Amazing Appetizers - Pimento, Jalapeno Jelly, Bacon Crostini

Today we are making the Pimento, Jalapeno Jelly, Bacon Crostini.  This recipe is inspired by a restaurant on the square in downtown McKinney called Snug on the Square and their Bacon and Pimento Melt.  Oh my goodness, this sandwich is SO good!

"PJB Crostini" - McKinney, Texas
Pimento, Jalapeno Jelly, Bacon Crostini Recipe
1 lb finely grated cheese, I used sharp cheddar, but feel free to use a combination of cheeses if you want
1 2oz jar of diced pimentos
2 green onions, sliced
1/3 - 1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 jar of jalapeno jelly, I get the green Tabasco jelly because it is milder and appeals to a wider audience, but if you like spice then go for it
bacon, lots and lots of bacon
1 baguette, cut into 1/4 - 1/2 inch slices, I tend to buy whole wheat or multi-grain, I just think it's a more interesting texture
Olive oil
"PJB Ingredients 1" - McKinney, Texas

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

Slice your baguette into roughly 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices.  If you get a larger loaf then you may also want to cut each slice in half.  Lightly coat both sides of each slice with olive oil.  Lay your slices of bread in a single layer on a cookie sheet and bake for 5 - 7 minutes.  Remove the cookie sheet and turn all of your slices over.  Bake for another 5 - 7 minutes.

Drain your pimentos.  Wash and slice your green onions.  In a large bowl combine your cheese, pimentos, green onions, and mayonnaise together.  If you would like to add other vegetables, such as bell peppers, carrots, etc., you'll want to add those now.  If you include additional vegetables you may need to increase the amount of mayonnaise.  I like just enough mayonnaise to hold everything together, but when you finished mixing it primarily looks like cheese and vegetables.  If you prefer a more traditional look and texture then you will want to add more mayonnaise.

Put your pimento cheese in a closed container in your refrigerator.

Fry or bake several slices of bacon until crispy.  If you bake your bacon, you'll want to preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.  When baking bacon, I put one of my cookie cooling racks in a baking sheet with sides and lay the bacon on the cooling rack.  This way the fat and grease drips into the baking sheet.  Alternatively, you could use a broiling pan.  You'll want to bake the bacon for 15 - 20 minutes to get it to your desired level of crispiness.  Set the bacon aside and crumble it once it has cooled.  You can also use turkey bacon if you prefer.  The best method that I have found for getting turkey bacon crispy is to cook it in the microwave for 1-2 minutes on each side.

"PJB Ingredients 2" - McKinney, Texas
I generally set all of the finished components out for people to put together their own crostinis, but the way that I like mine is a nice glob of jalapeno jelly, then pimento cheese, with bacon on top, all on a freshly baked crostini.  It's sweet, spicy, salty, creamy.  Delicious!

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