Monday, November 23, 2009

Can't Miss: Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

So, this is a combination that's very popular, but it's not a case of undue hype. Brussels sprouts really just go great with bacon. I'm not even saying that as part of the standing "everything tastes better with bacon" rule; brussels sprouts are a food that pair with the smoky stuff particularly well. Why ask why?

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

So, you're gonna chop up some bacon. Cook it until it's crisp and the fat is rendered. Meanwhile, as the bacon cooks, trim the bottoms off of your brussels sprouts, and either slice them or quarter them. This was new to me--I'd only ever left them whole or, at most, halved them to roast. Slicing breaks them down a bit, so you have more errant leaves floating around, which I liked. I'm sure it'd work fine if you halved them instead of slicing, but I liked doing it this way.

Okay, so now your bacon is crispy. Throw the sprouts in the pan with a splash of water, about a quarter of a cup, some salt and pepper, and toss them together and cover for about five minutes. Then uncover, let any remaining liquid cook off, and you're done. This dish is a wonder of comfort cooking and simplicity: not counting salt and pepper, you're looking at a whopping two ingredients. Shout out to Daniel Meyer, who tipped me to Flying Pigs Farms' shoulder bacon, which is what I used in this recipe. It's a little more meaty than regular belly bacon, and it worked incredibly well here.

It occurs to me here that I completely forgot to add the balsamic vinegar or lemon juice that the recipe calls for. Whoops! It was still delicious. I'll just have to make it again.
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