“I’ll tell you my secret tip for cutting the calories, fat, and sugar in your favorite holiday recipes by 50%, EAT HALF OF IT” ~ tweet from Chez Pim.
It’s so obvious; yet it hit me like a ton of bricks. Just eat half of what I would normally eat? Genius! I’m going to arm myself with this approach at every holiday party from here on out. No low-fat food for me, just less of anything I want.
Hors d’oeuvres make it easy to eat a little of everything without eating too much. I consider all hors d’oeuvre diet food based on their size alone. I mean, how many calories can you really pack into one bite?
My boyfriend, Tommy, whipped up one of the best hors d’oeuvres I’ve had in a long time: BBQ bacon wrapped persimmons. When Tommy is bored he cooks (lucky me). He has the uncanny ability of transforming leftovers and miscellaneous ingredients into something magical. These BBQ bacon wrapped persimmons were no exception. They are sweet, smoky, and bacon-y. The mango-like flavor of the persimmon is unexpected and exotic when encased in a thin layer of crispy bacon. The barbecue sauce adds just the right amount of extra sweetness and spice. The minute I tasted these little gems, I fell in love just a little bit more.
A little about persimmons:
Persimmons are common in Asia and are one of my all-time favorite fruits. I grew up eating the Fuyu variety, which are very sweet and have low acidity. They have a flavor that is similar to mango with touch of pleasant bitterness, which reminds me of a quality honey. They can be eaten at almost any stage of ripeness, from very hard to almost mushy.
BBQ Bacon Wrapped Persimmons
Yields 25 – 30
Note: Select a persimmon that is somewhat hard. When you apply pressure with you thumb, the fruit should indent just slightly. You don’t want the fruit to be mushy at all, or it will be difficult to wrap and skewer with a toothpick.
1 medium persimmon (6 – 8 ounces)
10 pieces of bacon (do NOT use thick cut bacon)
1 – 2 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons sweet barbecue sauce
2 sprigs of cilantro (optional, for garnish)
1/8 teaspoon paprika (optional, for garnish)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Peel the persimmon and cut into ½ x ½ inch pieces. The number of pieces you cut will vary depending on the size of your persimmon. One persimmon should yield about 25 – 30 small pieces.
Cut each bacon strip into thirds. Then wrap each piece of persimmon with a 1/3 strip of bacon and secure with a toothpick. If there is extra bacon on the end of the wrapped persimmon, then trim off the excess and reserve the trimmings for another purpose (bacon bits perhaps). You do not want to double wrap the fruit, or the bacon will not crisp during the cooking process.
Lightly coat a cookie sheet with oil spray, or line with parchment paper or a non-stick silicon mat. Place the wrapped persimmons on the baking sheet and liberally sprinkle each one with brown sugar.
Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush each bacon wrapped persimmon generously with barbecue sauce. Return to the oven and bake for about 7 more minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 2-3 minutes. Move to a serving plate and sprinkle with paprika and cilantro.