Last fall, one of my clients got the new Barefoot Contessa Cookbook (Barefoot Contessa Foolproof), and in looking through it we both were intrigued by Ina Garten’s recipe for carmelized bacon.
I borrowed the cookbook for the weekend, and because I had all of the ingredients at home, I tried the recipe—but I played with it a bit, of course.
I used regular bacon for half of the recipe and coppa for the other half. I found that the bacon had a nice balance between fat and sweet, but it was a bit messy for finger food. The coppa had a nice salty crunch and wasn’t greasy.
My client preferred the coppa, but her husband liked the bacon. I encourage you to try it both ways and see which you prefer.
It makes a great appetizer for a cocktail party, or a nice high-protein snack for any time.
½ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
½ cup chopped walnuts
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
½ pound thin sliced coppa
Preheat the oven to 375° F. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil (for easy cleaning) and place a wire baking rack on top.
Combine brown sugar and walnuts in a food processor and blend until the nuts are finely ground. Add salt, black pepper, and cayenne, and pulse to combine. Add maple syrup and pulse again to moisten the crumbs.
Lay individual slices of coppa on the baking rack without touching (see photo above). With a small spoon, evenly spread the nut mixture on top of each slice.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the topping is very brown but not burnt. While they’re hot, transfer the coppa crisps to a plate lined with paper towels and set aside to cool. Serve at room temperature.