With Thanksgiving knocking on the door the other night, I began thinking of ideas for hors dourve experiments that will compliment the season and add some zing to the usual. I wanted an addition to the Floridian delights of yesteryear and homely comfort food of Ohio. We ran the gamut of casseroles growing up from veg-all, sweet potato, green bean, asparagus, and the more traditional southern thanksgiving side variants like mustard & collard greens, turnips, and maybe even rutabagas even once or twice. One aspect that stuck out in my mind was the fact that we always shunned Brussels sprouts.
A vegetable at the height of harvest in the fall, it seems strange that we avoided it like the plague. Dawn and I are becoming more friendly and acquainted with the little guys since she made her fall pizza with them. It seems like a first time at the pool experience- dipping your toes in and deciding when to accept the otherwordliness of water surrounding you. The learning process has proven an aid to push us outside our holiday comfort zone and give us a new appreciation for the neglected orbs.
Avoiding the displeasing mushy texture was high on my agenda second to complementing the earthy bitterness of the sprouts themselves. First and foremost they had to be the star of the show not the complement. To up the ante I used some meaty portobellos and thick-cut pepper bacon for the umami kicker. The result turned out beyond Dawn and my expectations leaving us believers and hopefully you too as this hor dourve will spruce up your holiday get together like no other sprout will.
1 # Brussels sprouts (if frozen, thawed)
4 or 5 pieces peppered bacon roughly chopped
1/3 C all purpose flour for dredging
1 T bacon grease (optional)
1 C thick slicked portobello mushroom
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp soy sauce
Dredge sprouts lightly in flour. Place bacon grease in skillet, if using, and cook bacon until crisp then remove from skillet. Make sure skillet is smoking hot, then add sprouts, and bacon. Shake skillet often to keep sprouts from sticking and to assure a crisp crust on all sides of sprouts and bacon. After sprouts and bacon are crisp, add lemon juice, soy sauce, and salt and pepper shaking to coat.
If using dish for hor dourves, follow directions the same except:
a. cut mushrooms pieces in squares approximately the diameter of your sprouts
b. carefully third sprouts before dredging in flour.
This will allow you thread a slice of sprout, bacon, and mushroom on a skewer to serve at parties or any other occasion when the idea strikes your fancy. Enjoy.