Honey-Balsamic Glazed Brussel Sprouts

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Brussel sprouts have always had a bad reputation for being the worst tasting vegetable, but I have a recipe that has turned many into a believer. First off, for those who are most skeptic about cooking this for a crowd, I suggest adding bacon to the whole mix - because what doesn't taste good with bacon right? For those who are looking for a more health-conscious recipe, skip the bacon part and just use olive oil.

Honey-Balsamic Glazed Brussel Sprouts

Serves 2

2 slices of bacon, chopped fine
1 shallot, sliced thin
1/2 lb brussel sprouts - pick the small ones that are bright green and tight leaves
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon olive oil (or butter)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
salt & black pepper to taste

1. Prep Work. Wash the brussel sprouts, remove discolored outer leaves, trim stem ends, and cut in half through the stem. In a separate bowl, mix the balsamic vinegar and honey until it's well mixed. Add a dash of black pepper if you wish.

2. Cook Bacon (optional) If not using bacon, please skip to step 3. Cook bacon and shallots in a skillet over medium heat until the bacon is crisp and the shallots are browned, about 10 minutes. Once done, transfer to a separate container, save a little bit of the bacon fat in the skillet if you wish for the next step.

3. Cook Brussel Sprouts. Add the brussel sprouts, a pinch of salt, and the water in the skillet, increase the heat to medium-high. Cover and shimmer until the brussel sprouts turn a bright green color throughout, about 8 minutes. Uncover the pan and cook until all the water evaporates, about 5 more minutes.

Tip: Be sure not to add too much water in this step, you need to evaporate all the liquids and not overcook the brussel sprouts - they will turn into mush and no longer be a beautiful bright green. If it seems pretty cooked and there's still too much water, toss the water out. You might also want to consider cooking this in 2 batches if you're making a huge batch.

4. Make the glaze. If you chose not to use bacon in this recipe, heat up some olive oil and brown the shallots. Make sure all liquids are evaporated from skillet. Add the bacon, shallots, honey-balsamic vinegar mixture and 1 teaspoon olive oil in skillet over medium-high heat. The honey-balsamic should begin to reduce into a glaze as the liquid evaporates. Cook until the sauce is thickened to your liking. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

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