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Today was a Bountiful Basket day, which is always a good day. I get so excited to see what arrives on the truck. Today’s haul was really exceptional because it included a few things I haven’t tried to cook with yet: water chestnuts and spaghetti squash. I’ll keep you posted on how those work out, but while I was helping at the pick-up site, I heard several people grumbling that they were not excited about the very large bag of Brussels sprouts we were getting.
Why, oh why can’t we get past the sprout hating, people? Just because grandma boiled them to death and made you eat those slimy things, doesn’t mean they are inherently yucky.
After all, they’re just mini cabbages – do you like cabbage? Ok, if you said yes, then you like Brussels sprouts. The end.
I know my fellow Bountiful Basketeers are scrambling to find recipes to try with their bag o’ sprouts, so I thought I better get this one posted ASAP.
I like Brussels best when they are crispy, and while I have oven roasted them in a few different ways (see Crispy Parmy Sprouties), I haven’t tried them on the stove-top before tonight. Since the oven was busy making a meatloaf (yeah, my carnivorous husband insisted I feed him meat “for a change”), I decided to make some skillet sprouts. I was hoping to attain some crispiness, so I opted for a caramelizing technique…and to do that, I did something I almost never do: I used BACON. Only two strips, though!
The result was just what I wanted: crispy, tasty, salty and savory. Mhmmm…I can pretty much guarantee that your whole family will jump on-board the Brussels flavor train with this recipe. You can’t go wrong when you’re cooking with bacon, right?
Here’s what I did:
Slice up about half an onion – more or less to suit your tastes. Place two slices of bacon in the skillet set to medium heat. After it cooks for a few minutes, add the onions. Keep the heat to medium, or medium-low, so they don’t cook to fast.
Quarter the Brussels by slicing them lengthwise. I started with about 10 large sprouts.
When the bacon is cooked through, but not crispy, remove from the skillet so it doesn’t overcook. Chop it up to add back to the skillet later.
Add the quartered sprouts to the pan and continue cooking on medium-low heat. Depending on how much bacon grease remains in the pan, you might need to add some extra virgin olive oil to the pan. My bacon wasn’t very thick, so I needed to add a good drizzle. I probably left my skillet cooking for about 20 minutes. It’s important not to rush the cooking, or they’ll end up cooked on the outside and still hard and uncooked on the inside. Stir occasionally.
Once your onions and sprouts start getting that happy caramel brown color, go ahead and add the bacon pieces back in. Once the bacon is crisp and the sprouts are sufficiently caramelized (dark golden brown), they are done and ready to eat!
Caramelized Brussels Sprouts – with Bacon!
- 10-14 fresh Brussels sprouts, quartered
- ½ large onion, sliced
- 2 slices of bacon
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Heat skillet to medium heat. Add bacon, then onions after a few minutes.
- Quarter the Brussels sprouts, lengthwise.
- When bacon is cooked through, but not yet crispy, remove from pan and chop up, reserving for later.
- Add Brussels to skillet and continue cooking over medium-low heat. Add a drizzle or two of olive oil, as needed, depending on amount of bacon grease remaining in the pan. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Once onions and Brussels turn a dark golden brown (about 20 minutes), add the bacon back into the pan and cook until it crisps up.
- Remove from heat and serve immediately.
Notes for next time:
The Hubs and I were pretty pleased with how these turned out, so I wouldn’t change much. I did think that it might have been pretty to add some carrots, which would also taste great with bacon and onions. Another idea: instead of bacon, you might use diced ham and make it more of a skillet meal.
Simple, right? I do feel a little bad about the bacon, but it was only two slices – and, honestly, it would have been fine with only one slice. I am pretty certain that even the sprout haters will like this recipe, so give it go and see how it goes over at your dinner table.
- Cripsy Parmy Sprouties
- Caramelizing Onions – Oh how sweet it is!
- Roasted Shrimp and Vegetables – Simple elegance