Sunday, November 20, 2011

Bacon-Wrapped Green Beans

Thanksgiving is just right around the corner! Holidays always provide us with a wonderful time to sit back and reflect on the past year since and the many years of memories that holiday brings. It also provides us with the most influential opportunity to eat some incredibly tasty food. It's magical. Last year over the holidays, I played with some new recipes including:

This year, we've already contributed a few of our usual suspects to Friendsgiving dinners, including mashed potatoes and creamed spinach, but also wanted to bring something new to the table (pun not intended). This dish is rather popular, made several different ways, but it is my first attempt so here we go! Researching the dish, there were the three main ingredients found in each: green beans, bacon and brown sugar. I contemplated using prosciutto but after discussing that with a clerk at the grocery store, I was swayed back to bacon. It just cooks better and prosciutto is not meant to be crisped like bacon.

I added a clove of minced garlic, but I also had shallots so I decided to use the garlic in the sauce, then saute the chopped shallot and top each bundle with them as they roast in the oven. After combining the butter, brown sugar and garlic, I felt like I needed another liquid and soy has worked well with similar mixes so it earned a spot in this recipe. Finally, I added a little squeeze of lemon juice and it was perfect. After consuming it, very happy with the dish but I am still curious about the prosciutto. I didn't feel like the bacon crisped that much in the oven so it may work out well! I have two more Thanksgiving dinners coming up this week - eek - so I may just have to try it again.

Nutritional facts per bundle, calculated by 187 calories, 12g fat, 28mg cholesterol, 19g carbs, 3g fiber and 3g protein.

Grocery List:
  • 8 strips bacon (I used uncured, maple smoked bacon)
  • 3/4 - 1 lb. fresh haricot verts 
  • 3 tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup unpacked brown sugar
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tsp. soy sauce
  • Juice from 1 lemon wedge
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
Start by setting your oven to 400 degrees. Place the haricot verts in a pot and boil in water, cook uncovered for about 8 minutes or until crisp-tender.

While the beans cook, combine the butter, brown sugar in a bowl, mixing until sugar has dissolved. Add the garlic, soy and lemon juice. It will have a thick glaze consistency.

While your beans continue to cook, saute the diced shallot in a little olive oil on low heat until they are transparent and golden.

Remove the shallots from the skillet and turn up the heat slightly. Cook the bacon in a skillet until cooked, but not crisp. I'm glad I had Mr. Max for this one because I like my bacon crispy which works well when you tend to overcook it (ahem, that would be me). He made sure it was medium-rare, rather than well-done. For those like me, it took about 3 minutes. Remove from the skillet and set it aside. When the beans are ready, drain and let cool a bit before the next part. When they are cool enough to handle, grab about 15-20 beans and wrap the bacon around, securing with a toothpick. Place in a baking dish.

The sauce had thickened as it sat, so I zapped it in the microwave for about 15 seconds. Brush or spoon the bundles with sauce.

Finally, top with the diced sauteed shallot. Pop in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until bacon is crisp. Remove from the oven, let cool for about 2-5 minutes and place with the rest of your spread!

These would make a great appetizer to munch on before the big feast or a potentially healthier replacement for the traditional green bean casserole at your dinner!

Tastefully Yours,

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