Are you like most people? Are you certain you don’t like Brussel sprouts? Even though you probably haven’t had them in, what? 10 years? Yeah, that was me until a couple of years ago, when I decided to give them a try again, just to make sure I didn’t like them. Wow. Was I ever wrong!
The trick to good Brussel sprouts is to cook them enough to soften them up, but not too long so they get bitter. It’s a narrow window. But, if you have patience, you can do it!
Here’s my favorite way to prepare them. As you can probably guess, it involves bacon. Naturally. Everything is better with bacon, right?
Depending on how many sprouts you’re cooking, you’ll want to use anywhere from 3 to 6 slices of bacon. Cut them into little 1/2″ strips and start frying them in the skillet you’ll be using. I also like to toss in a handful of nuts at this point. Walnuts work well, as do pine nuts. Slivered almonds would probably be nice too.
While the bacon and nuts are cooking, you have time to prepare the sprouts. You need to cut off the stems and peel off a layer of leaves to make sure you’re using the tender parts of each sprout. If the sprouts are large, cut them into half. If they’re very large, you may even want to quarter them. When you’re done with this step, the bacon and nuts will be mostly done.
Toss the sprouts into the skillet with the bacon and nuts and stir around, making sure to get some of that delicious fat on each sprout. Turn the heat down to medium-low, and sauté the sprouts for a few minutes.
When I went to the butcher to get bacon, they were out. But they did have some bacon ends, which worked fine, although I had to add some bacon fat since the ends were very meaty. I also didn’t use any nuts this time as we had guests who are allergic to walnuts, and I didn’t have any pine nuts on hand.
You’ll know they’re almost done when the cut ends start to get browned, and the outer leaves start to become translucent. For this batch, it took about 10 minutes.
Don’t these look great? Still skeptical? I encourage you to try this recipe. It’s fast, and I promise you they’re delicious!