I can hardly believe this is the last Thursday before Thanksgiving. Though we saw our first snow on Monday, much to Owen’s confused and apparent dismay, the rest of this week has felt much more like early April than mid-November…blue and sunny skies and temperatures that nearly made me pull out my sandals again.
But windows-down weather or not, the holidays are coming, and this week I’ve found myself doing the first of my Christmas shopping, planning my guest post for the upcoming holiday series on this blog, absentmindedly whistling Christmas tunes, and finishing up our ornaments for an exchange I’m part of this weekend. (Let’s just say that babies aren’t exactly conducive to crafting.)
I’ve been gearing up for Thanksgiving by planning how to pack up our..ummm, compact Corolla for a five-day trip to my family’s in Wisconsin. And Eric are in the middle of an intense series of rock-paper-scissors to see who sits in the even more compact backseat of said Corolla to keep Owen awake on the drive so he doesn’t sleep for six hours straight during the day.
We’ll be eating our Thursday feast with my family, and I couldn’t be more excited to sit at my mom’s table again, as she, I assure you, makes the best gravy this world has to offer. And while I won’t be responsible for much of the preparations, I am hoping my
picky traditional family will be willing to try these little green bean bundles of joy.
I originally saw this recipe idea while
shopping gawking at Williams Sonoma. It caught my eye for several reasons….the bundles looked so pretty on a plate, make for nice neat serving portions, and well, let’s be honest…mostly the idea of bacon-wrapped anything has a lot of potential. Thanksgiving-Thursday potential.
I made these this past week, combining the Williams Sonoma recipe with this one from Taste of Home. And after I’d done all my photographing, I thought I should try one. Four bundles later, my hands a mess from the caramelized brown sugar and succulent bacon (who has time for forks?!), I knew I’d hit the green-bean jackpot.
Here’s why there were barely any left for Eric to try when he got home:
1. The green beans are roasted to perfect tender-crispness.
2. The bacon around them gets browned and crisped to a salty nirvana.
3. The sauce of melted butter, soy sauce, garlic salt, and brown sugar pairs wonderfully with the earthy green beans and indulgent bacon…and like I said…the brown sugar gets sweetly caramelized. (These would benefit from a salty neighbor like mashed potatoes or even a small sprinkle of a cheese like gorgonzola. While the bacon balances the sweetness, feel free to add a little more garlic salt to your liking).
4. And the best part is? You can totally assemble these before your feast, even the day before, and then pop them in the oven to roast 20 minutes before you sit down to eat. Done and done.
I know these look a little too much like fried alien tentacles…but I cannot tell you how good these were. I ate five in about as many minutes. After having eaten lunch already. If you make these, I know you will enjoy them, and I encourage you to make a lot, because who wants to be fighting for seconds…or thirds…with their family on Thanksgiving?
(yields 8 bundles but is easily doubled, tripled, etc.)
These bacon-wrapped green bean bundles yield perfectly tender-crisp roasted green beans, flavored with salty bacon, and a salty-sweet caramelized sauce with butter and brown sugar. These can be assembled ahead of time, and kept in the fridge until ready to cook. I combined the ingredients of the Taste of Home recipe with the cooking method of the Williams Sonoma recipe.
3/4 pound fresh green beans, ends trimmed
4 bacon strips
3 tbsp. butter, melted
1/4 c. packed brown sugar (reserve 1 tbsp.)
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
1/8 tsp. soy sauce
*parchment paper and toothpicks highly recommended
Preheat an oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
In a large pan over medium heat, cook the bacon until the slices are just beginning to brown along the edges but are still very underdone and pliable, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and let cool, then cut each slice in half crosswise.
In a small bowl, whisk together the butter, garlic salt, soy sauce, and 1 tbsp. brown sugar. Stir vigorously until sugar is totally dissolved.
Divide the green beans into 8 equal portions, about 6 beans each. Gather each portion into a neat bunch and wrap a half slice of bacon around the center to hold the beans together (I had to use a toothpick for most of the bundles which was easily removed when done cooking). Place the bundles on the prepared baking sheet with the secured ends of the bacon underneath.
Sprinkle the remainder of the brown sugar evenly over the bundles. Then drizzle the butter mixture over the bundles.
Roast until the bacon is cooked through and browned, 20 to 25 minutes. (It may still feel pliable but will stiffen slightly once out of the oven). Let stand for 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer the green bean bundles to a warmed platter and serve immediately.