Thursday, October 18, 2012

Day 18: Brussel Sprouts - Don't Knock Em'!

** Updated - see recipe below! **

I can't believe I'm about to share a recipe for brussel sprouts with you, but I am...and they might just turn out to be your newest veggie love.

I've always claimed to hate brussel sprouts but don't know that I had ever actually tried one - my kids would jump all over that!  I don't love cabbage (cooked cabbage anyway), so I assumed I would feel the same about these mini cabbages.  Oh, was I wrong.

We had friends over to celebrate Easter a few months back and they brought a dish of brussel sprouts.  I politely served myself a small helping, and then very impolitely proceeded to shovel them onto my plate and occasionally, straight into my mouth.

I think what was so fantastic about this recipe was that the sprouts were roasted, not steamed/broiled/blanched.  They were moist but with a delicious crisp.  Which also could have been due to the bacon.  That's right, I said bacon.

I've been craving them ever since and when I saw a 2lb bag at Costco already trimmed and cut, I snatched it up!  Our friends said they just looked up recipes online that included candied nuts, and then threw together their own version.

So, I did the same.  And since this 31 days of Working With What You Have has unintentionally moved it's way into our kitchen and pantry, we came up with this recipe based on a few things we thought we might need that we grabbed from the store, and what we already had on hand in our pantry.

*I referenced this recipe for basic roasted brussel sprouts from Allrecipes.com, made a few tweaks and came up with our own concoction for the rest.


I'm excited to share our version of Candied Nut & Bacon Brussel Sprouts.....


INGREDIENTS

1.5 - 2 lbs brussel sprouts (trimmed, cleaned and sliced in half)
3T olive oil
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 - 1lb bacon (more or less to your taste. where bacon is involved, I always say more.) 

1/4 cup walnuts (pecans would be delish as well)
1 Tbsp butter
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp brown sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl toss brussel sprouts, oil, salt, and pepper until sprouts are thoroughly coated.  Transfer to a large baking pan (at least 9x13).  Cook for 30-45 until sprouts are dark brown but not black.  Shake pan or stir sprouts every 8-10 minutes to ensure even cooking and avoid burning.  (It's important to make sure they are cooked all the way through.  When soft and tender the sprouts take on a sweet undertone, but if not quite done {still have some crunch} they can have a bitter taste....if you aren't sure, just give one of the larger ones a taste test when you think they are close).

While they roast......

Cook bacon to desired crispiness and then transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain.  Set aside.

In small saute pan, heat the butter, walnuts, and salt over med heat until nuts begin to turn brown.  Add the brown sugar and heat for another minute.  The butter will brown too (which is divine), but be sure to remove from heat before the butter burns

Combine cooked brussel sprouts, bacon and nut mix in a large bowl and serve hot.




******************************************************************************

Brussel sprouts are available throughout most of the year but are especially good during the fall.  So, don't be afraid to snatch them up the next time you see them in the store!  The way I see it, it's much better to shamelessly lose all self-control with a brussel sprout than a tub of ice cream.  

*I apologize for not grabbing more pictures of the cooking process and final result....I didn't think to grab the camera until after I had binged on a gigantic second helping and this tiny bowl holds the left-overs.  Next time!

I'm linked up at Centsational Girl & The 36th Avenue
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1 comment:

  1. Oooh I love brussel sprouts and so do our kids. We used a bacon version by Rachel Ray but these look amazing!

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