app that was the envy of the party. There are times when good guac and chips hit the spot (like sitting poolside while drinking a margarita), but it's also rather uninspired. I'm always on the hunt for appetizers that pique the interest, awaken the palate, and are easy to pull off. In addition to meeting the aforementioned app requirements, this recipe also struck my fancy because it's a triple threat: (1) It's salty, (2) cheesy, and (3) is kissed with bacon. Actually, can I change that to a quadruple threat because I also want to add crunchy to the list. Wait, and it also has a little heat, so is that a quintuple threat?  OK, I think you get the picture. It's the perfect fusion of flavors and textures. Just downright scrumptious — only heightened when accompanied by a crisp glass of champagne or a frosty pilsner.

So invite your braggy iPhone friends over and munch away on these intoxicatingly good appetizers. Trust me, their apps won't hold a candle to yours. 

Potato Chips with Goat Cheese, Pepper Jelly and Bacon
from Food & Wine

6 oz sliced bacon
36 thick-cut potato chips
5 oz goat cheese, softened
3 Tbsp pepper jelly
1 Tbsp snipped chives (optional)

In a large skillet, cook the sliced bacon over high heat until crisp. Drain, cool and crumble bacon. 
Arrange the potato chips on a serving platter. Spread or pipe 1 tsp of the goat cheese onto each potato chip. Top with a small dollop of the pepper jelly, sprinkle with the bacon (and chives if you're using them) and serve right away. Yields: 12 servings. 
[Notes: The bacon can be made several hours ahead of time. Plan to have the goat cheese sit out for at least 2 hours so it's spreadable. If you don't have an icing bag to pipe the cheese onto the chip, you can also use a freezer ziploc bag with the corner snipped off. I say freezer because I first used a regular ziploc and the seam burst open within about 30 seconds with goat cheese oozing out everywhere. Quite the mess. I used my mom's amazing hot pepper jelly, which is green, but I more often see the red pepper jelly for sale in grocery stores. The best chips are extra-thick kettle chips so don't skimp here. And ideally you want a non-chipped potato chip. As such, you may want to buy 2 bags so you can sort through and find the best surface areas. Or maybe I'm just too much of a Type A personality. . . . ]