My friend Erika introduced me to this first nibble. She has a Christmas party and makes them every year. I go and scarf them up and make them for her at my New Year's Eve party two weeks later.
Bacon-Wrapped Water Chestnuts
1 lb. turkey bacon (The Real Recipe calls for real bacon, but I've never had them prepared with such. Erika is always looking for ways to make food more healthful, and by New Year's, I'm so sick of rich food that the thought of bacon makes me nauseous.)
2 cans of whole water chestnuts
1 c. ketchup
3/4 c. brown sugar
2 T soy sauce
Preheat oven to 375. Cut the package of bacon in half so that the strips are half as long.
Drain the water chestnuts and wrap a half-strip of bacon around each water chestnut. If the water chestnuts were very large, I cut them in half before wrapping. Secure the bacon with a toothpick and set aside. Repeat until you've used up all the water chestnuts.
In a medium saucepan, combine ketchup, brown sugar and soy sauce. Cook over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat. Holding the bites from the toothpicks, dip each morsel into the sauce, covering completely. Set aside in a roasting pan and repeat with all water chestnuts.
Bake until bacon is done, about 20 minutes. The recipe says to serve the remaining sauce alongside the appetizes, to use for dipping. I don't usually do this, as I think the flavor is more than adequate and I want to avoid further mess. I love these guys.
My friend Darcey entered this next recipe, for stuffed mushroom caps, in the church cookbook two years ago. It also is a standard at our New Year's Eve fete.
Mushroom Caps Stuffed with Blue Cheese
2 pounds of medium mushrooms
8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 c. blue cheese crumbles
2 T minced onion
Remove stems from mushrooms and chop enough of the stems to measure 1/3 c.
Combine cream cheese and blue cheese, stirring until well-blended. Mix in chopped mushroom stems and onions. Spoon into mushroom caps.
Place caps on broiler pan and broil until golden, about 4-5 minutes.
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