Monday, January 9, 2012

Brussel Sprouts with cranberries and pumpkin seeds

Have I mentioned I love brussel sprouts. I'm sure I have. They are still fresh crisp and local this time of year so I want to enjoy them as much as possible. Tonight they came in to play alongside some tasty meatloaf. While bacon and brussel sprouts may be a common pairing, they just work together well so why mess with what works. I didn't actually have any bacon on hand but I always have a jar of bacon fat in the fridge. This was kind of an ad hoc dish so all amounts are approximated.

2 Tbsp bacon fat
1 lb brussel sprouts
1/2 cup frozen cranberries
2 Tbsp salted pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup white wine
2 Tbsp maple syrup
kosher salt

Cut the stems from the brussel sprouts and cut them all in half. Discard any of the outer leaves that fall off easily.
Heat the bacon fat in a large, heavy bottom skillet. Once the fat is melted and hot add the sprouts cut side down and begin browning over medium - medium high heat. Once they start to brown add the frozen cranberries to the pan, they should start to thaw and add some much needed liquid to the pan. Lower the heat to medium and continue to saute and stir until the sprouts are browned and the cranberries start to soften. Sprinkle with a tsp or 2 of salt and continue stirring. Once the sprouts are cooked through and the cranberries have burst, deglaze the pan with the wine and maple syrup. Once the liquid has been mostly absorbed and reduced stir in the pumpkin seeds for the last couple minutes to toast them up. Serve as a side to any dish.

The color was really great and the wine and maple cut the tartness of the cranberries perfectly. The pumpkin seeds added a much needed crunch.

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