Recipe Monday: Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
March 17, 2009 § 1 Comment
The thing about this recipe is the title goes perfectly with the ol’ “Cabbage Rolls and Coffee” polka from the Shmenge Brothers on SCTV. So don’t be surprised if you start singing every time you make it.
Right now, I hear many among you saying you hate brussels sprouts. Indeed, like spinach, beets and lima beans, they are in the comedy category of “bad/funny vegetables”, but I submit that it’s simply because no one bothers to dude them up and present them in a tasty fashion. All vegetables, even delicious delicious broccoli turns into unrecognizable mush when you just empty a freezer bag into simmering water for twenty minutes. Brussels sprouts are delicious, tender little bundles of fun and when you add a hot dressing of bacon, onions and sage…you’re in business.
Although it seems to me this is an Autumn dish (I’ve brought it to thanksgiving dinner even) I think it would also rock the socks off of Easter dinner, or any other spring dinner party. This recipe would serve four folks with some leftovers (but the leftovers are kind of mushy and not so great).
1 – 1 1/2 pounds of fresh brussels sprouts, cleaned off with a damp towel, trimmed of some outer leaves and cut in half
5 strips of bacon chopped (raw)
1 tsp dried sage or a fistful of sage leaves rolled and cut into ribbons (chiffonade) (you always need MORE if you’re using fresh)
“knob of butter” as they say in the business.
large saute pan, paper towels, bowl
Put halved brussels sprouts in a bowl with a touch of water, cover with a paper towel and steam in microwave for a minute or two. Or steam it for a minute or two in a pan over medium heat. They’ll green up but still be firm. Cover them and set them aside.
Now, fry that bacon up in the pan over medium high heat until crispy. Editor’s Tip: You know, I learned my lesson about bacon only a year ago. I used to crank that mother to eleven, poppin’ the bacon in and inevitably either setting off the smoke alarm, burning the bacon or ending up with a pan full of black drippings and fat, unusable and stinky. Slower frying over medium high heat is the answer. It smells better and leaves you with a kitchen in better condition. Anyway. Set those bacon bits on the folded paper towel. Get rid of (but my god don’t throw out) about half of the bacon fat, return the remainder to the medium heat and add the ‘knob’ of butter. If you’re like me a ‘knob’ equals about three tablespoons. If you’re sensible, it equals about 1 tbsp.
Toss and saute the brussels for about three minutos, then add sage, salt and pepper to taste and the bacon. Toss them all around and you’re ready to kick it, BRUSSELS STYLE.