If you can find tiny new potatoes, those would be even more aesthetically precious. But chunks work fine, too. Just be sure to dice the potatoes smaller than you might think. We found that the smaller chunks actually had a better potato-to-bacon ratio. They were dangerously poppable.
With the creamy wedge of potato and the crunchy bacon, the sour cream dip is what pushes this appetizer over the edge. Again, mixing some hot sauce into the sour cream is a no-brainer, and yet that's exactly what makes the dip addictive. If you swirl the hot sauce into the sour cream instead of fully mixing it in, you'll get a roulette of spicy and cool bites. Hold on to your hats!
Bacon-Wrapped Potato Bites with Spicy Sour Cream Dipping Sauce
Makes about three dozen bites
1 pound small or medium red potatoes
2 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon olive oil
Freshly ground pepper
12 ounces to 1 pound thick-cut bacon
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
1-3 teaspoons hot sauce
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Wash and dry the potatoes. Chop them into 1-inch pieces, keeping the chunks roughly the same size even if they aren't the exact same shape. Put the potatoes in a medium pot, cover with cold water, and bring to a boil. Season the water with 2 teaspoons of salt. Once the water begins to boil, cook the potatoes for 3 to 4 minutes, until you can stick a fork into them without too much resistance. You want the potatoes to be almost, but not fully, cooked through so they won't fall apart during the next steps.
Drain the potatoes and put them in a large bowl. Add the rosemary, olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a few grinds of pepper, and toss until the potatoes are evenly coated.
Cut the strips of bacon into thirds. Wrap each potato bite in a piece of bacon, securing it with a toothpick. Put the potatoes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil spaced an inch or two apart. You may need to cook the potatoes in two batches.
Cook the potatoes for 15 minutes, then flip each piece. Cook for another 15 to 20 minutes, until the bacon is cooked through and as crisp as you like it. Mix the sour cream and hot sauce in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Pile the potato bites on a plate and serve alongside the dip.
(This post was originally published 3/31/09.)
(Images: Emma Christensen)