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Brussels Sprouts recipe help

I'm looking at making a brussels sprouts side for Thanksgiving this year, and I wanted input on which preparation would be best for a crowd who may not yet know that they love brussels.

I've been eying two recipes:

1) roasted with balsamic, pancetta, shallot, garlic, and a bit of lemon and thyme

2) sauteed with bacon, chestnuts, heavy cream, and finished with maple syrup and lemon

I'm having trouble deciding, so I guess I was also wondering if anyone has prepared somewhat of a combination of the two dishes? Would the savory balsamic-shallot-garlic-thyme flavors mesh well with a slightly maple-y cream sauce or be too much?

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  1. Cut in half. Saute with bacon. Nothing else.

    They will taste Brussels Sprouts. They will taste bacon. They will like.

    Both of those recipes mask the flavor of the sprouts. No need for you to go to the trouble of making sauces.

    1. I cut fresh ones in half and slowly saute in butter, then salt and pepper. I've found that people who don't like brussel sprouts are those who have had them only frozen, not fresh.

      1. I have to disagree with both previous commenters. As someone who grew up hating sprouts, I decided to learn to like them. I did them first with bacon and shallots, and they were okay, but still too much like my mother's. Then I tried them with balsamic and have never looked back. So, I'd lean toward your first option. But even a basic balsamic glaze, sans bacon, is excellent. I wonder if the lemon and garic and thyme might make that one a bit too much. Try keeping it a bit simpler.

        2 Replies
        1. re: katecm

          katecm, how do you do the balsamic glaze?
          I usually just roast them with olive oil, sometimes adding some chopped garlic.

          1. re: jerseycity chef

            Pretty basic, on the stovetop. Half the sprouts and cook them in butter until they start to brown up. Then I throw in a bit of brown sugar and a glug of balsamic, and cook them, covered, until they're almost cooked the way I like them. Then I uncover to cook the vinegar down to a glaze and finish cooking them through. The key is to season with salt and pepper to balance the sweetness. It's really basic, but so delicious.

        2. I love Brussle Sprouts and my favorite way to prepare ....
          Cut in half, sautee in maple bacon and garlic topped with sweetened pecans

          But I will have to say the bacon chestmut and cream mixture peaks my curiosity, of course I would have to play around with it some...I wouldn't want too much cream in there and omit the lemon

          1 Reply
          1. re: bermudagourmetgoddess

            It all seems to be variations on a theme..I do a pancetta and brussel sprout roast with pecans (but not sweetened or salted pecans). But I like the bacon, too. The roasting is simple, though, and you can add bacon to the pancetta-started version if you want to. I'd stay away from teh sweet stuff, personally. Lemon or balsamic fits for me.

            I am also a fan of "pickeling" them...and frozen works OK for that..just your vinagarette, garlic, green onions,,,whatever..give it a day or two in the refrigerator, turing from time to time.

          2. I was going to have sprouts for lunch, so I thought I'd give the combination a try. I thought the maple and balsamic would completely overwhelm the sprouts, but it works. The thyme didn't fare so well, so maybe leave it out or go with a stronger herb.

            That said, I already like sprouts and usually have them in a simple form - Just pan roasted with butter and little extras. But, your dressed up version is very welcoming to those that may have apprehensions, no doubt caused by consuming over/undercooked sprouts in their early years.

            1 Reply
            1. re: ediblover

              Thanks for the reply. So what combination of ingredients did you end up using? I love brussels and have a hard time convincing others they are great, so you're absolutely right: the objective here is definitely to disguise them a little bit with more enticing flavors.