Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts

Bacon wrapped water chestnuts were one of those foods I remember eating on New Years Eve as a kid. I'm not certain if we had them every year, or if I just think we had them every year. Now that I'm a grown up, or at least pretending to be one on TV, it's one of the two things I have deemed mandatory for New Years Eve. (The other being lefsa, a Norwegian tortilla like bread made with potatoes. There is much crying and gnashing of teeth if I forget to bring home a package of lefsa when I visit my mom at Christmas. I have had no luck finding it in Chicagoland. If you know of a place that sells lefsa in IL please let me know!)

I found the recipe for bacon wrapped water chestnuts on in the Southern Food section back in 2003. Southern food??? How did this get to be Southern food?? We're about as Yankee as you get. Granted, I don't think my mom marinated the water chestnuts when she made hers, but I hardly think that marinading something is a culinary practice exclusive to the South.

Geographical origins aside, you can't beat something wrapped in Bacon. I usually add some version of Penzeys 4S seasoned salt to the marinade. Mrblocko got some Peppered Bacon Salt from Santa, so I used that instead. Don't bother to use Bacon salt in this recipe. It doesn't make the bacon taste more bacon-y. I'll be sticking with the Smokey 4S from Penzeys. It's my favorite.
The picture above is the leftovers reheated in a skillet, that's why they are sans toothpicks. In all the New Years Eve excitement, I forgot to take a photo when they were right out of the oven.

I'm not a fan of gummy bacon. I much rather prefer the crispy version. If you like your bacon on the limp side go ahead and use a half of a slice of bacon per water chestnut. I've found that if I use a half of a slice the bacon doesn't get crisp enough for my tastes. I use a third of a slice instead and that does the trick.

Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts from
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon seasoned salt
2 cans (5 ounces each) water chestnuts, drained
8 slices bacon, cut in half

In a bowl, combine the lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and seasoned salt. Add water chestnuts and let marinate for 15 minutes. Drain and wrap a half slice of bacon around each water chestnut, securing with toothpicks. Arrange on rack in broiler pan and broil about 4 inches from heat for 2 minutes on each side. Bacon should be crisp.

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