Today is the day the Lord has made and I will rejoice and be glad in it!
What is it about green beans and bacon? My first memories of mom cooking green beans is with bacon sprinkled around the top and simmering right along with the pot of beans. Yum! A few weeks back I was visiting Deep South Dish, one of my favorite blog websites. Mary was blogging about Green Bean Bundles, a recipe given to her by a Facebook friend. The idea of crispy bacon wrapped around a fresh-out-of-the-garden french green bean left me scrambling to the kitchen. My Chief Gardener had just brought in a mess of green beans, I had bacon in the frig and I was set to go!
The recipe starts out by mixing up a vinaigrette marinade. While I have seen many versions of this recipe across the internet, Mary’s recipe called for some Cajun seasoning. A few years ago visiting friends, Don and Linda, gave us some “Slap Ya Mama” Cajun seasoning from Ville Platte, Louisiana. Perfect for the marinade! Since the vinaigrette starts out basic with olive oil, vinegar, mustard, onion, sugar, tarragon salt and pepper I think you can add your favorite Cajun seasoning or maybe another favorite flavor. These are all whisked together and set aside.
The recipe calls for 1 pound of whole green beans (fresh or canned) which should result in about 12 buddies of about 6 beans each. Mary suggested 2 to 3 buddies per person. I thought, Oh my gosh, that seems like a lot per person. I “sort of” followed her advice and made 2 buddies per person — after all, they were just the side dish at dinner. WRONG! Two per person were gone in a flash and the Chief and my sous-chef dish-washing mom were looking around for MORE! Yikes!
After cooking the beans in a pot of boiling water I tossed them with ice to cool and stop the cooking. We like our vegetables tender-crisp so I did not cook these more than about 7 minutes. If you like yours done a little more you should probably cook them for 10 minutes or so.
While the beans were in the pot I precooked bacon just enough to render the fat but not cooked crisp. I like to cook my bacon on a baking sheet in the oven at 400 degrees. This bacon I cooked for about 10 minutes and then drained on paper towel. This left the bacon still pliable. I used 1/2 strip per bean buddy.
Once the beans cooled, I tossed them in the marinade. Marinate for about an hour. Cover a shallow rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Take 6 to 8 beans out of the marinade and wrap 1/2 slice of bacon around the beans, securing with a toothpick.
Place bean buddies on the foil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. I always wear latex gloves when handling meat, especially bacon.
At 10-15 minutes before serving: Preheat the broiler. Place tray under the broiler, with the door ajar. Broil for about 3 to 5 minutes per side, turning at least once. Buddies are done when bacon has browned and crisped nicely. (These can be broiled, baked or grilled!)
Place bean buddies on a serving tray and drizzle lightly with the remaining marinade. Serve immediately.
Even though these are a bit labor intensive, once the bacon and beans are cooked the buddies go together quick and easy. When making each little buddy, be sure and put a toothpick through the bacon. Halfway through cooking you will turn the buddies over and you will be very glad the tooth pick is holding it all
Not only are these a fabulous side dish, I think they would make a great appetizer! Fresh green beans can be purchased at the grocery store almost year around these days. However, you may also use canned beans for this recipe.
Today starts week 26 of my walk through the Bible. The goal is to read through the entire Bible in one year. If you have joined me, you will find this week’s daily reading posted on the side of my blog post (the picture of the cross). If you haven’t started, this is a perfect place to start as we read through the wisdom of Proverbs.
The Pursuit of Wisdom Brings Security
2 My son, if you will receive my words
And treasure my commandments within you,
2 Make your ear attentive to wisdom,
Incline your heart to understanding;
3 For if you cry for discernment,
Lift your voice for understanding;
4 If you seek her as silver
And search for her as for hidden treasures;
5 Then you will discern the fear of the Lord
And discover the knowledge of God.
~ Blessings, Catherine