A simple, stellar appetizer sets the tone for a pull-out-the-stops holiday dinner party. These Pancetta Pear Crisps from Chapel Hill cookbook author Sheri Castle are a great example of a dish that combines wow factor with ease of preparation. They’re stylish, and a perfect combination of sweet and salty, tender and crisp.
Pancetta Crisps with Goat Cheese and Pear
Makes 6 servings
Hands-on time: 15 min., Total time: 25 min.
12 thin slices pancetta (about 1/3 lb.)
1 Bartlett pear
1/2 (4-oz.) package goat cheese, crumbled
Freshly cracked pepper
Garnish: fresh thyme sprigs
1. Arrange pancetta slices in a single layer on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet.
2. Bake at 450° for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden. Transfer to a paper towel-lined wire rack using a spatula. Let stand 10 minutes or until crisp.
3. Meanwhile, core pear with an apple corer. Cut pear crosswise into 12 thin rings. Arrange on a serving platter. Top evenly with pancetta and goat cheese; sprinkle with pepper. Drizzle with honey just before serving. Garnish, if desired.