Water chestnuts wrapped in bacon are a classic hors d’oeuvre. My mum was making these for cocktail parties long before I was born. Happily, she passed the recipe on to me. Assembly is slightly time-consuming and messy, but tremendously easy and well worth the effort. Anytime I serve them, they are devoured.
2 (8 oz) cans of whole water chestnuts, drained
Soy sauce (I use low sodium, but that’s just me)
1 lb bacon
1. At least 3 hours before you assemble the hors d’oeuvre, place the water chestnuts in a medium-sized bowl and cover them completely with soy sauce. Stir them every once in a while to assure they marinate evenly. Meanwhile, place wooden toothpicks in a bowl and cover them with water. Soaking them will prevent them from burning during the cooking process. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT use plastic toothpicks for this recipe.
2. When you are ready to assemble these glorious bite-sized flavor bombs, pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and parchment paper (for easy cleanup). Fill a small bowl with about 3/4 of a cup of granulated sugar. Unwrap the bacon; without separating the strips, cut the slab in half across the strips using Kitchen sheers or a very sharp knife.
3. Begin assembling: One at a time, roll a water chestnut in the sugar and completely coat it. Next, wrap a half-strip of bacon around it. Secure the ends of the bacon with a soaked wooden toothpick. Place the bacon-wrapped water chestnut on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat this process until you either run out of bacon or water chestnuts. Discard the remaining soy sauce and sugar.
4. Bake the water chestnuts wrapped in bacon in the oven for 30-40 minutes, or until the bacon is crisp. Remove the them from the oven and allow them to cool for a couple of minutes, then transfer them to a serving platter. Serve them warm or at room temperature.
Makes 24-30, depending on the number of strips of bacon in the package.