Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Bacon-wrapped water chestnuts

Happy Tuesday!  Yesterday I gave you a recipe for black and white cookies... rather fitting since the day started with a temperature of 60 degrees and rain and ended with the mercury settling around 24 degrees and snow falling from the sky.  Like I said, black and white, folks.  Today it's time for the rest of my Academy Award party recap.  I could say that we found food ideas for each of the Best Picture nominees somewhere on the interwebs but that'd be a lie.  Julie and I spent the better part of a month brainstorming, and we're proud of it.  At last, the spread:

  • Black and white cookies (Black Swan)
  • White trash dessert nachos (Winter's Bone)
  • The Queen's mini quiches (The King's Speech)
  • Red wine (The Kids Are All Right)
  • Layered taco dip (Inception)
  • Trail mix (127 Hours)
  • Pizza Hut Pizza Planet pizza (Toy Story)
  • Frozen vegetables for wounds (The Fighter)
  • And, well, for The Social Network...
  • Bacon-wrapped water chestnuts (True Grit)

Though True Grit was one of four Best Picture noms that I didn't see in time for the show (but still want to see), it was one of the easiest in terms of food themes.  Cowboys.  Spicy.  Western fare.  I thought of chili and cornbread, but that seemed a little too messy for balancing plates and silverware while sitting on couches.  The same goes for baked beans and burgers.  Finger foods to the rescue!

I started with bacon wrapped around, well, anything.  My love of bacon has been well-documented.  Instead of trying to come up with something exotic, I went with a tried and true favorite of cocktail parties everywhere -- bacon-wrapped water chestnuts.  They are easy to assemble, inexpensive (a can of water chestnuts costs around $1), and finger-lickin' good.

The sauce is sweet and tangy and the bacon flavor permeates the crunchy water chestnut.  You know you can't get enough of them when you find them, so take a little time and make them for yourself!  Unfortunately fortunately, "restraint" isn't found in the list of ingredients below.  You can thank me later.

Bacon-wrapped Water Chestnuts
(adapted from here)
-makes 20

A few tips: When wrapping the bacon around the water chestnut, be sure to alternate directions and completely envelope the water chestnut.

1 (8-ounce can) water chestnuts, drained
1/2 pound bacon
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Preheat oven to 400F.  In a medium-size mixing bowl, combine brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and ketchup.  Cut bacon in half.  Wrap one slice of bacon around each chestnut. Secure the bacon with a toothpick.  Arrange the water chestnut wraps in a 9x13 inch baking dish.  Bake the water chestnut wraps for 10 to 15 minutes.  Remove from water chestnut wraps from the oven and drain some of the grease out of the pan.  Pour the sauce over the wraps.  Bake for 30 to 35 more minutes.  Serve immediately.


  1. Great ideas...I LOVE the layered dip to go with Inception. Too funny! :) I made cucumber tea sandwiches to bring a friend's Oscar party.

  2. S&C -- I love tea sandwiches! That was on the short list for King's Speech snacks, but with pizza we didn't want to go tooooo carb heavy... though, let's be honest, they would've been devoured just the same :)