Brussels Sprouts With Bacon

Brussels sprouts have been getting a bad rep throughout the years.  Negative adjectives are usually used to describe this wonderful vegetable: stinky, bitter, mushy, etc…ewww.  But I’m here to tell you not to despair!  Give this miniature cabbage a second chance!  It’s good for you, packed with lots of healthy vitamins and nutrients. The problem is usually they are prepared incorrectly.  Once you adapt a new technique, you’ll produce a great tasting brussels sprout, every time.  A little bacon also will help enhance their flavor.  I mean, who doesn’t like bacon?

Ingredients:

1 pound brussels sprouts

4 slices of bacon, chopped

1 shallot

cayenne pepper

Prepare a pot of boiling salted water.  Also prepare a big bowl of iced water of very very cold water.  More on this later…

Simple set of ingredients, right?  Quick side dish.

To cut the brussels sprouts, slice off the bottom and cut in half.  Peel off the first layer of outer leaves.

Chopped up the bacon and slice the shallots in thin slices.

Boil the brussels sprouts for 3 minutes.  It is very important that this is a quick boil otherwise it’ll be overcooked!

Now immediately plunge the brussels sprouts into the iced water.  What this does is prevent it from cooking further.  After you take an item away from constant heat, the residual heat from inside continues to cook it.  Ice water bath will shock it as well as keep the vibrant green color of the brussels sprout.  Keep it in the water while we continue to the next step.

Render down the bacon with the shallots.  Depending on your taste, you can drain out or leave the bacon fat in the pan.  I chose to remove about half of the bacon fat.

Add the brussels sprouts back to the pan with the bacon and the shallots and stir fry together until the sprouts have the glossy look.

This step is optional, but I like a little heat with this dish.  I put in a dash of cayenne pepper.  I made a mistake before when I served this to kids.  They actually liked the taste of the brussels sprouts, but it was too spicy!

And there you have it!  Simple and quick side dish to add color to a main dish.  This brussels sprouts is neither stinky nor bitter because it was cooked just right.  They should be softened, but with a slight crunch, but never mushy.

Notes:

  • Try this boiling/cold water shock technique on any hard green vegetables (broccoli, asparagus)
  • Bacon bacon bacon
  • Nutritional facts for brussels sprouts: lowers cholesterol, high fiber, an antioxidant, high in vitamin K and vitamin C

– Max

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