I know, it sounds crazy. Like most people, I have spent my life repulsed by their reputation, smell, and limp, gray texture. In fact, until a couple of months ago, I had only eaten them twice, and neither time motivated me to want more. But the Hubby's new diet has driven me to search the ends of the earth for vegetable, meat combinations devoid of starches, and it led me to give those tiny little cabbage like morsels another try.
Here's what you do to make the world's best Brussels sprouts.
Pick out some fresh sprouts from your farmers market or grocery store. They should be dense with intact leaves and they should not be brown or limp. Wash them thoroughly.
Trim the stem and slice each sprout in half longitudinally.
Blanche them in boiling water for about 5 minutes. Whatever you do, don't overcook them in this step!! The second they start smelling like Brussels sprouts, pull them out of the boiling water and drain them.
Meanwhile, cut a couple strips of raw bacon into chunks and slice a medium shallot. Plop a pat of butter (a tablespoon or two, don't be shy) into a large skillet over medium-high heat. As the butter melts, drop your shallots and bacon into the pan. Saute briefly before adding Brussels sprouts. Add the sprouts and stir to coat with butter.
Now, here's the key. Flip the little Brussels sprout halves so the flat (cut) side is down. Leave them there until they start to caramelize on the bottom, about 3 or more minutes. Mix again, relocate any stragglers, and let them sit until they also caramelize. Keep going until your whole pan has the nutty, earthy fragrance of caramelized Brussels sprouts and the bacon is slightly crisp.
Here's the ingredient list in case you weren't paying attention:
- About 1 pound fresh Brussels sprouts
- 1-2 Tbsp butter
- 2 strips bacon
- 1 medium shallot