Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Brussels Sprouts To Die For

Did I just use the words brussels sprouts and to die for together? As a I have shared on several occassions, I hated, hated, hated brussels sprouts as a child. As an adult, I tolerate them. I do try new recipes with them to make my husband happy because he loves them.
I made these balsamic-glazed brussels sprouts with pancetta for the Easter dinner we hosted at our house. They were to die for! I actually went back for more!

2 oz. pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 1/2 cup)
1 to 2 Tbs. extra vigin olive oil
10 oz. brussels sprouts (about 18 medium), trimmed and halved through the core
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbs. unsalted buttter
kosher salt
In a heavy 10-inch straight-sided saute pan (what the heck is that? any 'ole frying pan will work) set over medium-low heat, slowly cook the pancetta in 1 Tbs. of the oil until golden and crisp all over, 10 to 15 minutes.

With a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta to a plate lined with paper towels, leaving the fat behind. You should have about 2 Tbs. fat in the pan; if not, add the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil. Have ready 1/2 cup water. Put the pan over medium-high heat and arrange the sprouts cut side down in a single layer. Cook undisturbed until nicely browned, 2 to 3 minutes. When the sprouts are browned, add the water to the pan, cover immediately, and simmer until the sprouts are tender when poked with a fork or skewer, about 3 minutes. (if the water evaporates before the sprouts get tender, add more water, 1/4 cup at a time.) With a slotted spoon, transfer the sprouts to a plate.

Return the pan to medium-high heat and if any water remains, let it boil off. Add the balsamic vinegar and a few grinds of pepper. Boil the vinegar until it's reduced to about 2 Tbs. and looks lightly syrupy, about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add the butter, and stir until melted. Return the sprouts and pancetta to the pan and swirl and shake the pan to evenly coat the sprouts with the sauce. Season to taste with salt and more pepper and serve.
See, they stood in line to get to the brussels spouts!

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