Now that it’s November all I can think about is Thanksgiving. It is my favorite holiday. Obviously the emphasis on food doesn’t hurt, but it is just a no-stress enjoyable time with the family.
I love brussel sprouts and have decided to add them to our Thanksgiving dinner this year. We have a couple of gluten-free eaters and this will just be another option for them and me to load up on!
I have made this twice now, both on weeknights and it has been devoured before we can even get to the rest of the food. It’s quick, easy, healthy, and delicious!
Yield: 4 Servings
- 1 tsp. coarse kosher salt
- 1 pound brussel sprouts
- 1 oz pancetta*
- 1 tsp. bacon fat, olive oil, or duck fat**
- 1/2 oz Parmiggiano-Reggiano, finely shredded
- 1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
- 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- Remove stray, ratty looking, or loose leaves from brussel sprouts.
- Fill a large bowl with some ice cubes. Set aside.
- Fill a heavy pot with 6 cups of water and 1 tsp. coarse kosher salt. Bring to a rolling boil. Add brussels sprouts to water and blanch for 3 minutes. While sprouts are blanching, fill bowl of ice with cold water. Remove sprouts from heat and plunge into ice water immediately to stop cooking.
- Once cooled, transfer brussels sprouts to a cookie sheet lined with paper towels. Dry brussels sprouts completely. Cut brussels sprouts in half, lengthwise.
- Cut pancetta in strips, and crisp in a heavy skillet over medium-low heat.
- Melt 1 tsp. bacon fat** in a cast-iron skillet over high heat. Add brussel sprouts. Using tongs to turn brussel sprouts until all are turned on their flat side. Allow to sear for 2 minutes.
- Add balsamic vinegar and pepper to skillet and stir to coat brussel sprouts. Remove from heat.
- Sprinkle brussel sprouts with pancetta strips and parmesan. Serve immediately.
* Pancetta doesn’t have as much fat to it as bacon so will burn if the heat is too high. Remember we’re talking pancetta here, prosciutto doesn’t deal with heat too well so get your P’s right people!!!
**I used bacon fat because I always have it in my fridge. That’s how I roll! You can certainly use olive oil. I would steer clear of extra-virgin for this recipe because you are going to pan-sear these babies over high heat and you wouldn’t want to ruin their amazing flavor with oxidized oil. If you want to be super luxurious use duck fat. I wasn’t going to do this for a Tuesday dinner at home, but I will seriously consider it for Thanksgiving. It really would bring this dish to a whole new level.
- Top Ten Seasonal Ingredients for Fall (theeightdollarcook.wordpress.com)
- How to Blanch Brussels Sprouts (youtube)