Friday, March 23, 2012

Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts with a Sherry Cream Sauce

Sadly these were likely the last Brussels sprouts of the year, or at least the last local ones. I modeled them after a dish I had at Dinosaur BBQ a couple months back.
I used this recipe as base but I changed the technique.


  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved lengthwise
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1/4 cup cream sherry
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

The original recipe called for making the sauce while you roasted the sprouts in the oven. That seemed like a waste of a lot of flavor in the pan. It also called for mushrooms, which would have been great but I didn't have any.
Cut the stems from the sprouts and cut them in half through the stem end, discard any leaves that come off easily. Toss the sprouts into a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt an pepper and toss to coat. Set aside.

Heat a large skillet and cook the bacon in it. When the bacon is just under crispy remove it, leaving the drippings. Saute the shallots for a minute or two, crank up the heat a bit and add the sprouts to the pan, cut side down to get them nice and browned. About 6-8 minutes. While the sprouts brown chop up the bacon, it should still have a good bit of fat left on it. Add the bacon back to the pan and toss it with the sprouts to finish cooking the bacon.The sprouts should be browned but not cooked through. Add the sherry to the pan and deglaze, scraping up any bits from the bottom of the pan. Reduce the heat to low and add the cream. Stir and let it simmer for another 8-10 minutes. The cream should reduce to just a coating on the sprouts and they should be cooked through.

I might add a bit more sherry the next time I make this dish as I love its flavor and it wasn't as pronounced as I might have liked.
Truly this felt like more of a winter dish but it went just fine with the years first beer can chicken on the grill.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

An update

I have been poor on updates of late. I have been cooking like mad but not doing a whole lot of my own creations.
The Caramel Pork Belly recipe I made a couple weeks ago was stellar. Take a Look. I didn't diverge from the recipe at all on this one. Finding fresh pork belly may be a challenge, thankfully I bought 1/2 pig last fall and have been in my pork belly glory.
I also made an incredible herb roasted pork loin from One Perfect Bite. I followed the recipe on this one too. No reason  to mess with what works. I did brine the pork loin first which I strongly recommend

Pork Brine
(from Ad Hoc at Home)

3 T honey
6 bay leaves
2 fresh rosemary springs
1/4 oz fresh thyme sprigs
1 oz fresh flat leaf parsley sprigs
6 cloves garlic, crushed with the skin left on
1 T black peppercorns
1/2 c kosher salt
4 c water

Bring all the ingredients to boil. Stir & boil for 1 minute, until the salt is dissolved. Cool completely before adding the pork. (If you want to cool your brine quickly put the pot in a large bowl of ice & it'll do the trick.) You can also cheat the way I do sometimes and use only half the water and add enough ice after it boils to make up the volume. One traditional sized ice cube is one ounce so you can use 2 cups of water and 16 ice cubes to help chill it down faster. Put the pork  & brine in a bowl or plastic container just big enough to hold them. Let sit in the fridge for up to 12 hours, no more or it may get too salty, no less than 6 hours though.

You can make up a large batch of this brine and freeze it in smaller portions for brining things like pork chops
St Patrick's Day is on the horizon and our annual meal of Corned Beef, Cabbage, Colcannon, Soda Bread. Potato Rolls, Guinness beef Stew and Irish Car Bomb Cheesecake are all on the menu.