The chief stewardess calls me over the radio: “Do you have more mini BLT’s?” This is not the first time I’ve heard this question after serving those delicious canapés. “Of course we made some extra!”, I’m replying. “Ready to go.”
Before dinner we always serve a selection of hors d’oeuvres to our guests. While they are gathering before dinner, champagne is poured and cocktails are mixed. My sous chef and I come up with lots of fancy ideas, using foie gras, caviar, smoked salmon etc. But sometimes it’s nice to surprise the guests with something simple. Who doesn’t like a BLT?
It’s important that canapés can be eaten easily. Nobody gets embarrassed by biting big chunks and the expensive carpet stays clean as well. This is a perfect example of an one bite dish. It has crunch, creaminess and uncomplicated flavors. I’m using a Japanese mayonnaise, called Kewpie to fill the tomatoes. Kewpie is made with rice vinegar instead of distilled vinegar and has a smooth, creamy texture. You can find it in most Asia supermarkets.
- 24 medium Cherry Tomatoes, rinsed
- 4 slices Applewood Smoked Bacon, thick cut
- 3 slices Sandwich bread, white
- 40 grams Unsalted Butter, melted
- 1 Heart of Romaine Lettuce, washed and tapped dry
- Kewpie Mayonnaise
Preheat the oven to 350º F / 180º C
Cut off the top of the cherry tomatoes, just enough to be able to scoop out the seeds and membrane. If the tomatoes have an uneven bottom, trim slightly to have them stand even. Be careful not to cut off to much. With a melon ball scooper (parisienne spoon), remove the seeds and the membrane. Turn the tomatoes upside down on paper towels to drain the juices.
Place the bacon on a sheet pan with some baking paper. Bake in the oven until most of the fat has rendered. Place on paper towels to absorb the fat. Cut in strips small enough to place in the tomatoes later. Return in the oven until the bacon turns crisp. Set aside.
Cut the sandwich bread in rectangle crôutons, small enough to place in the tomatoes later. Toss with the melted butter and toast in the oven until crisp. Set aside.
Trim the heart of lettuce leafs into small stripes.
When all the mise en place is ready, pipe some of the Kewpie in the tomatoes. Fill with the bacon, crôuton and lettuce leafs. Serve immediately.
Makes 24 mini BLT’s