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Roasted Brussels Sprouts - would this work?

cackalackie Nov 23, 2009 07:34 AM

I consulted many different sources for a simple recipe for roasted brussels sprouts with bacon and shallots. (I couldn't recall how I did them last year.) It looked like many recipes had me cooking the bacon and shallots in a saucepan, and then tossing the roasted sprouts in them after they finished roasting.

What would happen it I tossed the (halved) sprouts in raw bacon and shallots - and then roasted them? I would also toss some olive oil, salt and pepper - and I was also thinking about splashing in some balsamic.

Any suggestions are appreciated.

  1. BernalKC Nov 23, 2009 02:45 PM

    My plan is to fry some bacon (thick cut pancetta, actually), toss the cleaned, raw, halved, salted sprouts in the rendered fat, roast them in a 400 oven. When done, toss with lemon juice and crumble the bacon on top. Any opinions on this approach?

    1 Reply
    1. re: BernalKC
      domestikate Nov 24, 2009 02:26 PM

      YUM! Sounds perfect. I use lemon zest instead of juice. And I love them a little browned and crispy. Will never steam a sprout again.

    2. d
      dannan Nov 23, 2009 01:03 PM

      I think your recipe sounds good - instead of balsamic, try a mix of brown sugar and vermouth. Toss and cook in this coating with your other ingredients.....It was very good the one time I cooked them this way.

      1. pitu Nov 23, 2009 10:46 AM

        Any thoughts on scaling up?
        How many sprouts per person do you make? I don't know the eating habits of half the folks at this table...know some of them are lovers of Brussels...

        3 Replies
        1. re: pitu
          cackalackie Nov 23, 2009 12:23 PM

          I think the mesh bag I got the other day was about 12 ounces. And for me, that was about 4 servings. Some people are "scared of sprouts." But I'm going to use 2 bags for 8 people.

          1. re: cackalackie
            pitu Nov 23, 2009 02:11 PM

            what if they're on stalks?
            That is, anybody have a sense of number sprouts per person instead of weight? One internet source roughed it out at 6 each, but that wasn't a holiday meal and wasn't being shredded, which is the general plan.

            btw, the Momofuku book has the recipe for the very delicious brussels sprouts with viet fish sauce dressing that they serve at the restaurant.

          2. re: pitu
            beetlebug Nov 24, 2009 07:43 AM

            There are a deceptive amount of sprouts on a stalk. Last time, a stalk was good for 4 of us. But, when it's just C and me, we buy a lb just for ourselves. For thanksgiving, I usually buy about 2 lbs for 8 people. There are never any leftovers. Odd, for all the people who purport to hate sprouts, these are always the first to go. Then again, it could be me and a couple of other people who eat them all.

          3. s
            sparkareno Nov 23, 2009 10:12 AM

            Rather than start a new thread I'll ask my question here. I was going to steam my brussels sprouts the day before & shock them. Then before dinner I was going to cook my pancetta & a little garlic & toss the already cooked sprouts in with them to heat up. Does that sound like the most flavorful way to do it? Should I add some type of nut in there too? Pine nuts? Pecans? Also, do you think a splash of balsamic at the end would be good? I don't want to roast the sprouts.

            4 Replies
            1. re: sparkareno
              cackalackie Nov 23, 2009 10:26 AM

              I did run across a recipe that included pine nuts. But pecans would work as well I think.

              1. re: sparkareno
                Will Owen Nov 24, 2009 02:01 PM

                I cook sprouts like this all the time - it's become the standard method around here. I usually braise them from raw with a little white wine or broth, but pre-steaming/blanching is the classic strategy for a dish that gives a quick finish, which is a handy thing when you're preparing a big meal. That's one reason this is the standard European hotel/restaurant way to treat a lot of vegetables - they finish them in butter, usually, and make a virtue of it!

                1. re: Will Owen
                  BernalKC Nov 24, 2009 02:11 PM

                  After testing my recipe last night (roasting them in pork fat reserved from crisping pancetta) I think it is a good idea to partially steam the sprouts to start -- I think the sprouts are less bitter that way. My split, roasted sprouts had good flavor, but the roasting caused some darkening of some outer leaves and a slightly pronounced bitterness. I had no problem polishing them off. A little bitter is normal and good. I just think steaming first and roasting for shorter time will be better.

                2. re: sparkareno
                  chowser Nov 24, 2009 02:50 PM

                  I've done it that way with pine nuts and it was really good. I think pecans would taste great, too. I'd have balsamic on the side for people who want to add it because it stands alone well w/out it. I leave the brussel sprouts cut side down on the pan. It gets a little smokey but you get the nice caramelization.

                3. smokeandapancake Nov 23, 2009 09:57 AM

                  i partially boil my sprouts while cooking my bacon and shallots then toss the sprouts in with everything and pan fry for a few minutes to get them nice and crispy..

                  1. beetlebug Nov 23, 2009 07:41 AM

                    I've always roasted the bacon and shallots with the sprouts themselves. I use a little less oil since there is bacon fat. It's always turned out great this way. I would splash the balsamic in the last 5-10 minutes of roasting to get the full flavor.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: beetlebug
                      cackalackie Nov 23, 2009 07:43 AM

                      Brilliant! Thank you. How high and how long? Thanks again.......

                      1. re: cackalackie
                        beetlebug Nov 24, 2009 07:41 AM

                        For regular consumption, I usually go about 425 for about 30 minutes, stirring every 10. But, for turkey day, I'll do it for 20 minutes ahead of time. Pull the tray aside until close to dinner, and then go to 450. During the 450, I add the balsamic vinegar and roast for another 5-10 minutes.

                        1. re: beetlebug
                          cackalackie Nov 24, 2009 10:13 AM

                          I'll probably be doing it right before dinner (perhaps after something else has come out). So I'll stick with the 30 at 425. Thanks again......

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