We have not been very diligent with our blogging, although we have kept up with the tweeting – oh so many ways to communicate our love of food! But we are always cookin’ up something! 🙂
Today I wanted to talk about an old staple – well at least as far as old sitcoms go… Brussel Sprouts. It is a new “in” veggie that is very often associated with parents force-feeding them to kids who despise them. We never had them in my family – and we were kids who loved vegetables so go figure!
I found that Trader Joe’s was selling branches of these cute “baby cabbages” so I thought I’d please Marc, who adores them, and take a holiday stab at them. I’ve never made them before and being a cook who is all about “economy of effort” I wanted to see what I can create.
After having Marc pop them off the branch (came to about 2 lbs.), I rinsed them, cut off the ends of each and halved them. With a trusty pound of bacon, 3 tablespoons each of extra virgin olive oil and salted butter, and salt & pepper to taste. I was also ready to get to the stove not anticipating but prepared to use, a final ingredient.
My father, who is a crazy-great cook, told me to cook the bacon in a deep skillet with the butter & oil while boiling the sprouts for about 5 minutes. Add the sprouts to the bacon, add salt & pepper, and turn up the heat! I chose to listen to my dad except I did not boil first. They weren’t as hard as I expected them to be and got tender very quickly. I didn’t want to cook the bacon to crispy perfection and possibly lose the smokiness so I just tossed it all in the skillet on medium-high heat and put on the cover.
After about 5 minutes, I gave it a turn of the spoon, then added about a teaspoon of sugar just to soften the bitterness of the sprouts. I let it cook for another 8 minutes or so covered. Then I uncovered them, putting the gas on low for about 10 minutes more.
And voila! In just a few minutes, mostly spent prepping the sprouts for the skillet (frozen would have worked great), I have created a smoky, crunchy, great textured side dish for any delicious dinner delight.
Brussel Sprouts… not just for grimacing children in old TV shows anymore.