Why are they genius? Well, they're delicious. There is always a fight over them, and never one left behind. It's four ingredients (not counting the chutney) and -- like some of the most genius recipes we've seen -- you don't really need a recipe to remember them. Adapted slightly from The Elegant Hors d'Oeuvre by Margon Edney and Ede Grimm (Tofua Press, 1977). —Genius Recipes
Cut bacon strips in half and lay them on a cookie sheet. Scoop some Dijon mustard into a small bowl and brown sugar into another. Spread each bacon slice with mustard, then sprinkle generously with brown sugar. Place a water chestnut on each slice, roll up, and secure with a toothpick. (Tip: If you're short a water chestnut, cut a big one in half!)
To crisp all sides evenly, you can place the bacon-wrapped water chestnuts on a rack set above a baking sheet, but the rack isn't necessary. Bake 20 minutes in a 375°F oven, or until bacon is crisp. You can use the broiler to speed this up -- just watch them closely, and flip them as needed. Serve with a small bowl of chutney for dipping, or just eat them all as is.
Genius recipes surprise us and make us rethink cooking tropes. They're handed down by luminaries of the food world and become their legacy. They get us talking and change the way we cook. And, once we've folded them into our repertoires, they make us feel pretty genius too. Watch for new Genius Recipes every Wednesday morning on our blog, dug up by Food52's Creative Director Kristen Miglore.