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Sunday, February 7, 2010

Recipe: Brussel Sprouts

This recipe is for shaved brussel sprouts cooked with pancetta. Well, I couldn't find pancetta so I bought a good bacon. The recipe called for 8 oz of pancetta and I had 12 oz of bacon. It called for 2 pounds of brussel sprouts and I bout 2 & 1/2 pounds. I thought it might even out the extra. These are, aside from oil, salt and pepper, the only ingredients. I love sprouts.

It tells you to use a mandoline to shave the broccoli. Well, I have a $300 one, but it is in storage in NH. I bought this little gizmo somewhere here but it slices too small and is just too inadequate. Just.... just awful. What can I say.

So I took out a knife and began to slice away. It took about 1o minutes to get them all sliced.

You want to remove the unruly outer leaves and begin the slice with the smoothest leaf on top facing you. It makes slicing completely neat and quick.

Of course, you can't really see it here, but you don't want to cut too deep into the stem. You want the slices to be about 1/8th inch to 3/16th in thick and loose.

A good knife really helps. This is Chinese and relatively heavy so the knife does all the work. If I had used the mandoline, I would probably still be shaving. But it didn't take long.
This is how the brussel sprouts should look when properly sliced. The bacon should be sliced into 1/4 inch pieces. I took out my dutch oven and heated it on high heat. I threw in a little oil and then the bacon. Not much oil as the bacon makes it's own oil. I cooked the bacon until the pieces became somewhat crisp. Then I lowered the heat added in the sprouts and tossed these completely.

It doesn't take long for them to cook. The slicing makes them delicate and quick to cook. Throw in a little salt and fresh pepper. Next time, I think I will also toss in some tomato paste. I think that might be a wonderful addition.

This is the final dish. You see that the brussel sprouts stay a nice color of green. The bacon adds a nice taste. If you are a fan of sprouts, I think you could substitute pulled pork, or chicken and add tomato paste, or oyster sauce. Hoisin sauce. The sprouts will take on any taste. It is a great vegetable to complement a simple meat. It is not complicated. You could even add corn to this. So versatile. I can see that I will make this often.

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