Eric turned thirty-one over the weekend, which we used as an excuse to eat like royalty. The feasting began on Friday with a meal fit for a king made by our friends Billy and Marta…cheeses and bread, and an autumnal pear salad, and perfectly done coq a vin, a meal made all the more leisurely by some other friends who kindly watched Owen at home while we dined. (It’s amazing how much more you can enjoy your food when no one is grabbing your neck fat.)
On Saturday night, we had another babyless meal and enjoyed burgers at one of our favorite places with Eric’s brother David and his girlfriend Julia. The gluttony turned a bit sugary on Sunday as we started out with the Pioneer Woman’s cinnamon rolls, and continued onto apple pie, and finished the day with some gelato.
Yeah, it was a little out of control.
With all of the cheese and sugar, we decided for something a little more sensible to close out birthday week…pasta and this simple side of Brussels sprouts. This side dish tasted like fall..with the salty bacon and sweet leeks playing off of the sprouts perfectly. I liked the texture of this recipe, perfectly tender-crisp because the sprouts are separated into individual leaves before being sauteed. It’s a nice diversion from softer, roasted versions of this vegetable.
(recipe adapted slightly from Paleo Australia Blog
(serves 3-4 as a side dish)
This easy Brussels sprouts saute gets a lot of flavor from bacon, leeks, and garlic. The Brussels sprouts are separated into individual leaves that are sauteed until tender crisp. I adapted the original recipe simply by using the bacon grease (instead of another fat) to saute the garlic, leeks, and sprouts.
4 bacon slices
4 cloves of garlic, sliced thin
1 large leek, sliced thin
20-30 Brussels sprouts, cored, separated into leaves and washed
Salt, black pepper and white pepper to taste*
*You do not have to use white pepper, but I do feel like it adds more of a delicate flavor than your standard black pepper.
In a large saute pan, cook your bacon over medium heat, flipping a few times, until the bacon is crisp. Remove from the pan and set aside on a paper-towel-lined plate. Once cool, use your hands or a knife to crumble into small bits.
While your bacon cooks, core and separate the leaves of your Brussels sprouts. This is a little tedious, but I found the quickest way was to remove a few of the large, outer leaves, then cut the sprout in half lengthwise. Using a paring knife, I cut out the core in a triangular shape, and then I could separate the rest of the leaves. Once you have all your leaves, put them in a bowl filled with water and vigorously swish...drain and repeat until the sprouts are clean!
Heat the bacon grease over medium heat. Add the garlic and leeks until fragrant and the leeks start to soften slightly. Add in the Brussels sprouts leaves and saute, stirring frequently, until leaves are tender-crisp. Be careful not to overcook!
Remove pan from heat and add in bacon crumbles, stirring to distribute. Season with salt and both peppers to taste. Serve immediately.