Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Warm Brussels Sprouts + Apples w/ Smoky "Bacon" Bits

This is my own version of a dish my sister-in-law, Bianca, brought over for Thanksgiving. We both brought brussels sprouts, 'dueling brussels,' as I called them. Her wonderful dish featured the unforgettable combination of blue cheese and Brussels, so I copied it for this version here. I added warm apples and smoky, bacon-y mushroom bits.

And I think that's real take away from this recipe, the "bacon" bits. I plan to use this little innovation on salads, potatoes, sandwiches, or wherever a nice little hit of salt and smoke would the possibilities are endless.

Smoky bacon bits:

6 cremini mushrooms (diced)
olive oil
toasted sesame oil
hickory smoked salt
black pepper
brown sugar

In a medium pan over high heat, bring 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of sesame oil up to temperature. Once the oil starts to smoke, toss the mushrooms into the pan. Sprinkle in a few pinches of hickory smoked salt and continue to cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until color is deep brown. Remove mushrooms with a slotted spoon or spatula allowing residual fat to remain in the pan. Sprinkle mushrooms with a pinch of brown sugar and some cracked black pepper.

12 large brussels sprouts (quartered, blanched in super-salty water, cooled)
2 small pink lady apples (cut away from the core, sliced, squeeze of lemon)
smoky "bacon" bits
2 ounces blue cheese (crumbled)
olive oil or butter
salt and pepper

In a large pan over medium-high heat, sear the brussels sprouts in a tablespoon of olive oil or butter until they start to pick up some color. Toss in the apples and bacon bits. Cook until just warmed through. To serve, drizzle the top with a little honey, add crumbled blue cheese plus salt and pepper. This can be eaten warm or at room temperature.