Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Brussels Sprouts and Bacon Gratin

If you don't think you like brussels sprouts... you should try these.  You might change your mind.  These sprouts are so creamy and cheesy and delicious!  Loved 'em!  Even half-way through the cooking process, before the cream and cheese were even added, they tasted awesome!  I might have just stopped there, except I had the gratin game plan.

I was on a little psychobilly kick while cooking these... it somehow seemed appropriate, since I think of brussels sprouts as throwbacks to the 50's.  But these definitely aren't your mom or grandma's sprouts!  I kept coming back to the Horrorpops, so here's their "Miss Take". -jen

  • 3/4 pound bacon, chopped into 1" pieces
  • 3 tablespoons butter (divided)
  • 2 medium shallots, sliced
  • 1 pound brussels sprouts, cut off brown ends
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth, seasoned*
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup Gruyere cheese, shredded
  • 1/4-1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
* I seasoned the chicken broth with about a teaspoon of the KFC Copycat seasoning.  If you don't have that, you could use seasoning salt or just salt and pepper.  The seasoning is really up to you.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large skillet (that has a fitted lid, which you'll need later) over medium-high heat, cook bacon until browned and crisp.  Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on some paper towels.  Set aside.

In the same skillet, keep about 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat, discarding the remainder.  Add 2 tablespoons of butter.  Melt over medium-high heat and add shallots.  Cook for several minutes until tender.  If your brussels sprouts are large, cut them in half.  If they're small, you can leave them whole.  Add brussels sprouts and just toss them around for 2-3 minutes to get a little browned.  Add the chicken broth to deglaze the pan (scrape up the crusty bits) and the red pepper flakes.  Bring to a boil, then cover and lower heat to simmer for about 7 minutes or until brussels sprouts are slightly tender when pierced with a fork.

Note:  At this point, you could just stop and eat the sprouts like this because they're delicious and it would be a lower-fat, lower-carb dish.  Or you can continue into the awesome, evil world of cream and cheese and bread crumbs!

If your skillet is oven safe, you can leave everything in it.  If not, transfer sprouts and shallots into a buttered 2-quart baking dish.  Add cream, shredded cheese, and crisped bacon.  Toss.  Melt remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and toss with panko.  Sprinkle buttered panko over the top.

Bake at 400 degrees F for 15-20 minutes, or until browned on top.

Shown here with some homemade chicken strips.

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