Friday, February 7, 2014

Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Smoked Bacon Bits

Brussel Sprouts are finally coming into their own. It is obvious to me that some veggies have their time in the spotlight and then fade away into obscurity.  Brussel spouts are enjoying the limelight this winter and rightfully so. Packed with great flavor and filled with all those vitamins that keep us healthy, they give a lot of bang for the buck.  When I came across a 2 lb bag of them yesterday I grabbed them feeling healthier just putting them in the cart.
I grew up in a family who loved food in a county that is known for food, Lancaster County PA. Part of the PA Dutch heritage is the whole sweet and sour thing. In our home it was front and center and leaned toward the sour. Prominent on our dining room table was a beautiful glass cruet filled with, of all things, apple cider vinegar. It was there because Dad loved nothing more than to douse his veggies with vinegar and none more so than the lowely brussel sprout. My years in Europe introduced me to them done au gratin with some of the most amazing cheese and cream sauces but today I usually opt for a lighter version and roast them. This is a quick and easy side and for the adventerous innkeeper who wants to give it a try, several of these as a side to an egg dish would be fabulous not to mention interesting.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts
2lbs fresh brussel sprouts
1/4 lb smoked bacon, finely sliced into small pieces
1 tbsp olive oil
garlic salt
sea salt
freshly cracked pepper

Preheat oven to 400F
Remove the stem piece of the sprout and remove any loose leaves
Cut in half lengthwise
Place in an iron skillet ( any oven safe bakeware will do but cast iron or metal sheets will give you a crisper finish.)
Distribute the bacon over the sprouts
Drizzle with oil
Sprinkle with garlic salt and then the sea salt
Grind pepper over the whole
roast for 30-40 min stirring once to brown evenly
Serve hot as a side or cold on an antipasto platter

My mother-in-law maintained that Brussel Sprouts were sweeter if left in the field till after the first frost. If you are buying them locally from a farm stand this is a good thing to know.

For pickeled sprouts steam 1/2 lb cleaned sprouts in a small amount of salted water
Remove from the heat and drain.
Place in a bowl and while hot add 4 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
Stir occasionally till cool, then place in a a container and refrigerate. 
Serve like you would pickles

Swiss Woods Bed and Breakfast
Debbie Mosimann
The Lititz PA Broad
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