Monday, November 25, 2013

"The Best Green Beans I've Ever Had." With Bacon.

I have to tell the truth. My sister is a better cook than I am. Her experiments actually turn out well the majority of the time, whereas mine, I must admit, are often zany with mixed results. So, I thought I would invite her to do a guest post on a Thanksgiving favorite at our dinner table. So, without further ado, my baby sister, Kari's, green bean bundles. They are full of win. And brown sugar.
Image courtesy of Jay Jacobson from
From the kitchen of Roxie (Kari's derby name is Dirrty on the Rox, and Roxie has just stuck):
Apparently bacon wrapped ANYthing will make you famous amongst friends. Bacon wrapped jalepenos, bacon wrapped pork tenderloin, bacon wrapped scallops... I found this delicious green bean bundle recipe on Williams Sonoma and have tweaked it to make it perfect for me. It's so simple (no extraordinary ingredients or cooking techniques) and is not too time consuming. The time it does take up is TOTALLY worth it because everyone will go crazy over these bad boys. There are a few things I've learned serving this dish: They aren't the greatest leftovers, but don't worry, you won't have any left over! Save the bacon grease for future recipes or use to cook the green beans. You cannot have too much bacon grease. Serve the sugary, garlicy, buttery juice from the pan, just do it. It is great on mashed potatoes or sopped up with yeast rolls. You will be surprised with the different ways your guests will use it. This recipe should be titled "best green beans I've ever had."

Wrapped with a strip of bacon, these green bean bundles add an elegant touch to the Thanksgiving table. To get a head start, you can trim and blanch the beans a day in advance, then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Bacon Wrapped Green Bean Bundles
8 thick bacon slices, peppered bacon preferred.  If desired, cook a few extra bacon slices to crumble over bundles when finished cooking
7 T. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1  1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp cracked pepper
3/4 tsp. roasted garlic powder
2 garlic cloves minced
1 1/2 lb. green beans, trimmed and blanched (trim, rinse, place in boiling water for 1 min, strain, shock in ice water)
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
Tooth picks
9x13 baking dish or cookie sheet

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large nonstick fry pan over medium heat, cook the bacon in batches until the slices are just beginning to brown along the edges but are still very underdone and pliable.  Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and let cool, then cut each slice in half to make two smaller bacon slices.  Reserve bacon grease.

In a small bowl, melt butter.  Then add salt, pepper, garlic powder and minced garlic cloves.  Whisk until combined. 

Melt one T. butter in 9x13 baking dish.  Add about 2 T. reserved bacon grease.

Gather about 6 green beans into a neat bunch and wrap a half slice of bacon around the center, toothpick through the center to hold or roll the bunch so that the bacon ends are down to hold the beans together.  Place the bundles on the prepared baking sheet or dish.  Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the bundles and drizzle with the butter mixture.

Roast until the bacon is cooked through and browned, 20 to 25 minutes. Let stand for 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer the green bean bundles to a warmed platter and serve immediately.  Pour juice into a ramekin or small serving bowl to serve alongside the bundles.  Serves 8 to 10.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Kitchen's Green Bean Bundles with Bacon and Brown Sugar

I will update this with pictures from the big day!! Happy eating, my friends!