Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Bacon Wrapped Green Bean Bundles


For the Vinaigrette Marinade:  Alternative version - use a Vinaigrette Salad dressing such as an Italian or Cesar. 
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons of Creole or other spicy mustard
  • 1 tablespoon of dried minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon of dried tarragon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper
For the Bundles:
  • 1 pound of fresh green beans, ends trimmed
  • 12 slices of bacon, or one slice per bundle
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

Whisk together all of the ingredients for the marinade and set aside. Bring a large pot of water to boil and drop beans in. Return to a boil and boil for 10 minutes. Beans need to be very tender. Drain, return to the pot, cover with ice and water to stop the cooking process and retain color. Drain green beans, place in a non-reactive bowl, and pour the marinade over beans and toss; set aside for 1 hour, tossing occasionally.

Meanwhile, precook the bacon enough to render the fat, but not until crisp. Preheat the broiler when ready to cook. Cover a shallow rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Bundle beans (I do 6 beans per bundle) and wrap one slice of bacon around the bundle, securing with a toothpick if needed, and reserving any leftover vinaigrette; place bundles on the foil. Sprinkle bundles with salt and pepper.

Place tray under the broiler, with the door ajar, for about 3 to 5 minutes per side, turning at least once, or until bacon is cooked as desired on both sides. Place bundles on a serving tray and serve as is, or drizzle the remaining vinaigrette over the top; serve immediately.

Cook's Notes: These can be a little time intensive in prepping, but can be prepared and bundled ahead of time. Allow to come to room temperature before cooking. Can also substitute 2 (15 ounce) cans of whole green beans or an equal amount of frozen green beans and omit the boil and shock process needed with the fresh beans.

Brown Sugar Sauce: In a heavy skillet, melt 1/2 cup (1 stick) of unsalted butter over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1/2 cup of light brown sugar, packed, 1/2 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning (optional), 2 teaspoons of chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon of garlic salt, and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Pour sauce all over the bundles.

Oven Method: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place beans in a baking pan, and bake for about 30 minutes, turning at least once. Finish under the broiler to crisp bacon, if desired. Serve immediately.

To Grill: Preheat all burners on high, then reduce to medium. Cook over direct heat, turning several times until bacon is cooked through. Serve immediately.

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