Brussel sprouts. I hated these nutritious little cabbages growing up. Bland, tasteless and smelly - they weren't the most inviting vegetables on the table. Of course, this was because they were horribly overcooked and simply boiled but now, I can't get enough of this stuff. When brussel sprouts are cooked properly and complimented with great flavors, you end up with a tasty side that even the pickiest eaters will eat.
Now, bacon with brussel sprouts isn't some novel pairing - you can find recipes for this anywhere. This is just my take on it and I want to reemphasize how versatile brussel sprouts are (and how tasty bacon is). I boil my brussel sprouts just before it's done and finish it in the pan with bacon, shallots and glaze them with balsamic vinegar. It's like finishing pasta really - you cook it a minute or two before it becomes al dente (or cooked in this case) and you finish it in the pan so it doesn't overcook. Toasted walnuts and dried cranberries would also be great additions to this dish - the walnuts would add a great crunchy texture and the cranberries would go well with the sweetness of the balsamic vinegar.
Oh, by the way ladies: adding bacon to anything will get your kid (or any male for that matter) eating veggies.
Balsamic Brussel Sprouts w/ Bacon
Original, Serves 4 as a Side
- 1 lb brussel sprouts, washed, ends trimmed, bulbs cut in half
- 4 slices of bacon, cut into strips
- 1 large shallot, diced
- balsamic vinegar to glaze
1) Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Boil the brussel sprouts for 5 minutes and remove to an ice bath...unless you can multitask.
2) If you can multitask in the kitchen, add the bacon strips and diced shallots to a hot pan with a little olive oil and saute until the bacons become crisp. You should get enough fat out of the bacon to saute the brussel sprouts later.
3) Add the blanched brussel sprouts to the hot pan with the crisped bacon and shallots. Toss a few times to incorporate evenly. Cook for another minute.
4) Put your thumb over the balsamic vinegar and working from the outside of the pan, glaze the brussel sprouts with the vinegar. We glaze from the outside because if you just pour a bunch of vinegar into the middle of the pan the brussel sprout will just boil.
5) Toss once more to incorporate and season with pepper. Taste and if it needs it, season with salt also. Remember, the bacon is cured...which means it's already salty.Like I mentioned above, adding toasted walnuts or dried cranberries would be great also! (I just didn't have any on hand)
Don't forget, my giveaway ends on Monday so make sure you enter if you haven't already!