Monday, November 22, 2010

Green Bean Bundles


These sweet, wrinkly bundles will be a hit on your holiday table. 

Watch out--they'll disappear quickly.

Give the green beans a little time to soak up the juices of the flavorful marinade.  I have made these up to three days in advance, then baked them, and they turned out perfectly (i.e. the bacon didn't get gross).  A few days before you want to serve them, just blanch the beans in boiling water for 5-6 minutes (set the timer so you don't overcook them as you'll also be baking them later), let them sit "freely" in the marinade for 4 hours or overnight,

Bundle them,

And refrigerate.  On Thanksgiving Day (or Christmas Day), just bake for 40-45 minutes. 

Then stand back--a blur of hungry hands will swarm the serving dish.

Leave out the bundling step (and the bacon) and they'll make vegetarians smile.

Here's the printable recipe.

Green Bean Bundles
makes 17 bundles of 9 green beans (8-10 servings)

2 pounds fresh green beans (about 6 handfuls), ends snipped*
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
9 slices of bacon, cut in half*
17 toothpicks for securing bundles

Fill a large saucepan with water and bring it to a boil over high heat.  Wash and trim the beans.  Add the beans to the boiling water and blanch for 3-4 minutes, until the beans are pliable but still crunchy.  Drain the beans and run them under cold water.  Pat dry with paper towels or a clean dish towel and place them in a shallow ovenproof casserole.  In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.  Stir in the mustard, 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar, garlic, and salt.  Pour the butter mixture over the green beans, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Make bundles of 9 beans.  Wrap half a bacon slice around each bundle, secure with a toothpick, and arrange in a single layer in the same casserole used for marinating.  Sprinkle with remaining tablespoon of brown sugar.

Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes, or until the bacon is cooked and the beans look wrinkled.  Remove from the oven and serve warm or at room temperature.

*Tips:

1) Select the longest green beans you can find.  Just barely snip the ends to preserve the length.  It's much easier to wrap long green beans than short ones.

2) Separate the green beans into bundles.  Take the bacon out of the fridge right before you wrap the bundles.  It's easier to work with cold bacon.  The bacon begins to get stringy and falls apart the closer it gets to room temperature. 

3)  Have your toothpicks already out of the box before you begin bundling.  Your hands will be messy, and you'll be glad you have a little assembly line in place.

1 comments:

Ashley said...

I am thankful for this butter free bundle recipe :)