Holiday Brussels Recipe
What you'll need:
1 lb. Bacon
2 lbs. Fresh Brussel Sprouts
½ Cup Dried Cranberries
2 Tablespoons of Butter
.5 cup Salt (Kosher Diamond Crystal)
.5 cup Sugar
1 tablespoon Kosher Salt
1 tablespoon of Fresh Cracked Pepper
1. Cut the stem of the sprouts off- just about ¼ off an inch off the bottom.
2. Cut your bacon into strips and render in a large sauté pan on medium/high until it gets crispy. Remove bacon from pan with slotted spoon reserving the bacon fat for later use. (Note: The sauté pan is large because we will be using it to sauté the sprouts.)
3. Set a stock pot with a gallon of water on the stove top. Add .5 cup salt and .5 cup sugar to the water. Once the water comes to a boil, add the halved sprouts and cook for 4- 5 minutes. At this point we don’t want them to be cooked all the way because we are still going to sauté them. Once the sprouts are halfway cooked strain them out and shake to remove excess water.
4. Start the sauté pan with the bacon grease in it on a high flame. Once the grease gets to almost smoking you will add the Brussel sprouts (be careful the grease will be very hot). Cut side down in the pan. They all won’t fit this way so we will do them in batches. You never want to crowd the pan. We are looking for a nice sear and caramelization on the face of them. As this happens, spoon them into a large bowl. Repeat until all the sprouts are gone.
5. Once you have seared all the sprouts, all you need to do is toss the butter, salt, pepper, bacon and dried cranberries in with them. The butter will melt from the remaining heat from the sautéed sprouts. At this point you can keep them warm in the oven on a low setting or serve them.
Why this works:
Blanching sprouts in sugar and salt water removes a good amount of bitterness from the vegetable. I have served these to plenty of people who claimed to hate Brussel sprouts and not one of them didn't finish their bowl. We all need our greens so we might as well enjoy them! I hope everyone has a very Happy New Year.
- Chef C.J.