A Different Kind of Fruit Salad!

If you are looking for a different kind of fruit salad, here is a recipe I recently ran across that is sure to please (and it has bacon!).  Enjoy!

APPLE AND SMOKED-BACON SALAD WITH LYCHEES AND CHILI NUTS

For Chili Nuts:
1 cup unsalted dry roasted peanuts
2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
1 teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

For Salad:
1½ pound Winesap or Gala apples (3-4)
1½ pound Crispin or Golden Delicious apples (3-4)
½ slab of bacon cut crosswise into ½ inch sticks
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
16 canned lychees (from a 20 ounce can) drained and quartered, at warm room temperature
½ cup chopped scallions at room temperature

MAKE CHILI NUTS
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F with rack in middle.

Stir together all chili nut ingredients in a metal pie plate.  Bake, stirring occasionally, until liquid is absorbed and nuts are coated with spice mixture and dry (about 20 minutes).  Cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.

MAKE SALAD WHILE NUTS BAKE
Warm apples in a large bowl of warm water, turning occasionally, about 15 minutes, then drain and pat dry.

Meanwhile, cook bacon in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until browned and crisp (about 12 minutes).  Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain and reserve about 6 tablespoons fat in skillet.

Slice apples into 1/8 inch slices into a large bowl, rotate the apple ¼ turn each time you reach the core.  Gently toss with lime juice.

Heat fat in skillet over medium heat until hot, then pour over apples and gently toss with bacon and pepper.

Divide into 8 bowls and sprinkle with lychees, scallions, and chili nuts.

NOTES: Chili nuts can be made 1 week ahead and cooled completely, then kept in an air-tight container at room temperature.  Bacon can be cooked 3 hours ahead and chilled in fat, uncovered until cool, then covered.  Reheat over medium heat.

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