Saturday, November 6, 2010

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Cream

My dad requests Brussels sprouts for the Thanksgiving menu each year. We rarely eat them, but I am sure to always include them for the holiday meal. This year, I thought I would do a dry-run a few weeks ahead to try to improve upon my past year's recipes.

I hit upon a winning combination, which will be gracing my table on Thanksgiving this year, as well as many other nights. I am afraid that I can not take a lot of credit here, because really, it would be silly to be shocked that BACON AND CREAM make things taste crazy good.

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Cream

Brussels sprouts, like many other unappreciated vegetables, suffer a bad reputation from over-cooking. Treat your vegetables like you do pasta - cook until "al dente." This means that it still has a spring left in its step and requires some chewing - rather than collapsing into a soggy mess at first bite. 

1 pound of Brussels sprouts
3 thick slices of bacon
1 large shallot, minced
1/3 cup half & half or cream
salt and pepper

After rinsing the Brussels sprouts, cut the end off. This will allow the outer layer of dark green or blemished leaves to fall away easily. Pull off any remaining leaves that don't look beautiful and bright green.

Cut the Brussels spouts in quarters. They are now ready to cook quickly and evenly.

Heat a medium sized saute pan over medium high heat. Cook 3 slices of bacon until crispy. Remove the bacon and set aside. Add the chopped shallot and quartered Brussels sprouts to the pan. Cook for ten to twelve minutes, stirring frequently. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. The Brussels sprouts should have a consistency that submits itself easily to chewing, while still maintaining its integrity. A graceful vegetable really.

Reduce the heat to medium low. Add 1/3 cup of half & half to the pan and stir to coat. Roughly chop the bacon while the half & half is heating through. 

Before serving, taste for the right amount of salt and pepper and adjust if necessary, then sprinkle the Brussels sprouts with the chopped bacon. Serves 2 to 4.

Now, this makes a very nice side dish. I ate these the other night with chicken sausages and a fresh hunk of bread smothered in butter. But really, the leftovers which I turned into pasta the next day were even better. Like singing aloud, and doing a happy dance, better. So, when I make these Brussels sprouts later this month for Thanksgiving, I am making extra, just so that I can make more pasta.

To make the pasta: Heat one tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat, add one cup of cooked (chopped) chicken sausage and one cup of these Brussels Sprouts. When heated through, add 1/3 cup of half & half and 2 ounces of shredded provolone cheese. Cook until heated through again. Toss with 1/4 pound of freshly cooked whole wheat rotini. Serves 2 for lunch. 


Yolanda said...

This sounds and looks so good! Now I just need to put Brussels Sprouts on my seed list for next year. :)

Megan said...

I love brussels sprouts and often make them with bacon and shallots... the addition of cream sounds lovely! They look delicious!

Thank you so much for commenting on my blog. :)

Andrea said...

Hello fellow brussels sprouts lover! I usually sautee mine with lemon, but bacon and cream would probably win my family over. I usually eat them alone.