Friday, November 23, 2012

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Herbs

Until a few years ago, Brussels sprouts were not served in our house.  It happens to be that Brussels sprouts are one of our son-in-law's favorite vegetable.  I began experimenting with the little cabbage heads and as a family we have embraced the little sprouts.  The trick is to cook until just done to avoid the bitterness that can sometimes be associated with them.

In this recipe, they are browned in olive oil and butter and then braised in chicken (or turkey) stock until tender before being tossed with crisp bacon and chopped herbs.  These were absolutely worth the space on the Thanksgiving plate.  I know I will make them again and again without waiting for Thanksgiving.

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Herbs
Makes 4 servings

1 pound Brussels sprouts
2 1/2 ounces bacon, cut into 1/2-inch squares
1/2 cup mild onion, finely diced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, minced
2/3 - 3/4 cup chicken stock, divided
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

Remove any dry or yellow outer leaves from the sprouts.  Slice off the dry stem and cut into quarters.  Set aside.

In a medium saute pan over medium heat, cook the bacon until golden brown, about 7  minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a bowl.  Pour off all but 1/2 tablespoon of fat from the pan.

Return the pan to medium heat, add the shallots and thyme and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.  Transfer the shallot mixture to the bowl with the bacon.  Pour 1/4 cup of the stock into the pan and, using a wooden spoon, stir to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.  Pour the stock over the bacon mixture.

Wipe out the pan with paper towels and place over medium-high heat.  Melt the butter and oil.  Add the Brussels sprouts and season with salt; stir to coat evenly.  Cook until the sprouts begin to brown, about 3-4 minutes.  Stir again, then cook for another 3-4 minutes.  Stir in 1/4 cup of stock. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally and adding more stock as needed until the sprouts are soft and tender, about 15 minutes more.  Add the bacon mixture and any remaining stock and stir to incorporate.  Stir in the chives and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Transfer to a warmed serving bowl and serve immediately.  Enjoy!

Slightly adapted from The Galley Gourmet

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