Good morning, my lovelies! As promised, here is the first recipe we made during Friday’s cooking class. More about that fabulous evening will be forthcoming, with pictures and stories . . . but first I need to catch my breath.
As you can probably tell, these step by step pictures were taken in the safety of my own kitchen, weeks before the class. And let me tell you–this recipe is amazing. I found the original on this blog, and I am so grateful I stumbled upon it and realized that I needed brussel sprouts in my life. Where did I get the idea that brussel sprouts are bitter and gross? This was a truth I took for granted during my entire childhood, in spite of the fact that I had never tasted them. Let’s debunk this myth right here, right now. There is no hint of bitter vegetable grossness about them. To me, they tasted like a more tender version of cauliflower and cabbage. Fresh and incredible. Add bacon to the mix, and you will fly to a distant and beautiful solar system and back.
1.5 lbs brussel sprouts
1/2 lb bacon, minced
1 TBS butter
salt and pepper
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
Juice from 1/2 lemon
The original recipe calls for pancetta, but while I would love to get my hands on some, my grocery store simply doesn’t carry it. And a special trip to the butcher’s doesn’t always fit into the scope of my week . . . yeah. So here’s the assembly:
First, mince the bacon. I like to cut the strips in half lengthwise and then in small chunks crosswise.
Start frying it! I used another of my favorite Christmas gifts–a 12” cast iron skillet. It rounds out my collection (a 10” and a 14”).
While it’s frying, take those brussel sprouts by the scruffs of their necks and tell them it’s time to take care of business.
Cut the stems off the brussel sprouts . . .
. . . and then either shred or dice them. I halved them lengthwise, and then kind of whacked the the halves. No need to be precise here.
This was the most time consuming part of the whole dish–chopping the sprouts. They’re small and round, so please don’t cut off your finger while trying to get ’em taken care of. I devised a system by which I cut them all in half first, and then I lined up the halves and cut them in a row. That saved oodles of time. If you try to handle them one by one, despair may overtake you.
Now give the brussel sprouts a nice rinse. I suppose you could wash them before chopping them, but . . . whatever. Take any complaints regarding my brussel sprout washing to the Complaints Department. It’s in the North Pole, and no, I don’t have their phone number. Though if you get through to Santa Claus, put in a good word for me. I’m really hurting for a food processor. And an ice cream maker. And a juice machine. And a yoghurt maker. And a larger kitchen to house all these appliances.
Back to the bacon! Once it’s nice and browned, remove it.
Inspect it carefully . . .
. . . and eat a small piece, just to make sure it turned out okay.
Drain the bacon grease out of the pan and wipe it down with a paper towel if you’re so inclined. Now, add the 1 TBS of butter.
Once melted, add the shredded/chopped brussel sprouts.
Cook for about 5 minutes, adding salt and pepper to taste along the way.
Get your nutmeg grated, and add that as well.
May I add (in a snobbish voice, of course) that freshly ground nutmeg is nothing, I repeat nothing like the stuff in the canister?
It’s divine. And also a hallucinogenic.
On that note, add it into the brussel sprouts.
Now add the bacon back in, and continue to cook for another few minutes.
It’s becoming unbearably hard not to just consume this right now, straight outta that pan.
Squeeze half a lemon, and add the lemon juice right at the end.
Give it a taste–add more nutmeg or lemon juice if needed. You’re looking for a little burst of freshness in your mouth, but not one that overwhelms the flavors from the bacon and nutmeg. Serve it up!
It’s an incredible dish, guys.
I’ve been craving it ever since I ate the very last bite.
The situation is starting to get desperate.
The ladies at our shindig loved it, and you will love it too.
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