Thursday, October 13, 2011

Bacon-Wrapped Water Chestnuts

This is my nephew Eric's favourite appetizer and I can't blame him - everything is better wrapped in bacon.  Use 2 small or one large can of water chestnuts - usually about 30 or 32 chestnuts.  Make sure you buy the whole water chestnuts - I made a mistake this time and bought sliced so I had to use 3 slices to make one chestnut - just a little more fiddly to assemble. Drain them and soak them in soy sauce for at least 20 minutes.  Soak your toothpicks in water for at least 20 minutes too so they won't burn in the oven.  I always soak a few more toothpicks than water chestnuts in case any splinter.

Next you need to partially cook a pound of bacon.  You need half a slice of bacon for each water chestnut.  The bacon needs to be cooked just enough that it can be wrapped around the chestnut without crumbling.

Pour a cup or so of white sugar into a bowl and dredge each chestnut in the sugar before wrapping it with bacon and securing with a toothpick.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place your chestnuts on a rimmed cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes.

You can serve them right out of the oven but I'm usually making them to take to someone else's party so I put them in a casserole.  This can then be microwaved for 2 or 3 minutes til hot.  These are amazingly good.  So give them a try - even if you think they sound a bit disgusting - you'll be surprised.

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