Monday, February 2, 2009

Bacon-Wrapped Chestnuts

Bacon makes everything taste better. I think if my mother had crumbled bacon over the runny scrambled eggs she made when I was little, I would have a better opinion of scrambled eggs. I digress. I made these for the Chinese New Year party. They were pretty tasty, but I give all the credit to the bacon.

Bacon-Wrapped Chestnuts
16 fresh water chestnuts
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar, or as needed
8 slices raw bacon, cut in half
16 toothpicks
1. Peel and rinse the fresh water chestnuts. (If using canned water chestnuts, rinse in warm running water and drain).
2. Soak the water chestnuts in the soy sauce for 2 1/2 hours.
3. Remove the water chestnuts from the soy sauce and roll in the brown sugar. Wrap a piece of cut bacon around the water chestnut and secure with a toothpick.
Place the water chestnuts on a rack in a shallow pan. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, turning them once. (Alternately, they can be broiled for 5 - 6 minutes). Makes 16 appetizers.

Lessons Learned: I wish I knew a way to make the chestnuts a little softer. They were a little too crunchy for my taste, but I'm still posting the recipe because after all, it has bacon in it! One can contains approximately 16 water chestnuts. I always use low sodium soy sauce, which gave the appetizer just the right amount of salt content. And, the brown sugar countered it nicely.
Next time I make these, I will increase the oven temperature to 375 or 400. At 350, it took longer than 30 minutes to crisp the bacon. And, cooking them on a rack is a must. Otherwise, they'll sit in grease and get soggy. And as much as I love bacon, I won't eat it if it's soggy.
I went to a baby shower a few weeks ago and ate bacon-wrapped dates. Now there is a fun little treat -- sweet and salty at the same time.

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