Brussels sprouts

Saturday November 26th, 2016

By way of update, on Thursday the marina (Sunset Bay Marina and Anchorage) provided Turkey dinner for the boaters remaining here in the bay. Boaters were to bring a side dish and the marina provided tables in fine livery with nice centre center pieces, turkey, stuffing, ‘taters’ and vegetables. The boaters provided about 50 feet of side dishes. We sat with new acquaintances from Wind Machine and Straight from the Heart. Thank you to the marina and staff.

The Marina staff encouraged everyone to get seconds and some thirds and then offered up the remains for left overs. Luckily ML grabbed me a slab of turkey for one sandwich. One thing I noted as I traversed the side dishes, three offerings of Brussels sprouts. Very seldom do you see Brussels sprouts offered up at all let alone three. I love them and one dish had them with Bacon!

When my grandfather (Darrel Greer, my mom’s dad) died we were cared for by my brother Terry’s future in-laws. Brussels sprouts were offered and expected to be eaten. Terry reluctantly got one into his mouth and gnawed on it for a while. Finally with a sour and grim face proclaimed “it’s getting bigger”.

Like all things green they are good for you but why are they called Brussels sprouts? I once heard a small child call them Barbie’s cabbage. Little cabbages would be a good name. It seems that their name originates from a Belgian recipe boiling these things and smothering them with butter…hence Brussels sprouts.

Brussels sprouts are an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C (way more than an orange, by the way), vitamin K, as well as beta carotene, folic acid, iron, magnesium and fiber. They’re also high in selenium in case you are ever short of selenium or your dilithium crystals get low…

Brussels sprouts are the most hated vegetable in North America. Great Britain on the other hand grows and eats six times as many as we do. They like they do with most things boil them, and likely too long which can produce the smell some haters talk about.

I can’t believe I’m going to do this but I think this is the recipe for the Brussels sprouts with Bacon I had yesterday. Move over Martha Stewart. They were delicious, I only took two because I was saving room. I didn’t want to be that guy that went back to the buffet for Brussels sprouts.

3 strips bacon, cut crosswise into ½” strips
2 Tbsp. butter
1 ½ lbs. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
2 large shallots, roughly chopped
1 cup hard apple cider
1 tsp. honey
1 tsp. kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high. Add bacon and cook, stirring here and there, until brown and crisp. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

Pour all but 1 Tbsp. bacon fat into a heat-proof jar and reserve for another use. Add butter to skillet. When the butter has melted, add the sprouts. Cook for about 5 minutes, gently shaking the skillet from time to time.

Stir in the shallots and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the cider, honey, salt and pepper, gently mix, and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until the sprouts are tender and the liquid has almost evaporated, 5-7 minutes. If the sprouts need more cooking time, add more cider.

Toss with bacon and serve immediately.

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