Bacon. Who doesn’t love it? I consider bacon probably one of the best food items on this planet. The smokiness, the flavor, and the overall feeling you get when eating it, really makes it truly wonderful. It is one of my kids favorite foods. He could eat bacon all morning long. He gets excited by the smell alone. I will admit, he is like me, but a bit more skeptical at his age when trying new foods. I thought I would see how he think about what I was about to make.
So this past week I wanted to make a classic appetizer for a get together. The classic that we all know. Bacon wrapped water chestnuts. A great appetizer that is friendly for all ages to begin with, but I wanted to twist it up a bit and add a couple of my own items. Water chestnuts themselves are typically used in stir frys, and they take on some flavor of themselves, and have a nice texture and crunch to them. I have never found the fresh water chestnuts, so canned, whole chestnuts always have to do for this appetizer.
This recipe is so easy to make, is super affordable, and trust me, it is a real crowd favorite.
- 2 cans of whole water chestnuts, drained
- 8-10 strips of smoked bacon, thick cut, cut into smaller pieces to wrap around a chestnut
- 1/4 cup of soy sauce
- 2 tbsp of light brown sugar
- pinch of pepper
- crumbled blue cheese
- balsamic vinegar reduction
Begin by mixing the soy sauce, black pepper, and sugar in a bowl. Mix well. Marinate the drained water chestnuts in the mixture for about 20 minutes. When you are ready, take a strip of the bacon, place a chestnut on it, and wrap it, make your cut, and use that strip to make the rest of your cuts of bacon, stacking if you want, to make it go faster. Your next step is to wrap each chestnut with the bacon, and securing each one with a toothpick. Place each one on a baking sheet, and repeat this process until all of the water chestnuts are wrapped. No brainer.
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Place the baking sheet full of the bacon wrapped water chestnuts into the oven, and cook for roughly 20 minutes, or until the bacon is cooked, and cooked the way you want it. That is the beauty.
During this time, get your balsamic reduction going. This one is super easy and wow, you get a great syrup that you will probably want to use on a lot of items.
Ingredients for the balsamic reduction:
- 1 cup of good balsamic vinegar
- 4 tbsp light brown sugar
Make the balsamic reduction by heating a sauce pan on medium-high heat. Add the vinegar and bring to a boil. Toss in the sugar, and mix well. Reduce the heat to a simmer, and let this cook down until it reduces down about half way, building a really nice syrup. Remove from the heat, and let cool on the stove.
Remove the bacon wrapped water chestnuts from the oven, and plate. Sprinkle the crumbled cheese over the top, and drizzle the syrup over the bacon as well. Let’s just say my guests were delightfully surprised by the appetizer, and they were all gone. However, my bacon lover, well, he was skeptical and did not eat them. My other kids, however, did. Always a good sign. Enjoy.