For my 5th Birthday I choose the meal for my party, Hot Dogs & Brussels Sprouts. I remember being so excited to have the "Little Baby Cabbages" steamed and coated with one of my other favorite childhood foods- butter (who are we kidding- I still love both, but at least with butter I know how to use discretion). As my mother tells me, my young guests were less impressed (or seemingly mortified) by my selection.
But, I was blissful in my delicious selection.
Thanksgiving seems to be the one time of year that I can get my dinner guests to be fully on board with my Brussels Sprouts passion. Part of the reason being that sauteed in a bit of bacon is simply a heavenly way to pair the shredded, slightly bitter "Little Baby Cabbages".
I have yet to have a guest taste and dis this dish. Most people marvel at their new love of Brussels sprouts.
This dish is slightly salty & smokey from the Bacon balancing the bitter from the Brussels Sprouts, sweet & a touch tangy from the Cranberries and a lil' crunch from the Almonds. And it is as simple as can be to make.
If you are a vegetarian or wary of bacon, use a high-heat Almond Oil and add at least a 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt to taste. Other than sauteing the bacon the recipe follows the same. Double this recipe for a larger Thanksgiving Day crowd of 8-12 people
Brussels Sprouts Sauté
1 pound Brussels Sprouts
2 strips of bacon or 2 tablespoons almond oil (high-heat preferred)
¼ cup dried cranberries
1/8 cup slivered almonds
1 teeny-tiny pinch of sea salt and ground pepper to taste OR at least ½ teaspoon sea salt and pepper- ONLY if using the almond oil instead of bacon
Trim the ends off the Brussels sprouts and cut in half through the stem-base. Lay on the flat side and thinly slice along through the stem end. Some pieces will remain together and most will become light cabbage-like threads. As if you are shredding a cabbage for coleslaw.
Next stack the strips of bacon and cut into rough pieces.
Heat a large skillet (the larger the better- to give everything enough room to get plenty of heat and color) over medium-high heat. Once hot, add in the bacon pieces. Allow the pieces to heat slightly for 1-2 minutes to sear and get a bit of crunch. Sauté the bacon, flip, turning over the strips to get color on the opposite side. Once they are just starting to turn into crunchy pieces add in the Brussels Sprout shreds and pieces. If using the almond oil, obviously skip cooking the bacon, add the oil, once hot add the Brussels sprouts.
Allow the Brussels sprouts to heat for a minute or so to gain color and sear slightly. Then begin to sauté lightly, flipping the pan if you are so inclined. Again allow the pieces to rest on the hot pan and gain color. Continue this until the Brussels sprouts are tender and slightly golden in places, about 8-10 minutes. Add in the dried cranberries and toss to incorporate. Season to taste with the sea salt and pepper. Place in an oven safe dish. It can be made a head and heated in a hot oven prior to serving. I typically stick it in the oven, covered with foil at whatever temperature everything else needs (usually the stuffing, sweet potatoes and other sides have more demanding heat requirements).
Just before serving sprinkle with the slivered almonds. And serve, piled high...