QUICK APPS & FOOTBALL SNAPS: Week 7 – Bacon and Cream Cheese Wrapped Asparagus Spears

For week 7, I’m going to get you going with 7 strips of bacon – to be smothered in cream cheese and wrapped around asparagus. Ok, it may be a couple county lines over from healthy, but we all deserve a break once in a while.

When in doubt, add cream cheese. Philadelphia sushi roll? Best one there is. Plain ass bagel? Say no more. And don’t even get me started on cheesecake.

Also, Kraft is about to completely kill the cream cheese game – they’ve made it laced with bacon.

But, I have to say I may have misled you a bit – while you can certainly use cream cheese for this recipe, I’d recommend Neufchatel cheese for a healthier version. (Sure, I could’ve put that word in the recipe title, but you probably would have been like WTF?)

Neufchatel is packaged exactly like cream cheese and even sits right next to it on the shelf. So what’s the difference? Fat content.

By law, (I am absolutely picturing cops wearing cow-printed uniforms for this) cream cheese must contain at least 33% milk fat and no more than 55% moisture. Neufchatel has about 23% milk fat and a slightly higher moisture content. Neufchatel also has more protein (2.8%) than cream cheese (2.1%).

So, just look past all the bacon fat you’re about to incur and feel good about this treat.

Week 7 (Oct. 16-20): Bacon and Cream Cheese Wrapped Asparagus Spears

Knowledge while you nosh:

I have learned that when you are in doubt of football knowledge, you should start dropping names – mostly of quarterbacks. You can cram your brain with great NFL know-how through this article on how certain quarterbacks are currently outplaying their stats – or not.

Kick off Week 7 tonight with a match-up between the New York Jets and New England Patriots at 8:25 p.m. on CBS. Early Sunday games go to the Seattle Seahawks and St. Louis Rams at 1 p.m. on Fox, the Arizona Cardinals and Oakland Raiders at 4:25 p.m. on  FOX, and ending the Sunday off with the San Francisco 49ers and Denver Broncos at 8:25 p.m. on NBC. Monday Night Football falls to the Houston Texans and Pittsburgh Steelers at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN.

*Note that all times are EST and you may not be able to get certain games, depending on the area in which you live.

food

Yields 14 spears

INGREDIENTS:

  • 14 thick asparagus spears
  • 7 strips of bacon
  • 4 oz. Neufchatel cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare asparagus by snapping off the tough bottom ends, about 1-2 inches in length.
  • Cut all bacon strips in half length-wise, giving yourself 14 to work with.
  • Put a thin layer of cream cheese on each slice.
  • Starting just under the asparagus tips, wrap the bacon in a spiral motion downward. Yes, your fingers will get messy.
  • Place spears on a rimmed baking pan. MAKE SURE IT’S RIMMED. You do not want bacon grease spilling everywhere when you pull this out.
  • Roast for 20-25 minutes or until bacon is cooked to desired crispness. Season with pepper, and serve.
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