We just finished eating dinner. The kids are mad at me for eating the rest of them. I grew up disliking brussels sprouts. My mom would boil them until soft and put a pat of butter on them. That’s it. Slimy outer leaves, slightly salty, and really not very good. And then I watched Jacques Pepin and Julia Childs cook vegetables, and I had to try them again. Boiled lightly and then chopped and either fried in butter, stirred with sour cream, or flavored however you’d like. They taste sweet and good instead of bitter. No slimy leaves, and a little firm but not hard.
This recipe is a mix of several recipe’s I’ve made. Start by preparing the brussels sprouts. Cut off the bottom and peel off the loose outer leaves. This is the next step that I learned from Julia, cut a small plus sign into the stem part of each sprout. This allows the hot water to penetrate the sprout, allowing it to cook through properly instead of getting that mushy, slimy leave and a hard inside. Cook in salted boiling water until they are starting to soften. It’s usually around 10 minutes. You don’t want to cook them until they are super soft, just soft enough to stick a fork into them. When they are cooked, drain them and put them on a cutting board. Chop into small or large pieces, whatever you prefer.
Meanwhile, chop up some bacon. Cook it in a saute pan until it’s almost cooked. When it’s almost finished, add some diced shallots and cook everything until the shallots are soft and the bacon is cooked. If there isn’t enough fat in the bacon, add a little olive oil or butter. Stir in the chopped brussels sprouts and cook for a few minutes, until all the flavors blend and the sprouts are hot throughout. Remove from the heat.
For the final step, stir in a little romano cheese. I’ve been using a wonderful sheep’s milk pecorino romano that adds a nice salty and tangy flavor.
Top each serving with a sunny side up fried egg. This is the best part. We went to a wonderful Asian fusion restaurant in Chicago last year. I had brussels sprouts with miso topped with a quail egg. The runny yolk makes for a wonderful sauce with the sprouts, adding creaminess and that wonderful mouth feel that only a raw yolk can do. Yes, you can eat brussels sprouts without a fried egg, but why would you?