Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sauteed Brussel Sprouts with Bacon and Onions

Thanks mom for letting me join this blog as a collaborator. And, of course, thanks for giving me a few hundred recipes to re-tune my taste buds and re-live fond childhood memories. It's been nice to print up the recipe cards (using Avery Postcard Stock #5889 and the corresponding word processor template), put them into my little wooden box, and enjoy the family culinary legacy...


Sauteed Brussel Sprouts with Bacon and Onions

Brussel Sprouts were one of those vegetables that I always heard my parents speak about with a "Yuck" and a shudder. Since it was so universally hated, this notorious green thing was never served to me as a child, not even with the sick vengeful glee that inspired dinners such as Liver and Onions.

It turns out that what my parents' generation hated so much was an over-boiled and mushy thing from a freezer bag. No wonder they hated vegetables so much! On a whim one day, my ex Marsha and I decided to get brave and see what the fuss was all about. The resulting experiment of a recipe was something that even my step-dad will eat without complaint.

-- 1 small to medium Yellow Onion or Vidalia Onion, diced
-- 4 Rashers (strips) of good thick-cut Bacon, chopped-up into tiny pieces. An apple-smoked or maple bacon works best. Don't skimp on the quality.
-- 20 whole FRESH Brussel Sprouts, with any loose leaves removed and stem cut off, then quartered
-- 1/4 of a cup (approximately) of Apple Cider Vinegar. Marsha suggests Red Wine Vinegar
-- 1/2 cup Dried Cranberries (Optional)

Heat a skillet at medium to low heat and saute up the onion and bacon. Don't rush this because you want to slowly render the fat out of the bacon before the onion gets too cooked. If there isn't too much fat in the bacon, a tiny pat of butter or olive oil can be added.

Once the onion turns translucent, add the brussel sprouts. Turn the heat up high. The goal now is to carmelize the onions and brussel sprouts a bit. You don't want to burn the hell out of them, but don't be afraid of a little singe. At the very least, brown the edges for a minute or two.

When the pan is hissing from the heat and you're worried you've gone too far, pour in the vinegar, but be careful of the resulting steam. The liquid will cool and deglaze the pan, but not all the liquid should burn off. Throw in the dried cranberries (if you're using them) and cover the whole thing. Keep covered so that the whole thing can steam. If the liquid all evaporates, add some water. Cook the sprouts until they are al dente.


clairz said...

Ben! I love your style and I hope to hear more insights from your childhood via this blog. I'll try this recipe out on Beez and we'll just see if it works.

I'm so sorry that you can't remember eating any vegetables while growing up. That's such a telling comment on my vengefully gleeful mothering style!

BdVdB said...


Marsha says that she had already discovered the deliciousness of brussel sprouts before we tried this recipe.

the7msn said...

Man, this sounds good. And the cranberries add such a festive touch - a perfect Thanksgiving vegetable dish. I'll let you know how it comes November.

And only the son of a librarian would figure out how to convert all these to Avery index cards to file away in a wooden box. The acorn doesn't fall far from the tree.

clairz said...

Linda (7msn), he DID sound a little librarian-ish there, didn't he? I knew there was something familiar...

Judy said...

This sounds so good and I have never cared for brussel sprouts. I am going to have to try this one.