Friday, November 29, 2013

Bacon Wrapped Asparagus

This side dish is easy to prepare, looks appealing and tastes wonderful with or without the sauce. It was part of our Thanksgiving dinner this year.

2 lb. (48 spears) fresh asparagus, ends trimmed
12 slices bacon, uncooked
½ cup dark brown sugar
½ cup butter
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
½ tsp. garlic salt
¼ tsp. freshly ground pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Combine sauce ingredients, reduce to a syrupy consistency and set aside.
3. Divide asparagus spears into 12 bundles of 4 spears each.
4 Wrap a slice of bacon around each bundle, starting ½" from bottom of tips.
5. Secure bacon-wrapped asparagus with a toothpick & arrange in baking dish.
6. Place in refrigerator for half an hour, then remove toothpicks.
7. Bake at 400°F for 25 to 30 minutes or until bacon looks fully cooked.
Serve sauce alongside asparagus bundles.

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Bacon Ranch Potatoes

The inspiration for these potatoes came from Oklahoma Natives on Facebook, whose recipe I adapted to ingredients that were available in my kitchen. For example, we always have fat-free half & half in our refrigerator, so that's what went into making this dish.  It was a big hit at our Thanksgiving table!

6 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
1 (10 oz.) can cream of mushroom soup
1¼ cups milk
1 envelope Hidden Valley dry ranch dressing mix
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp. Oscar Mayer real bacon bits or 2 bacon strips, cooked & crumbled

1.   Place potatoes in a saucepan and add cold water to cover.
2.   Bring to a boil and simmer on medium heat for 10 minutes.
3.   Drain potatoes and place in a greased 9” x 13” baking dish.
4.   Stir soup, milk, salad dressing mix, ½ cup cheese, salt and pepper, in a bowl.
5.   Pour mixture over potatoes and bake, uncovered, at 350°F for 25 minutes.
6.   Remove from oven, sprinkle with bacon and remaining cheese.
7.   Cover and set aside for 10 minutes or until cheese melts.