First of all let me just say that earlier today I learned that Brussels sprouts has an "s" on "Brussels". I guess I figured the origin was Brussels (the place), but when I say the words aloud I don't say it with two "s's". I say brusselsprouts, all one mouthful. I also don't usually capitalize it since it seemed strange to capitalize a vegetable. But it is most definitely a proper noun - the little cabbages were originally grown in Northern Europe in the area now known as Belgium, of which the capital is Brussels*. I apologize for any misspellings in prior posts. There's your fun etymology fact for the day.
Now, about those Brussels sprouts. They're like so hot right now, although I think some might say that kale has take the place as the hot new vegetable of the year. Kale is the new black? Kale is the new sprouts? What hot new food will come down the table runner next season? I feel like they should have a Food Network version of E!'s Fashion Police where "experts" discuss the hotness of foods and ingredients.
Oh, right. Back to Brussels (the sprouts, not the place). What I'm trying to get to is that Brussels sprouts are tasty and a welcomed dish at any fall table - especially at Thanksgiving. Here are two quick ways I like to make mine.
Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts
This one couldn't get easier. Wash sprouts. Remove outer brown leaves. Cut each sprout in half length wise. Throw them on a sheet pan with olive oil and lots of salt and pepper. Toss with your hands until they are thoroughly coated. I like to take an extra minute and arrange them so they lay flat on the pan; I love the caramelization that happens to the flat side. Roast at 400 degrees for 20 - 25 minutes (watch them closely, if they are small little babies they will cook quicker). Salt again before serving. I also like to sprinkle some Parmesan or pecorino over the top like they do at at Friedman's.
Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Shallots, & Balsamic
Heat 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan over medium-high. Add trimmed and halved Brussels sprouts and brown for a few minutes. Add 1/4 pound of diced bacon (thick cut) and cook until it browns. Add in a finely minced shallot and a minced garlic clove. Cook a minute more minute until fragrant. Turn heat to medium-low and pour in 1/4 cup aged balsamic vinegar. Stir to thoroughly coat the sprouts. Cook a few minutes until the balsamic is reduced by half. Add a cup of chicken stock and cook until most of the stock is reduced. Season with salt and pepper and serve hot.
Now I'm hungry. Maybe we'll have BrusselS sprouts for Wine Night!