Savory and sweet are combined with these Chocolate Pancetta & Smoked Ham Tea Sandwiches with Caramelized Shallot-Sherry Aïoli.
- 8 slices pancetta (Italian bacon)
- 2 ounces 80% dark chocolate
- 16 slices soft Italian sandwich bread, frozen
- 8 slices ultra-thin smoked ham
- ½ cup baby arugula leaves
- 1 recipe Caramelized Shallot-Sherry Aïoli (recipe follows)
- Garnish: baby arugula leaves
- In a large nonstick sauté pan, cook pancetta over medium-high heat until brown and crisp, reducing heat if necessary to prevent burning. Drain on paper towels, and let cool.
- In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate in microwave oven at 50 percent power in 30-second intervals, stirring between each. Brush melted chocolate onto top side of cooled bacon. Let chocolate cool and set.
- Using a 2¼-inch round cutter, cut 16 rounds from frozen bread. (Cover with damp paper towels, or store in resealable plastic bag to prevent drying out during assembly.)
- Spread Caramelized Shallot-Sherry Aïoli onto each bread round. On 8 bread rounds (aïoli sides up), arrange ingredients in the following order: arugula leaves, a piece of ham folded in half and gathered into a ruffle, and a pancetta slice (chocolate side up). Top each with a remaining bread round (aïoli side down).
- Garnish each with a baby arugula leaf, if desired.
- 1 tablespoon salted butter
- 3 tablespoons sliced shallot
- ⅓ cup mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
- ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
- In a small nonstick sauté pan, heat butter over medium-high heat until melted. Add shallot, and reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until shallot is tender and caramelized, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool completely. Finely chop shallot.
- In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, cooled shallot, sherry vinegar, and pepper, stirring to blend. Cover, and refrigerate for up to a day.
From TeaTime January/February 2016
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