“I’m not a chef, I’m Italian”- David Rocco


Friday, February 8, 2013

Crispy Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Parmigiana and Hazelnuts


Ciao a tutti!! Okay, so I know I may be alone here, but I LOVE Brussels sprouts. I mean, I really love them. I have a dear family friend to thank for that. A few years back we went to her house for Thanksgiving and one of the sides she served was sprouts with garlic. My first thought was “Brussels sprouts? For Thanksgiving? Uhhh.” But, I am never one to be rude and insult someones effort in the kitchen, so I gave them a try. Wow. She made them so crispy and delicious, I was shocked. Since then, I've been hooked and I look for anyway to have some fun with them.

Now, if you were like me and thought you hated Brussels sprouts, that’s probably because you've had plain steamed or boiled ones. I promise you that this recipe will definitely change your mind. I shave my sprouts using a mandoline so they get really browned and crispy. It is more time consuming, but it is worth it. I also fry them in bacon fat. I know, I know, not the healthiest thing, but hey, why not?!? I also add hazelnuts, parmigiana and bacon. Yes, bacon. I mean, crispy Brussels sprouts, hazelnuts, parmigiana and bacon. Who wouldn't love that? So, please give them I try. You won’t regret it.

Crispy Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Parmigiana and Hazelnuts


1 pound of bacon (I like applewood smoked, but you pick whatever you prefer)
1 clove of garlic
1 pound of Brussels sprouts
1 tbsp. salt
1 tbsp. black pepper
½ cup of roasted hazelnuts
½ cup of grated parmigiana (good quality!!)

Start off by cooking your bacon in a large pan over medium heat. Let it cook long enough to get really, really crispy, for around 15-20 minutes. Take the bacon out of the pan and put on a paper towel to soak up any of the excess oil. Allow to dry. You will be using the same pan you cooked your bacon in to prepare the sprouts.

Mince your one clove of garlic and add to the pan, allow to roast slightly.

Trim all of the sprouts, removing any bruised leaves and cutting off some of the hard root end. Using a mandoline, shave your Brussels sprouts one at a time. Add the sprouts to the pan, along with salt and pepper. Toss the sprouts and make sure they are completely coated in the bacon fat. Cook for 30-45 minutes depending on how crispy you like it. I like my Brussels sprouts VERY crispy. When they are done cooking, move them to a bowl.

Chop your bacon in 1 inch pieces and add to the spouts. Add ½ cup of roasted hazelnuts and ½ cup of grated parmigiana and toss. Buon Appetito!!