I’m so happy its 2017! I know there is a lot of crazy stuff going on in the world today, but one thing that finally makes sense is the fact that brussel sprouts are finally getting their shine. Now a days, Kale, brussel sprouts, quinoa, and a myriad of other ingredients are popular. But you know what, I remember a time when I was growing up that you couldn’t GIVE away brussel sprouts. You see, I grew up in the 90’s, and the 90’s was not a time that favored healthy foods, unless you consider pizza bagels in the morning, noon, and night time healthy…that was a jingle for pizza bagels in the 90’s btw. Yes, it was an amazing jingle, but it was certainly not a good lifestyle choice lol. Any how, I remember not liking brussel sprouts simply because my parents didn’t like them. I don’t think I ever even HAD them, but there was such a negative stigma around brussel sprouts that there was no way I was going to try them. I even remember that on TV brussel sprouts were always being put down…If only I knew back then what I know today!
You see, brussel sprouts are delicious. It took me a while to figure that one out, but better late than never. And I’m writing this because I don’t want you or your family to make the same mistakes I made. I have a theory when it comes to foods that people don’t like. They had it cooked poorly once, and now have an aversion to that food. In the case of brussel sprouts, I blame the past few generations. For whatever weird reason, our parents and parent’s parents and parent’s parents…well you get the point… have a history of boiling vegetables. And do you know what happens when you boil brussel sprouts? They smell like rotten eggs, that’s what! So it’s no wonder that generations of people can’t stand them. Thankfully, people are starting to discover how amazing they can taste if cooked right.
Brussel sprouts are members of the brassica family, and they have a huge family! Brassicas include cabbage, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, and bok choy to name a few. Basically, it’s allllll cabbage! Through centuries of crossing different species, and selectively choosing different traits, we now have a whole lot of choices in cabbage. And as someone who loves eating cabbage, this is great news. Knowing that brussel sprouts are basically cabbage might now seem that important, but if you think about all the great things cabbage can do, you can start seeing the potential for brussel sprouts. I’m talking, frying, sautéing, pickling, roasting, making slaw, fermenting…you like kimchi right? and a whole lot of other things. So sometimes understanding an ingredient better can help to get the creative juices flowing.
Speaking of which! I’m just going to stop rambling on about how great brussel sprouts are, and get to the good part. This recipe is ABSOLUTELY my favorite way to eat brussel sprouts. It could possibly be my favorite recipe of any food! It’s that good. If you don’t like brussel sprouts, I can 1000% percent guarantee that you will change your mind after having this.
Apricot Glazed, Fried Brussel Sprouts and Bacon:
Recommended Equipment: a heavy pot large enough to hold 1 gallon of oil with a frying thermometer attached to the side, or a countertop deep fryer. A frying basket or spyder large enough to fit your pot.
1 lb brussel sprouts, trimmed and cut into quarters
6 or 7 slices of thick cut, good quality bacon
1 jar of apricot preserves
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp salt
1 tbls ground chilies or chili powder
salt, to taste
1 gallon frying oil
This recipe is pretty quick and easy, but it has some “ahead of time” preparation” to do. The first is to cook the bacon. Heat an oven to 400° F and line a cookie sheet pan with parchment paper. Lay out all the bacon on the paper so that it fits nicely and overlaps as little as possible. roast in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until the bacon is deep brown but still has a little chew to it. It may take longer depending on how thick your bacon is. Remove the bacon from the oven and put on a paper towel lined plate to wick away excess grease. Once t is cool enough to handle, cut it into smaller 1/2 inch pieces and reserve.
While the bacon is cooking, you should be able to get all the other prep out of the way. Take your brussel sprouts and trim the root edge a little to clean off ny brown bits, but keep it in tact. Now quarter the sprout so that it has the in-tact root keeping each piece together. Do this for each sprout, and reserve any stray leaves that fall off. For the glaze, Mix apricot preserves, cumin, coriander, salt, and chili powder together in a bowl until thoroughly combined. You could do all this prep the day of, or even a couple days ahead of time.
Now if you noticed the special equipment section above, you will see that I recommend frying in at least one gallon of oil. A counter top model deep fryer makes frying incredibly easy, but can also be done fairly easy in a large pot. If you go the rout of using a pot, make sure you have a thermometer attached to monitor the temperature of the oil, and either a round fryer basket that will fit into your pot or a spyder.. That way you will be able to get out all the food you put into the oil. Either way, heat your oil to 345 ° F. Once it’s hot, Use your fryer basket or spyder to lower in the brussel sprout and fallen leaves and cook for a few minutes. You will know they are done once they are deeply golden brown. Throw in the bacon and cook for a few seconds. Now get all the food out of the oil and into a large bowl. Toss with a few pinches of salt and pepper to taste. Let cool for about a minute. You will notice that they will crisp up a bit, which gives them a pleasant crunch. After they have cooled for a minute, toss them with a tablespoon or two of the glaze so that it evenly covers everything. Serve and enjoy!!!!
Give this recipe a try, I promise you will not be disappointed. Leave a comment below and let me know what you think!