Monday, October 30, 2006

Ready, Set, Cook! #20: Bite-Sized Bacon Bundles.... Booya!

Oh yeah, and some noodles. Another one of my creations from Ready, Set, Cook! looked so appetizing, that I had to attempt it.The original recipe from the event can be found here.

After looking over the recipe, I decided to simplify a few things. First of all, the tasty-sounding ginger-sesame dressing was axed in favour of a much less complicated and slightly more subtle spicy mushroom sauce. Secondly, I had overestimated the pliability of green onions, and after several futile attempts to "tie one on", so to speak, I decided to toothpick them in place.More on that in a bit, but first here's the revised recipe.

Seafood Bacon Bundles with Noodles
serves 2 or 3 (or just one if there's a hockey game on)

Bacon bundles:
1 227g (8 oz) package of imitation crab meat
1 can sliced water chestnuts, drained
12 slices bacon
bunch of green onions, sliced lengthwise

4 bricks dry ramen noodles, with flavour packs ("Oriental" is my favourite)
3 large brown mushrooms, sliced thinly
1 tsp ancho chili flakes
2 green onions, chopped
1 tsp freshly-grated lemon zest
freshly ground pepper
fresh basil (for a garnish)

* Preheat oven to 350F.
* Place one piece of crab meat with two slices of chestnut (one on either side) on a bacon slice and roll up. Wrap with a piece of green onion and secure with a toothpick. Repeat for all peices of bacon.
* Place bacon bundles on a lightly greased baking sheet and cook for 40 minutes at 350F.
* When the bundles are almost done, prepare the noodles as follows:
* Put 6 C of water on to boil in a large pot.
* While the water is boiling, empty the flavour packets into a large bowl, and add the mushrooms, the chopped green onion, the chili flakes, the lemon zest and the pepper. Toss to combine.
* When the water boils, remove about 1/2 C of the boiling water, pour it over the seasoning mix and stir to combine. Place the dry noodles in the water and cook until separated and soft, about 3-4 minutes.
* Drain the noodles, dump them into the bowl with the seasoning mix, toss to combine, and cover with a towel to keep warm until the bacon bundles are ready.
* Remove the bundles from the oven, and check that they're not stuck to the tray.
* Place some noodles on a plate, then arrange four (or more) of the bacon bundles on top, with some fresh basil for a garnish.

One thing you might want to check when starting out is that the toothpicks you're using are not the minty variety(!). Unbelievable. When I popped the first one in my mouth, I had a bit of a shock, and it's not even the same as if I'd put fresh mint in, either. This was the taste of nasty synthesized mint essence-type flavouring. Yeesh. Good thing there was lots of sauce. Also, I have a package of wooden skewers that I bought over a year ago and hadn't found a use for, so I tried threading four of the little bundles of joy onto a skewer as well. That was harder that I thought it was going to be. The green onion kept ripping, and I had to re-skewer a couple of the bundles several times. I almost pulled out the duct tape. It was a close thing.Despite all of that, the bacon-bedecked bundles of beauty tasted absolutely excellent, with the nice creamy texture of the seafood contrasting the crunchiness of the water chestnuts and the smoky salty taste of the bacon. Oh, and the ghostly minty taste from those flippin toothpicks.


PatL said...

Wow! Those look great! Nice creative use of those ingredients; I couldn't think of a thing to make with them!

KFarmer said...

I did not know crab flakes were the same as imitation crab meat- I feel like a dufus.

I love that you showed pictures; I'm so much more of a "see" type person then a "read" instruction type. They looked lovely-

Can't wait to see what you come up with this week :)

Brilynn said...

Ha, mint tootpicks... sounds like something I would do. Those look really good.

compulsive writer said...


kbabe1968 said...

They look YUMMY!!! I may just have to give them a whirl! Sorry about your culinary adventures with mint flavored toothpicks! But sure did leave you with a funny story to tell - those are always worth it!!!

Ian said...

What nice comments - thanks to all of you!

BTW, the mint toothpicks have now disappeared and have been replaced with non-flavoured picks. I've you've never tried minty bacon, trust me, you're not missing anything. :-{>

minty said...

You do work magic. Shame I can't eat the pictures. I love mint, but that sounded like a disaster, sorry.

Anne said...

I have to say it again-these look AWESOME! Not just the dish but the photos as well! KUDOS!