Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Brussels Sprouts with Panchetta

Last year I briefly babysat two delightful girls.  One thing that stands out to me from the experience was when the oldest clearly stated "Brussels Sprouts are the enemy of kids!"  I thought it was hilarious and I also thought, wow brussel sprouts have a pretty bad rep.  To be honest they were never something I grew up eating, but I can imagine that kids probably hate them because if you just boil them on their own they don't have a whole lot of flavor.  I would also like to state that I don't know what is coming over me, but I'm sort of having a love affair with bacon at the moment.  (Wow I just reread that sentence and felt disgrace).  I'm not saying I judge people who like bacon, it's just always been a little bit gross to me.  I guess until now that is, and now I just want to throw it in everything (don't worry I won't [I realize it's not 2012 and that fad has already been done] but I have been having cravings for it).  I guess it's kind of like sugar, the more you eat it the more you want it, I guess that's true for drugs and a lot of others things too.  I am clearly touching on some hard hitting topics here, but back to the brussels sprouts, they do take a bit of work to clean.  You see they are the kind of vegetable that conveniently have rocks and dirt crammed in them, so it takes a bit of work, but I promise that's the hardest part of the recipe.  The end result is a comforting side dish that can be served with loads of different dishes such as salmon (which I had it with when I made it last and it is ddeeelicious), steak, chicken breast, and I could go on but I don't want to bore you just by listing pretty much any protein (you get it, right?)

B R U S S E L S  S P R O U T S  with          P A N C H E T T A  R E C I P E

☂ 2 1bs. brussels sprouts
☂ 4 oz. package of panchetta (in little cubes)
☂ 1 cup chicken stock
☂ salt and pepper to taste

☂ To clean brussels sprouts, slightly trim the steam of each one (which is the side with the little nub).  You don't want to cut too much off, but this will help a few of the dirtier outside leaves fall off, and also pull off any of those leaves if they don't already come off.  Then you can either let them soak for 10 minutes, or you can thoroughly wash them over the sink in a colander.
☂ Fill up a large soup pot halfway with water, and place it on a burner on your stove on high heat. Season the water with salt.  Bring the water to a boil and then add the cleaned brussels sprouts.  Cook for 15-25 minutes or until they are cooked enough to stick a fork through with some ease (don't turn them to mush).
☂ While the brussels sprouts are boiling, heat a large skillet (that you have a lid for) to medium heat and add the panchetta.  Cook the panchetta until is has browned, but has no black burn marks.  Once it is cooked transfer the panchetta to a bowl with a slotted spoon, leaving the grease in the pan with the heat turned off.  
☂ Drain the brussels sprouts once they are soft and heat the skillet of panchetta grease to medium high heat.  Add the brussels sprouts to that skillet and fry them in the grease for a few minutes.  Add chicken stock and turn the heat to high and put on the lid.  Let it cook until all the chicken stock is gone (about 15 minutes).  If the brussels sprouts begin to burn turn the heat down.
☂ Once there is no more liquid in the pan turn the heat to medium low and add in the panchetta. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook for a few minutes until the panchetta has warmed and serve as a hearty and delicious side!
☂ WALAH!  Enjoy and start feeling nourished

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