Friday, February 6, 2015

Super Bowl Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts

I swear, I grew up thinking that bacon wrapped water chestnuts were a secret family recipe. We made them for any and every event, party, and potluck. And each time, they'd disappear, and magically transform into a pile of toothpicks. Seriously, if you can name a holiday that involves gathering, we probably made bacon wrapped water chestnuts.


This year, I made them for the Super Bowl. I also made an intense plate of nachos. Nobody left hungry. This was my first time watching the super bowl for real. I watched it last year in a bar in Chicago, on a business trip with a coworker. If it wasn't for the good craft beer on tap, we would have retired early to our cozy hotel beds.

But this year, we did the whole big party in someone's living room thing. I wanted to host, but our friend did a fine job, and I still got to cook. Maybe next year. For the first time, I watched the game actually knowing something about how it works. Not only did I understand, but I actually explained the rules and concepts to a few people. I was pretty proud of myself.

I wasn't the biggest fan of the teams, but it was good that the game was so close, right until the last play. It kept me involved. The halftime show was entertaining and spectacular, and I loved the cameo from Missy Elliot - what a throwback! The commercials were weirdly depressing, but I loved the Invisible Mindy for Nationwide and Liam Neeson's Clash of Clans.

I even got a few compliments on my fancy water chestnuts! It turns out they weren't a secret recipe at all, just really easy to make. My mom's method includes wrapping the chestnuts right out of the can with precooked bacon and then microwaving the treat until the bacon is crispy. For me, though, it's about more than just the two main ingredients in this appetizer.

I can't help but take advantage of the water chestnuts' ability to absorb flavors and signature crunch, and bacon's time-tested combination of salt, sweet, and fat. These two are so versatile that the real fun comes in the flavors. I used three very different marinades, and then proceeded to mix them all up while baking, of course. That's okay though; I like the surprise!

Bacon-Wrapped Water Chestnuts


2 cans Whole water chestnuts (about 45 individuals)
Strips of bacon (half a strip for each water chestnut)
Toothpicks (1 for each water chestnut)

Ginger Teriyaki
2 Tbsp Soy sauce
1/2 Tbsp Brown sugar
1/4 tsp Grated ginger
1/4 tsp Garlic powder
1/4 tsp Onion powder
1/8 tsp Cinnamon
1 Tbsp Rice vinegar
1 Tbsp Water
Sriracha to taste (optional)

Honey Mustard
1 Tbsp Honey
1/2 Tbsp Apple cider vinegar
2 tsp Ground mustard
1/4 tsp Garlic powder
1/4 tsp Onion powder
1/8 tsp White pepper
1/8 tsp Dill weed
2 Tbsp water

Maple Chipotle 
2 Tbsp Maple syrup
1/2 Tbps White vinegar
1/2 tsp Paprika
1/4 tsp Chipotle powder
1/4 tsp Cumin
1 Tbsp Water


1. Mix all the ingredients in a medium sized bowl for each marinade, except the water (and Sriracha for the teriyaki)
2. Once they start to be mixed well, add the water until you have a thin mixture. For the teriyaki, add a few squirts of the Sriracha to your taste
3. Separate water chestnuts into three equal groups, and place each group in its own plastic container with a lid (old cold cuts containers work well) in a single layer along the bottom
4. Cover each set of water chestnuts with its respective marinade, being sure to cover the tops and sides of all the water chestnuts
5. Close the containers and refrigerate overnight (or about 6 hours if you're making these for the same day)
6. Remove the containers from the fridge. Place parchment paper over a large cookie sheet.
7. Wrap each water chestnut in a half strip of bacon, and hold together with a toothpick. Place on the cookie sheet so they are not touching
8. Bake at 400 for about 15-25 minutes or until bacon is to your desired texture. I like mine a little crispier, so I tend to leave them in a bit longer.
9. Let rest about ten minutes and serve immediately. If traveling, place in a sealable container, toothpicks up, in multiple layers. Reheat on a paper towel lined plate in the microwave for about 30 seconds or until warm.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...