When I was growing up brussels sprouts got such a bad rap. Hated by many. To be honest my mother never really made them so my only experience eating them was outside the home. And from what I remember, I didn’t like them. Flash forward to today and I’m making them! And I love them. Why on earth do so many people despise brussels sprouts? I’ve come to realize it’s most likely because they were prepared poorly and with a complete lack of creativity. Most people probably just boiled them and threw them in a bowl.
I do like to eat healthy and maintain a healthy lifestyle, so it seems logical I would one day incorporate brussels sprouts into my cooking. These adorable mini cabbages are loaded with vitamins, potassium, calcium and are very high in fiber, so they help to fill you up. And as luck would have it, they are low in fat and calories. November is prime time for brussels sprouts, so the markets are filled with them. You can see from the above photo that I took at the Union Square Farmer’s Market how they look before they are picked and presented to you in the grocery store. Quite dramatic, right?
Tyler Florence was the one that inspired me to make this dish. Last month my cousin and I got tickets to the NYC Food & Wine Festival and saw Tyler at a cooking demonstration. I love his shows and recipes and let’s face it, the guy’s adorable. We just loved him in person, he has such a great personality and is quite funny. Here’s a picture of him cooking away…
One of the recipes he prepared that day (and what he’s actually preparing in this photo) was this brussels sprouts and bacon hash number. It sounded interesting so I tried it at home and have to say it was really good. Actually, it was great. Yes, a brussels sprouts dish was great. I kid you not.
In this recipe the sprouts are actually sliced, which is a fantastic idea. I bet if you didn’t tell people this was a brussels sprouts dish they might not even notice! And there’s bacon in here - you can never go wrong with bacon. I did make one substitution, his recipe calls for pearl onions, I used shallots instead. That’s the only ingredient change I made.
Here is what you will need to make my version of this dish…
5-6 slices of bacon (I use low sodium bacon), cut in a medium dice
1 pint of brussels sprouts
2 springs fresh thyme
6-8 fingerling potatoes (or small white potatoes), cut in half and then in half again
2 large shallots
1/2 cup low sodium chicken stock
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1-2 tbsp flat leaf parsley, chopped
Saute bacon in a large pan until just starting to crisp. Remove from pan and discard 1/2 of the fat renderings. To the renderings add the brussels sprouts, shallots, potatoes and thyme and stir. Season with pepper and a little bit of salt (the bacon is salty so be careful). Cook until slightly browned. Add chicken stock and steam for 5- 10 minutes, until veggies are tender and most of the liquid has evaporated. I put the lid on the pot for part of this time. Add balsamic vinegar and toss to coat. Add the bacon back to the pan and stir all ingredients together to combine. Sprinkle with parsley and serve. And now for the final product…
If you have any leftovers do yourself a favor and put a fried egg over this hash in the morning. You’ll thank me.
Tyler’s original recipe can be found here http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/bacon-and-brussels-sprout-hash-recipe/index.html