Thursday, April 4, 2013

Brussels Sprouts & Bacon Gratin

Most of my life I considered myself an avowed brussels sprouts hater.  But without fail, every Thanksgiving my mom would make them, and out of curiosity I would try them in hopes that year would be different and I'd finally come to like them.  However, a whole new world opened up for me when I discovered that brussels sprouts grow on stalks and not as tiny cabbages in freezer packs slathered in a butter sauce.  Who knew?

And then, St. Patrick's Day 2012 rolled around and a friend brought a brussels sprouts dish to our party because, well they're green and cabbage-y.  That night, for the first time, I fell in love with brussels sprouts.  The next morning I begged her for the recipe, so here it is, the golden ticket of brussels sprouts recipes, sure to win over the biggest skeptic.

Brussels Sprouts & Bacon Gratin

Serves 8 / Total Time: 1.5 hrs

For Brussels Sprouts:
2 lbs fresh brussels sprouts, outer leaf layers removed, spout ends sliced off, halved lengthwise
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/4 lb slab of bacon, diced into 1/4" pieces
Salt & pepper to taste
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp heavy cream

For Gratin Topping:
1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs
6 Tbsp grated Parmesan
3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
3 Tbsp fresh sage, minced (can substitute parsley or chives)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Toss brussels sprouts with melted butter, bacon, salt & pepper.  Spread in a shallow baking dish, just large enough for one layer with a little overlap.  Roast on top rack of oven for 25 minutes, stirring once or twice during roasting.

While the sprouts are roasting, prepare your gratin topping.  In a bowl, mix together all of your toppings ingredients and set aside.

After the brussels sprouts have roasted for 25 minutes, add the heavy cream and stir to fully coat.  Evenly top with your breadcrumb mixture, and put it back into the oven to roast for an additional 20-25 minutes, or until bubbling and breadcrumbs are golden brown.  Remove from oven and let rest 15 minutes before serving.

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