I’m eating my way through Hong Kong this week with Henry and the boys—you can follow our adventures on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook!—but Chinese food isn’t the only fare on my mind. This morning, I found myself dreaming about the bowl of roasted, buttery Brussels sprouts and smoky bacon that we made last week for Thanksgiving.
It’s been three years since I first posted this dead-simple recipe, and it’s become one of the most popular on this blog. For a long time, I couldn’t figure out why; after all, Brussels sprouts aren’t exactly everyone’s favorite vegetable. Personally, when I was a kid, I couldn’t stand ’em.
It wasn’t until adulthood that I discovered that the mild, nutty bitterness of these bulbous sprouts blends beautifully with smoky pork. It was the warm Brussels sprouts salad with bacon and eggs at the now-long-gone Gordon’s House of Fine Eats in San Francisco that first opened my eyes and ultimately inspired the Cavolini Al Forno recipe in my cookbook (which comes out on December 17, 2013!). But with ingredients like Brussels sprouts and bacon, you don’t have to spend much time in the kitchen to produce a flavorful side dish that punches you in the face with flavor.
And today, I’ve decided to update my old post with the new photos I took on Turkey Day. Ready to revisit this classic recipe with me?
Here’s what to gather to make a side dish that feeds 4-6 people:
- 1½ pounds Brussels sprouts
- 2-3 tablespoons melted ghee or fat of choice
- Kosher salt and pepper
- 4 bacon slices, diced
- Aged balsamic vinegar
Here’s what to do:
Dr. Seuss would be damn proud. Dinner was on the table in 30 minutes and afterwards, there was only one skillet to wash.
Earlier in the day, I followed the recipe in Cooks Illustrated’s The Best Vegetable Recipes for shallow blanched collard greens. That way they’d be ready to sauté off when I got home. Also, I thinly sliced up a whole onion and trimmed and halved a ½ pound of Brussels sprouts. I put all my prepped veggies in the fridge and went out to Costco. Remember? I love me some Costco.
After my Costco run, I wanted dinner ASAP. As soon as I came home, I preheated my toaster oven to 400 F; tossed my prepared sprouts with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper; and put the sprouts in the oven.
Then, I took out my cast iron skillet and sautéed the sliced onions in some lard.
While the onions softened, I sliced up a few slices of leftover baked ham
and diced my blanched collard greens.
Once the onions were translucent, I added three cloves of minced garlic and mixed that around for ~30 seconds. I added the chopped ham and stirred that around to give it a little color. Then, I added the chopped blanched collard greens and ¼ cup of low sodium chicken broth. After mixing everything in the skillet, I covered it for 2 minutes to warm everything. I tasted the greens and swine for seasoning and added a splash of sherry vinegar.
I removed the Brussels sprouts from the toaster oven (it took around 20 minutes) and drizzled them with aged balsamic vinegar. Then, I quickly rinsed my skillet, added some butter and fried up a couple of eggs for Fitbomb and myself.
I like me some greens, eggs, and ham.
We’re heading over to the in-laws this evening to celebrate Turkey Day. While the younger rugrat napped, I quickly threw together some garlic caulilflower “mashed potatoes”…
…and roasted broccoli and bacon.
There will be a plethora of meats (albeit all factory farm-raised) and now I know I’ll have some Paleo-approved veggies to go with the tasty animal parts.
Happy Turkey Day!
The folks at Cooks Illustrated write in their ever-so-modestly titled tome The Best Vegetable Recipes that the best way to bake sweet potatoes/yams is to lightly coat them in vegetable oil, pierce ‘em multiple times with a knife, and stick them in a 400°F oven for 45 minutes to an hour.
When I baked some tonight, I coated my tubers with melted coconut oil instead of vegetable oil before popping them in my oven.
Voila! Perfect baked sweet potatoes — creamy flesh and dry, crispy skin. Not too shabby for 5 minutes of hands-on time. Don’t wrap your tubers in foil before you bake them, people!
Looking for more recipes? Head on over to my Recipe Index. You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPad® app, and in my cookbook, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel, December 2013).