September 1, 2012
Bacon-Wrapped Water Chestnuts
September (Saturday before U.S. Labor Day): International Bacon Day
Everything is better with bacon—especially when wrapped around roasted water chestnuts and smothered in a sweet barbecue-style sauce! We serve these bite-sized bundles as appetizers and they are really popular at parties and potlucks. They may be messy to make but they can be prepared ahead of time and then served later. Celebrate with a savory sampler at your next social gathering and on International Bacon Day—bake bacon-wrapped water chestnuts!
(From Ingrid K.)
- 1 pound bacon strips
- 2 cans (8 ounces) whole roasted water chestnuts
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- ¾ cup ketchup
- ¾ cup brown sugar (we used C&H brand)
Soak toothpicks in water to prevent them from burning in the oven. Cut bacon strips in half or thirds and peel apart. Drain the cans of chestnuts and pat dry. In a large bowl, mix the Worcestershire sauce with the ketchup and brown sugar until smooth.
Stir in the chestnuts and bacon until well coated. Wrap a piece of bacon around a chestnut, rinse hands in a bowl of water and secure with a toothpick. Place each on a foil-lined baking sheet. Repeat for the remaining chestnuts and bacon.
Spoon the extra sauce on the bacon-wrapped chestnuts. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 35 minutes, making sure the bacon is thoroughly cooked. Carefully remove each piece and serve on appetizer trays.
- Thanks to Ingrid K., Highlander’s former co-worker, for giving us this recipe at her retirement party.
- Other Bacon Day dates include the first Saturday in January after the new year and February 19. In Manchester (United Kingdom), it is observed on January 14. A Facebook users group is promoting March 5 as National Bacon Day.
March 31, 2012
Bacon-Wrapped Tater Tots
March 31: National Tater Day
Instead of French fries with our fast food, we sometimes order tater tots as a tasty alternative side dish. Tater tots are tiny versions of hash browns and other breakfast-style potatoes, too. When wrapped in and baked with bacon, they become an even better snack. Because they are quick and easy to prepare, they are a popular appetizer for game-day get-togethers, such as when watching March Madness on television (according to Highlander and Islander’s brother, Kahuna). Bake some bacon-wrapped tater tots for casual gatherings and on National Tater Day.
(Adapted from Rachael Ray)
- Frozen tater tots (we used Ore-Ida brand extra crispy tater tots)
- Slices of bacon
Soak toothpicks in water so they do not burn in the oven. Cut each bacon strip in half. Roll the bacon around a tater tot with about half an inch overlap. Secure with a toothpick (see Notes). Continue wrapping bacon around as many tater tots as desired.
Place on a foil-lined lipped pan and bake in a preheated oven at 450 degrees F for 15-20 minutes or until the bacon is browned, crisp and cooked through. Remove from the oven and put on paper towels to drain any grease. Serve hot.
- Because the tater tot is still frozen, the toothpick will not go all the way through when wrapping the bacon over it. After baking, carefully push the toothpick through the tater tot.
- Eat bacon-wrapped tater tots in moderation! They are flavorful but fattening.
- Bacon can be wrapped around many things besides tater tots (pineapple chunks, dates, shrimp, etc.). Try wrapping them around water chestnuts and baking them in barbecue sauce. Refer to the recipe for bacon-wrapped water chestnuts in our September blog post for International Bacon Day.
- Say cheese! Sprinkle shredded Parmesan or cheddar cheese after baking the bacon-wrapped tater tots for additional flavor.