Tuesday, January 14, 2014

So You Hate Brussel Sprouts?

Well, I do, too.

A few, or maybe five, or ten, years ago Brussel sprouts became very trendy. Do you remember? Everyone was talking about them, they were the rage at your local farmers' market, fancy restaurants were serving them in fancy ways, and when I would mention that I didn't care for them, someone would say, "Oh, you just need to prepare them like this..." Gamely, I would try a new preparation method: roasting with garlic or sauteeing in butter and nutmeg (not sure why I even tried this one, considering that nutmeg is low on my spice preference list).  But they never turned out any good.

Then, my brother served them. And I'm not saying they were great. Brussel sprouts will never be great. But they were edible, and maybe, maybe, even good. Two keys: bacon (of course) and lots of peeling.

Actually, my brother uses pancetta because he's high class like that and has that kind of stuff just lying around. Us poor folks save our bacon grease for situations like these.

The cooking part of the Brussel sprouts couldn't be easier: melt a generous dollop of bacon grease in a skillet. Or, cook some bacon and eat it, leaving the grease. Or, you could crumble the bacon back in after you cook the Brussel sprouts. There's that idea.

not the healthiest preparation method

But rolling whole sprouts around in the bacon grease won't do. Now I reveal the tricky part, the necessary nuisance.

Sometime during the day, when you have a minute or 30, peel off every Brussel sprout leaf until you have a lovely collection of Brussel sprout leaves in various shades of green and yellow. This is key, folks. This is the only way to get that bacon grease into the crevices and neutralize the natural taste of the Brussel sprouts. But, I will admit, it is a huge pain in the...hiney.

Then, simply sautee in the melted bacon grease (just briefly!), add some salt and pepper, and you're good to go!

I honestly think it is worth the time to take the sprouts apart or I wouldn't post about it. But I would never post that it's fun or easy to do so. What you need is a good TV show. Next time I try this I'm going to do it one evening while watching Community and then store them in the fridge until I want them for dinner. Nothing makes a tiresome, mindless job easier than some good TV.


  1. Yay for you - Brussels sprouts are some serious "grown up" food, by the way. Well, except my Kidzilla loves them, but she's completely the most ridiculously non-fussy eater on the planet. And um, yeah, bacon makes everything edible. :)

    I do have some awesome Brussels sprouts recipes pinned to my Pinterest boards - on the Veggies and Sides board, most likely. We love them here and have done them a ton of ways. One of our favorites is to sauté in a little olive or grapeseed oil, then toss with dried cranberries, some balsamic vinegar, and feta cheese. Fresh or dried herbs on top if you like - tarragon is a good one. Yum!

  2. Hey, thanks for commenting. This post was feeling left out. If I keep getting BS (you know what I mean) in my CSA box, and I am definitely going to check out more recipes, but I can't say I'm won over enough to buy them.

  3. Poor Brussels Sprouts - the red-headed stepchild of veggies...


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