Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Fig and Bacon Brussles Sprouts


I've finally found a recipe that makes brussles sprouts delicious.

Actually that's a lie. What this recipe really does is manage to combine figs and bacon cooked together to perfection, the flavor juxtaposition of which is so amazing you forget there is brussels sprouts on the plate as well. Chewy sweet figs coated in salty bacon fat is surprisingly great. Bacon alone makes sprouts edible but this is a whole other league of yum. Don't take my word for it go try it.

Jacob made a variation of this the evening we were baking the chocolate bacon cake and found ourselves with a lot of left over bacon to play with. Those brussles sprouts were swimming in bacony goodness and then ramped up with some fig vinegar. They were good but I wasn't in love with them.

So when I went to cook these sprouts Jacob was a little dubious quipping, “didn't I make this same thing a couple weeks ago?” I defended my recipe choice claiming it would be amazing and totally different while in reality the only reason I was trying this was I had CSA brussel scprouts and wanted an excuse to buy figs. All I was hoping was that I wouldn't fail epically.

The joke was on us both. We started nibbling on the sprouts while waiting for the random curry I was also making to finish. Both of us had the same reaction of stopping to stare at one another wide eyed and a bit impressed. They only got better as the figs had time to get more and more chewy. Then he had the inspired idea to add some apple vinegar which made the sprouts somehow even tastier. I think the slightly sweet fruity vinegar worked out better in the dish than the balsamic vinegar that the original recipe calls for.

Playing in the kitchen with someone who really knows food is amazing fun, but making a professional foodie something that is rewarded with yummy noises and that delighted look of stunned satisfaction is somehow even better. Bacon and figs...who knew?



Fig and Bacon Brussels Sprouts

2 tablespoons olive oil
6 ounces of bacon, chopped
1 pound brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
1 cup dried figs, stemmed and quartered
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

Pour oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Add chopped bacon and cook, stirring occasionally until it starts to crisp, about 8 minutes.

Add sprouts, figs and water to pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper then cook undisturbed until sprouts are tender, about 10 minutes. Increase heat to medium high and continue to cook until any remaining liquid evaporates.

Add vinegar to taste just before serving.

Original recipe from Mark Bittman in the New York Times.

1 comment:

Sara said...

Hmm. This reminds me somewhat of my favorite appetizer -- dates stuffed with cabrales cheese and almonds, then wrapped in bacon.

Food. Gasm.