Sunday, January 10, 2010

My Love for Brussels Sprouts or How My Mom Was Right

"Try it, you'll like it!"  How often have you heard that phrase in your life?  Millions of times for me!  Not only did we have to give new things a taste- we couldn't get up from the table until we at least ate our mandatory spoonful.   I was a pretty stubborn kid, and there were many nights I would be sitting alone at the dinner table swearing I would never eat those positively horrible {fill in the blanks}.  This drove my sister Bonnie absolutely crazy.  For you see she could also not go talk on the phone with her girlfriends or watch TV until she had washed all the dishes (which she couldn't finish until I finished my spoonful)!  I was so stubborn that Bonnie would often end up eating my share just so she could get the dishes done faster! (Thank you Bonnie!)

But I wasn't like this forever.  I promise.  The older I got the wider my tastes got.  There weren't many things I truly disliked- except that is for Brussels Sprouts and Asparagus.  I honestly couldn't understand why people would actually choose to eat these gross things!  Especially Brussels Sprouts.  Yuck.  Well it turns out that Scott actually loves these weird little cabbages.  As a matter of fact he claims they are one of his favorite vegetables.  My initial thought was "Seriously?!"  But being the good wife that I am, I decided to go on a hunt to find a new recipe that I might be able to at least choke down my mandatory spoonful while leaving the rest for him to finish himself.

Rachael Ray to the rescue!  She has a recipe that sauteed the Brussels Sprouts in bacon with shallots- OK, doesn't everything taste better with bacon?  We gave it a try and OH. My. GOODNESS. These babies are heaven!  Not only did I eat my mandatory spoonful- but I think I was actually fighting with Scott to make sure he didn't get more on his plate then I did.  Who would have thunk it?!  These are a huge crowd pleaser, and are never a disappointment.  Mom I have to say, once in my life I think I actually have a recipe for something better then yours.  Don't worry though, I don't see myself saying this again!  Since my Brussels Sprouts Epiphany I have tried out a few other recipes, but these remain our absolute favorite!

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

Last night we served these as a side dish to a filet and shrimp.

3 slices bacon, chopped
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan
1 shallot, chopped
1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed, small spouts left whole, larger spouts halved
Salt and pepper, to your taste
1 cup chicken broth

Brown bacon in a medium skillet over medium high heat. Remove bacon to a paper towel lined plate.  Drain off all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease.  Add extra-virgin olive oil to the pan, 1 turn. Add shallots to the pan and saute 1 to 2 minutes.  Add Brussels spouts and coat in oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cook Brussels sprouts 2 to 3 minutes to begin to soften, then add broth.  Bring broth to a bubble, cover and reduce heat to medium low. Cook 10 minutes, until tender.*  Transfer sprouts to a serving dish with a slotted spoon and top with cooked bacon bits.
*A variation of this is too add dried cranberries to the pan to plump them up while the Brussels Sprouts are getting tender.  I have never tried it this way, only because I don't tend to have cranberries on hand.  But it sounds yummy.  If you happen to try this, please let me know how it tastes!

"Life expectancy would grow in leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon." ~Doug Larson


  1. Amie, this is a GREAT blog idea. I am glad you did this. I would love to follow it and maybe one day share a few of my own recipes as now i dont have the time to blog abut my own...Awesome, looks and sounds so good. keep this blog up. i will be your #1 fan. i LOVE food!
    Tera Pepper

  2. Thank you so much Tera! I would love to have you share some recipes on here! Every week I am having a Friends and Family Friday where I interview people and post their favorite recipes. Would you like to be one of my guest posters?

  3. yes yes yes! i love food & cooking and i have some great recipes!


  4. Wonderful!!! Thank you! I will set you up for one soon.

  5. Well, well, well...all these years later I finally get credit for eating your veggies so we could get on with our lives!!!! Let me just add that you just flat out refused to eat 1 stinking zucchini or 1 stinking carrot or bean or summer squash or asparagus or brussle sprout...shall I go on?! I couldn't take it and just ate it to be done with it.
    NOW...that you are a big girl you love all that stuff, who knew you'd be telling this story! In all seriousness, I love brussle sprouts too. I think there must be something about the taste of these that kids don't like because if you ask a lot of kids that will almost never like this particular veggie. I also think that the way we prepare foods these days is so much different than when we were young. I mean people just didn't put bacon and brussle sprouts together because if we did I believe we wouldn't have as big an issue to eat them! I mean, who doesn't love bacon...okay, some don't and it's usually those vegetarians but of the meat eating world...bacon and the smell of bacon tastes good with almost anything. Okay, that's my 2 cents worth.

  6. Amie~ Why don't you post a blog about your lunch eating habits when you were in grade school or kindergarten rather....Tell everyone what you would eat, how you "had" to eat it, where you had to eat it and when it had to ready for you! It is a mosting interesting story...I love it!

  7. Thanks Bon. Thanks a lot. I should have known this would come up on here one day. Neil loves this story. Now I might end up having to do it just for the sake of repeating myself when people ask what you were talking about. But on my behalf- I grew up!!! Hey, I liked what I liked! At least I ate :)

  8. This sure does bring back memories. We also had the rule that you had to eat a little of everything that my Mom made. 99.9% was never a problem because my Mom, like my wife, Kathleen, was an excellent cook. But the nights she made Brussel Sprouts I was in a panic. Since, unlike you, I didn't have a big brother or sister that would come to my rescue, I had to be creative and used to sneak them into my jean pockets. I always thought I had fooled my parents, but years later my Mom told me that before she did the wash she would go thru my pockets to make sure I didn't have any "boy" items in them. You know, like worms, snails, nails, rocks etc. So she knew my trick of not eating my Brussel Sprouts, but never let me know until I was an adult. One of these days I will have to tell you about Cottage Cheese and Grape Seeds!

    Rick Jordan (Kathleen's Husband)

  9. oh no!! Oh how gross, smooshed brussel sprouts. That had to have made you smell just delightful :) Oh, and now I am COMPLETELY intrigued! I need to know what on earth you did with cottage cheese and grape seeds!

  10. Now that's the way to eat brussel sprouts! mmmmmmmm

  11. The key is to not overcook them - which I think a lot of people do. I have tried the cranberries in them too and they are tasty. I also toss in a handful of pecans. They are one of my favs (asparagus too!)



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