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 Post subject: Brussels sprouts
PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2016 4:46 pm 

Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:22 pm
Posts: 1525
Oh Brussels sprouts, what a twisted relationship we have shared. Whereas you once traumatized my childhood I now actively seek you out and, now, actually cook you.

I remember like it was yesterday how my mother would cook Brussels sprouts as an accompaniment to a steak dinner, boiling them for an hour in order that they may be mashed upon my plate with a dollop of butter. Had we invited any Pacific Islanders to dinner they would have been impressed with my mother attempting to greet them with an ersatz poi. Now we all know that most of the nutrients that survived the onslaught of time x heat would remain in the boiling liquid. Never fear. That liquid would be used to deglaze the pan after frying the steak to make a pan gravy, which would then liberally be doused over the steak, the sprouts, and whatever else was unfortunate to be in the pantry that evening. Is all of this making your mouth water yet? Well, my friend, the culinary arts are not for you.

And yet… I knew that flavor could be, should be, coaxed from inside my miniature cruciferous nemesis. So convinced of this was I that in my later years I began to seek out those who could unlock the goodness, which did happen on occasion to varying levels of success.

Which left me at LAX, awaiting yet another flight. This one was scheduled for a noon departure, leaving me time to catch something more substantial than what the executive lounge at the Hilton had to offer. I tried an airport extension of an upscale LA steakhouse near my departure gate, but their menu did not appeal. So I followed Yelp to a restaurant with a firehouse theme in an adjacent terminal. The Yelp hivemind all raved about the Brussels sprouts, so here we go. Now I view Brussels sprouts as a side dish, but they weren’t treated as such here. They were listed as an appetizer. A big appetizer to share, coming in a bowl with just shy of a pound of sprouts. Oddball marketing there for sure. Hey, let me whet my appetite with a heaping bowl of the world’s most filling food. Which is exactly what I did and they were glorious. So much so that I reproduced them this weekend to great success.

(As a sidebar, whose idea was it to even sell Brussels sprouts at a Pacific Rim airport anyway? I mean they aren’t exactly the most travel friendly fare and not what I would be seeking out before a trans-Pac. Since I was only heading to DC I amped up the danger factor and added a calamari appetizer. I fully expected to leave the tube of that 767 smelling like a refinery, but I remained continent while flying over ours.)

Here is how I finally cooked delicious Brussels sprouts.

Preheat oven to 500F.

Place a large roasting pan over 2 burners.

Cut 1+ pound of bacon into lardons and add to the pan. (I used 1.5 pounds because that’s how the bacon I get is packaged.) Cook until crisp. Remove bacon to a bowl using a slotted spoon.

While the bacon is cooking cut 2-3 medium yellow onions into thin crescents. After the bacon is removed, caramelize the onions in the bacon fat. Remove onions to a bowl using a slotted spoon.

While the onions are cooking cut 4 pounds Brussels sprouts into halves. After the onions are removed, add the Brussels sprouts to the bacon fat and ensure they are coated well. A dollop of olive oil might come in handy here. Season liberally.

Roast the Brussels sprouts at 500F for 15 minutes. They should have developed a nice char. Remove from oven and add in the bacon and onion, mixing thoroughly. I chose to splash liberally with balsamic vinegar to aid in caramelization, but a lemon squeezed in would also bring the acid.

Roast for another 5-10 minutes until the internal cook is to your liking. Serve with grated Parmesan or other hard cheese.

As always, time and temperature may vary according to your oven, your pan, density altitude, moon phase, etc. so keep an eye on things.

Enjoy!

Rick


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 Post subject: Re: Brussels sprouts
PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2016 5:04 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2012 4:03 am
Posts: 501
Thanks, Rick. I only know boiled Brussels sprouts, have never seen baked ones. I'm gonna try it!



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 Post subject: Re: Brussels sprouts
PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2016 5:22 pm 

Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2014 7:01 am
Posts: 7
Sounds delicious. But also seems like a lot of bacon fat. Maybe the bacon I tend to use has a lot more fat than yours.


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 Post subject: Re: Brussels sprouts
PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2016 5:45 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2015 5:32 am
Posts: 164
Location: London, England
I do something similar using diced pancetta and fairly thinly sliced brussels fried in either butter or dripping. I might try adding a sliced onion next time. More knife work - yay!



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 Post subject: Re: Brussels sprouts
PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2016 5:53 pm 

Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2015 10:59 pm
Posts: 27
This looks like another winner. My wife and I typically halve them and then cook the in a pan with bacon fat and onion. This method seems to take it to another level. Will have to try!


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 Post subject: Re: Brussels sprouts
PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2016 10:12 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:17 pm
Posts: 7626
Location: Derby City, Kentucky
Sounds delish Rick! Was just thinking about searching for a better way for to cook these!



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 Post subject: Re: Brussels sprouts
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 11:22 pm 

Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:22 pm
Posts: 1525
I polished off the leftovers with a brace of sunny side eggs on top.


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 Post subject: Re: Brussels sprouts
PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2016 6:19 pm 

Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2014 6:29 pm
Posts: 1145
I do something similar to Macmark but, add slivers of almonds to the pan. I also have "fond" memories of my mother and before that my grandmother cooking those fine little balls of pleasure :roll:

Jack


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 Post subject: Re: Brussels sprouts
PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2016 9:17 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2015 5:32 am
Posts: 164
Location: London, England
Have you tried brussel tops, the leafy top part of the stalk? They're very nice just steamed until tender and served with butter or used in stir fries. If you're lucky you get a few baby brussel sprouts still on the stalk which are really sweet.

Left over sprouts are great in 'bubble and squeak' too, perfect with corned beef or ham and fried eggs.



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 Post subject: Re: Brussels sprouts
PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2016 11:46 am 

Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:22 pm
Posts: 1525
I've seen Brussels on the stem but no leaves. I'll keep an eye peeled.

Yes, now I'm thinking, the eggs on top did make it very bubble and squeaky. My dad would occasionally cook me that as a kid.


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