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Friday, January 23, 2015

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

Michael and I both adore these Brussels sprouts. I've eaten Brussels sprouts a number of ways, and so far this is my favorite. Rarely do sprouts inspire second helpings, but these do, for both of us.

As I've tried more recipes from How to Cook Everything Fast, I've learned that Bittman's prep times are shorter than they are for me in real life. Whether that's because I have no culinary training or that I have little people around that interrupt me as I'm making dinner, I don't know. So I've had to make a few adjustments to the "prep as you go" nature of the recipes. This is one that I've made a couple of times already, and I expect it will make this vegetable much more common on our plates.


Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

Source: How to Cook Everything Fast by Mark Bittman

2 T extra virgin olive oil
6 slices bacon
1 1/2 lbs Brussels sprouts
salt and pepper

Trim about half of the sprouts: cut off the bottom and remove the first couple of leaves from each sprout.

Put 2 T olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Chop 6 slices bacon and add them to the skillet. Cook the bacon, stirring occasionally, until it releases some fat and crisps in places, 5-7 minutes.

While the bacon cooks, finish trimming the sprouts. Add the Brussels sprouts to the partially cooked bacon, along with a sprinkle of salt and pepper and 1/2 c water.

Cover and cook, checking once or twice and adding small amounts of water as needed, until the Brussels sprouts are a little shy of tender, 8-12 minutes, depending on their size.

Remove the cover and raise the heat to high. Cook, resisting the urge to stir too much, until the liquid evaporates and the Brussels sprouts become brown and crisp in places. Taste and adjust the seasoning and serve hot or warm.


  1. I bet it's the bacon that makes the dish! As far as the slower cooking times go, I find that new recipes are always slower than expected. Remember, too that high altitude boiling points are at lower temperatures so something that boils, cooks more slowly than at sea-level. I wonder if altitude makes other stove-top cooking slower, too. These do look really good!

  2. I did adjust the cooking times a bit here, cooking both the bacon and the sprouts longer than Bittman. You're probably right that altitude is making the difference there. However, what I meant was that the trimming the sprouts took me longer than Bittman said it would. He recommends trimming the sprouts while the bacon cooks for 3-5 minutes. There's no way I could trim 1 1/2 lbs of Brussels sprouts in that much time. Perhaps my sprouts have been on the small side.

    And in another recipe it took me longer to cut up a butternut squash than he allowed for. So, sadly, I can't entirely take his recipes at face value. Can you ever?