Given the widespread popularity that bacon is enjoying, I’m surprised that there isn’t yet a bacon-themed board game (and the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon game doesn’t count). I’m sure one will be hitting game store shelves near you before long. Probably with scratch-and-sniff, if the game developers know their audience.
This is the time to splurge on the best bacon you can get your hands on, thick slices from a top-of-the-line producer. It may mean a trip to a specialty butcher, or even an order from an online source, such as Nueske's. You may find the cocktail-sized loaves in other bread types as well, such as sourdough and rye. Feel free to swap one of those for the pumpernickel, if you wish.
Adapted from "Gourmet Game Night" by Cynthia Nims.
To save time, prepare individual ingredients up to 4 hours ahead; wrap the bacon well and refrigerate, store the mayonnaise mixture and tomatoes in the refrigerator, wrap the lettuce in damp paper towels and refrigerate, store the bread in an airtight container. Assemble the sandwiches not more than 1 hour before serving and store, covered, in the refrigerator.
Reprinted with permission from Gourmet Game Night: Bite-Sized, Mess-Free Eating for Board-Game Parties, Bridge Clubs, Poker Nights, Book Groups, and More by Cynthia Nims, copyright © 2010. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.
Photo credit: Sheri Giblin © 2010
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Lay the bacon strips on a rimmed baking sheet (it’s okay if they touch or even overlap a bit; they’ll shrink while cooking). Bake until browned and crisp, 10-12 minutes, turning the pieces once or twice. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel–lined plate and let cool. Cut the bacon into 2-inch pieces.
Cut the romaine leaves into lengthwise strips about 2 inches wide. Stir together the mayonnaise and chives in a small bowl.
Spread the mayonnaise onto 12 of the bread slices. Top with a slice or two of the tomato and 2-3 pieces of bacon, overlapping. Fold the lettuce strips into 2-inch squares and top the bacon with them. Add the remaining pieces of pumpernickel bread and secure with a frilly toothpick or other small pick. Arrange the sandwiches on a platter or tray for serving.