Brussels sprouts have to be one of the oddest vegetables available in Farmers Markets this time of year. At our local market, you purchase them still attached to the stem. They remind me of the oddities found in Dr. Seuss books. I love the flavor of Brussels sprouts - they have a delicate, almost sweet cabbage-like flavor. That said, one of my favorite recipes uses some very strong flavors to accent the sprouts.
Bacon Kimchee Sprouts
1 stalk Brussels sprouts
1/4 cup kimchee (Korean spicy fermented cabbage)
1/2 pound bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 small onion (red or sweet) finely diced
1/4 cup apple cider
Trim the Brussels sprouts by cutting them off the stalk then trimming off the outer leaves, and any leaves that appear brown or blemished. Rinse them well, then cut each sprout in half, lengthwise. Dry well on a paper towel.
On a cutting board, finely chop the kimchee, carefully saving the delicious spicy juices. Set aside.
In a frying pan, cook the bacon pieces until crisp and browned, then remove from the pan and let drain on a paper towel. Set aside.
Carefully place the sprouts, cut-side-down, in the bacon drippings, toss the chopped onion on top and cook on low heat, covered, for 5 minutes. With a spatula, turn the sprouts and continue cooking for 2 more minutes. The sprouts and onion should be lightly browned and caramelized.
Add the apple cider to the pan, stir to combine, and gently heat, letting the apple cider reduce and thicken.
When ready to serve, add in the reserved bacon and chopped kimchee and mix well.
This recipe combines spicy, sweet, savory and salty flavors. I'll bet you won't have any leftovers and the next time you'll want to buy TWO stalks of Brussels sprouts!