Monday, January 10, 2011

Simplicity at it's Best: Roasted Brussel Sprouts

This past Thanksgiving was one of the first I spent at home in Texas in years. Usually my sister, who is my Northeast partner in crime, and I get together in one of our respective cities to celebrate since it's so close to Christmas, the holiday we'd rather spend traveling the distance to Texas. But this year was a little different. She was spending turkey day meeting her boyfriend's family in Atlanta and for me it had been a little over 6 months since I'd been home, which was too long. After being in NYC for that amount of time I was craving space and fresh air and  needed to see an open horizon desperately.

My mom called me a few days before I was set to come home while she was making her grocery list. What would I make? In my family you have to contribute something, usually more than 1 thing and we all have our personal fan favorites. So for me it's usually one dish that's complicated (chopping and sauteing and tempering and baking and yes I'll give you the recipe for that one of these days), and one thing that's easy. No brainer for the easy one. "Brussel sprouts," I said.
Before you twist your face up in disgust let me list off the following accolades for this recipe:
  • It involves 3 ingredients, of which 1 is optional, and takes 20 minutes to make, tops
  • One of the ingredients is bacon
  • It is requested at all major holidays by my family
  • While breaking up with an ex, he requested this recipe. Serious
  • And while I don't have kids, it could be popular with them as it doesn't actually look like a plate full of brussel sprouts
Roasted Brussel Sprouts
1 lbs. brussel sprouts
4-5 slices of bacon chopped into 1/2" pieces- I like apple smoked
1/2 tsp white truffle oil- If you don't have or don't like truffles you can skip. It just adds that extra oomph to make the dish special

1. Set oven to low broil. Remove stem from sprout and halve. Chop halves into 1/4" slices (this allows the sprouts to separate into light little pieces that will flake once they're broiled). Place aluminum foil over a baking sheet and spread sprouts out thin. Top sliced bacon evenly over them.

2. Broil in the oven for 5 minutes. Check when done and possibly stir them around. If not quite browned put back in for 2-3 more minutes. They're done when some sprouts are crisp and browned (though not all) and bacon is cooked. Taste and add salt if necessary (I don't add before as the bacon can be salty enough) and top with a few drops of truffle oil. Transfer to a serving dish.

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