I spent most of my childhood hearing horror stories about brussel sprouts. From my parents whose parents had only ever fixed them steamed brussel sprouts to tv shows where the sprouts were always portrayed as gross and inedible. Is it any wonder that I reached adulthood refusing to get anywhere near the things?
Why oh why did I wait so long to try them?
Over the course of our marriage, my husband would occasionally ask for sprouts and I would politely ignore the request. I did give in once and let him try and grow them in our garden, but thankfully (at the time) they didn't survive. I guess he had a completely different experience with brussel sprouts as a child than I ever did.
Last summer while feeling unusually adventurous I started searching pinterest for side dishes and came across a few variations for caramelized brussel sprouts. I love caramelized onions so I was thinking the concepts could be similar and I wondered if maybe it wasn't finally time to try these things. Of course the only one really on board with the idea was the husband. The kids were running away in terror because apparently my view of sprouts had rubbed off on them.
So one night without telling them what I was doing ahead of time, I cooked those caramelized sprouts for dinner. The result was only so-so that first time, but I was a good-girl and ate my veggies. And I learned that surprisingly those little things weren't too bad.
After some thought and experimentation (like bacon!) I took those so-so sprouts and turned them into this amazing side dish that we now all fight over. Seriously. We play hide the bowl so we don't have to share. They are tender and sweet with that amazing salty bacon flavor contrasting beautifully. I can't get enough of them!
Bacon Caramelized Brussel Sprouts
2lbs. brussel sprouts, ends trimmed and outer leaves removed
1 tbls. olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbls. brown sugar
8 bacon strips, diced
In a small frying pan, cook bacon until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Reserve bacon grease.
Slice each brussel sprout very thin until you have a pile of brussels sprout ribbons.
In a large skillet over medium high heat, heat the olive oil and saute the garlic for 30 seconds.
Add the brussels sprouts and continue cooking for another 5-6 minutes, until bright green and tender. While cooking you can add the reserved bacon grease a little at a time so the sprouts can absorb it.
Add the salt, brown sugar and bacon. Cook together 1 minute to give the sugar time to caramelize.
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