Like any child, I hated Brussels sprouts. Detested them. They emitted that bizarre sulfur odor, tasted like garbage and looked like something the dog had thrown up. Even as an adult, I thought there was no way in hell you could ever get me to eat another Brussel sprout.
Enter my roommate, Laura. Armed with a fistful of bacon and a killer recipe, Laura proved to me that these tiny cabbages deserve a place in my cooking repertoire. Since then, I’ve convinced many other avowed Brussels sprout haters to give them another go-round, and I dare say this is the recipe I’m asked for most often. I’m even growing these beauties in my garden.
My recipe alters from Laura’s in that I add dried cranberries for that fruity chew. She hates dried fruit, so it would never appear in her version. That’s the best thing about cooking: you can change recipes to fit your taste buds. For me, the cranberries bring back memories of Thanksgiving, and there’s just something about the combination of them with Brussels and bacon that makes this a truly homey and heartwarming dish. Please, give Brussels sprouts another chance. You’ll be so glad you did.
Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Cranberries
This is a perfect recipe for your Thanksgiving table. I know I’ll be serving it. Serves 4. Click here to download this recipe.
1.5 lb. Brussels sprouts
5-7 slices thick-cut, good-quality, bacon, chopped into ½ in. pieces
1/2 c. chopped shallots
½ c. dried cranberries
1 Tbs. unsalted butter
Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper
Trim and blanch the sprouts. Heat 4 cups of water to boiling in a medium saucepan. Meanwhile, peel off each Brussels’ outer layer of leaves, trim its hard stem and cut it in half with a paring knife. Set aside. When the water comes to a boil, salt it with a few tablespoons of kosher salt. Submerge the Brussels into the water, and blanch for 3 to 4 minutes, until the Brussels turn bright green and are almost fork tender. Remove from boiling water and return to the bowl.
Cook bacon and combine. While the sprouts blanche, cook the bacon over medium-high heat. When the bacon’s almost crisp, drain off half the fat. Add the butter, shallots, Brussels sprouts, and the cranberries and sauté until the bacon is crispy and the sprouts begin to brown, about 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat and serve.