So many people hate brussels sprouts, including Tall Dark and Handsome. He dislikes just about any green as a matter of fact. I just don’t get it; he even refers to my beloved kale as a garnish! I often make myself some greens assuming that he will overlook them.
The night I served these he actually went back for thirds. It was not my first time serving sprouts this way, but it was the first time TDH ate them. Of course they became a perma-make in my file book. Come to think of it… I wonder why I have not shared these already.
This was a recipe first served at Thanksgiving with my sisters in Tallahassee. The sisters were skeptical of it mostly because I poured maple over green vegetables, not because it was actually a vegetable.
The sprouts themselves are earthy, salty, sweet and crunchy all at the same time. A favorite flavor/texture combination of mine I try to repeat often. So much of the flavor in this dish is because of pork fat back. If you do not want to use fat back, substitute olive oil, bacon, or duck fat. Try adding something like sliced smoked duck sausage to make a meal out of it ::drool::
Choose your brussel sprouts wisely. Look for medium to large sized sprouts that are tightly closed and not wilted. These will require less prep work and have a more robust flavor. Save the small sprouts for roasting whole.
- 12-16 Tight and bright brussel sprouts
- 3oz Bacon or pork fat back
- 1 Leek
- ¼c Pecans, almonds or pumpkin seeds
- 1/8c Dried cranberries
- 2t Maple syrup
- Salt and pepper
Toast the nuts in the toaster oven.
Wash and slice the leek. Trim both ends and save the white and green parts separately.
Half and shred the brussels sprouts.
Render the fat back or bacon over medium heat. The goal is to melt the fat off without burning it. The result will be delicately-brown melty-fatty crispiness gently simmering in a pool of flavor.
Add the white part of the leek to the fat and cook until lightly golden. Turn up the heat to med-high. Then add the green leek and brussels sprouts, gently tossing while cooking for 2-4 minutes. Add the pecans and cranberries.
To finish, pour the maple syrup over everything and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper.
Enjoy and watch others devour!