I keep saying I’m going to post more recipes… I think I’ve found a workable strategy.
Blog Resolution #3: Fridays are recipe days. I know plenty of other bloggers who have ‘Friday Videos’, or ‘Menu-Planning Monday’, or some such thing. If they can stick to it, I can too. In keeping with the theme of both my blog and my life, I’ll post recipes for in-season foods – no strawberries in the dead of winter! – and mostly vegetable-based. I’ve got some plans (lightly) sketched out for a couple of months, each month dedicated to a type of vegetable, or food. January is Hearty Greens Month , next month might be soups.
You’ll have to bear with me while I learn how to best photograph my creations… It’s a process…
Now, before you all wail about how awful Brussels sprouts are, let me say that I have come to them late in life myself. I don’t think my mother ever made them – she’ll probably confirm that in the comments later. The first time I ever ate them, I thought they were terrible – a boiled, mushy stinky mess, prepared in the ‘traditional’ style (i.e. boiled to death). No wonder they were so reviled.
Then, a miracle occurred.
John and I had dinner one night at De Wolf Tavern in Bristol, RI. The chef, Sai Viswanath, makes a cornbread and Brussels sprouts hash to accompany several of the main courses. I tasted it – not without a little fear – and couldn’t get enough! (I suppose it’s telling that I can remember the hash and not what main dish I had that night!)
The difference? Instead of being boiled to moosh, the sprouts were roasted at a high temperature, retaining just a little crunch. A slight charring on the outside gave a deep, smokey flavor, with none of the nasty sulfur odor that overcooking any member of the cabbage family will get you. Honestly, they don’t even taste like the same vegetable!
While I didn’t want to go to all the trouble of recreating Sai’s hash at home, I did want to find an easy way to get some tasty sprouts on our dinning room table. I tried out several recipes, but wound up with this stripped-down-to-bare-bones version. Bacon. Sprouts. Hot oven. Plate.
I haven’t tried growing Brussels sprouts yet. They’re huge plants, and require an entire season to produce – started under the lights in February, harvested after the first frost sweetens them. There’s no place in the rotation until I can get some more space opened up.
Trust me, I’m looking for more space now…
Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts
1 lb fresh Brussels Sprouts
4 slices thick-cut bacon
Cut the bacon crosswise into matchstick-sized pieces.
Remove the stems from the sprouts, and any loose outer leaves. Cut any large (bigger than 1″)sprouts in half.
In a deep ovenproof skillet – I LOVE my cast-iron pan for this! I think it’s sold as a ‘chicken-frying pan’- cook the bacon on medium until it’s crisp and has rendered most of its fat.
Put the sprouts in with the bacon, and stir them around so they get a nice coating of the liquid fat.
Stick the whole thing in your hot oven for about 25 minutes. Stir them once, half-way through the cooking time.
This is great alongside some roasted chicken or a pork chop.