Sunday, January 10, 2010

a word on brussels sprouts and marriage

2010 marks a new decade, a list of resolutions but also for my husband and I it is the year we will celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary! I don’t want to sound corny and sappy but honestly, I have a great marriage. If you asked me “What is the secret to a good marriage?” One of the first things I would say is learn to compromise and not to hold to tightly to the whole “me first” philosophy. There are many other things that could be said on what makes a good marriage, but since this is a food blog and not the Dr. Laura show we will keep it on food.

This brings me to the topic of Brussels sprouts. You see, I really like them. I like them roasted, braised, and even raw with a little salt. But when my husband hears the words “B sprouts”, he goes off on a rant. He absolutely cannot stand them.

He even threatened that he wouldn’t read this blog because it would have photos of the little “creatures” (I think he was kidding, I will let you know). But in order to keep the peace in our home I decided that I would only make them when he is traveling, and not just overnight but gone for a few days, just to make sure the smell has completely dissipated from the house. Yes, folks: compromise.

So this week was my chance; he was going back east on business. And although I don’t like for him to be away, I knew this was my opportunity to make a recipe I’ve had tucked away for sometime. These little beauties turned out so good I believe they could convert some of those “on the fence” brussels sprout people….just not my husband.


Bacon-Braised Brussels Sprouts
Loosely adapted from Tyler Florence

1 ½ pounds Brussels sprouts, washed and then cut in half
3 strips of bacon (about 4 ounces) cut into small squares
1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed, plus 2 cloves, roughly chopped
4 sprigs thyme, plus 2 sprigs thyme, leaves only, chopped
2 cups chicken stock
Salt & Freshly ground black pepper
3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 cup panko bread crumbs
2 sprigs rosemary, leaves only, chopped
Extra-virgin olive oil

Take a large pan and set over medium-high heat. Add bacon and cook until fat renders 2 to 3 minutes. Add the smashed garlic clove, thyme sprigs and Brussels sprouts and cook gently until slightly caramelized. Add stock and reduce heat to a simmer, season with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes until tender. Remove lid and add a splash of vinegar and reduce until syrupy, 2 to 3 minutes. If there is still too much liquid, remove the Brussels sprouts and raise the heat and let mixture reduce further. Then return the Brussels sprouts back to the pan.

In a small skillet over medium-high heat add a splash of olive oil then the panko bread crumbs, rosemary, thyme leaves and chopped garlic. Stir until mixture turns golden and fragrant. Season with salt and pepper.

To serve place Brussels sprouts in a serving bowl and top with panko mixture.

Serves 4


  1. I am officially boycotting this post.

    5 Foot's Husband

  2. When my Dad was gone my Mom would make these horrible frozen fish sticks, I'm wondering which would have been worse. I actually made B sprouts for the first time in my life last month and I actually loved them, WHO KNEW? PS love your hubby's comment, humor helps keep the marriage magic too. xo

  3. This post is cracking me up! I made Brussels Sprouts last night, much to my husband's dismay. The recipe turned out great -- there was this yummy mustard cream sauce with butter and caramelized onions -- I loved it! He didn't. This inspired me because bacon is his most favorite food on the planet. I just mentioned it to him, though, and he said (and I quote): "Honey, don't insult the bacon." Guess I too will have to wait until he's away for the weekend :o)