As people get older, they get more stubborn. As someone that was born stubborn I can't imagine what a nightmare I'll turn out to be. Some of my best friends are stubborn in their refusal to try new things and have to do things their own way (you know who you are! ;)). For years I said "I hate brussel sprouts" and it was true. I had eaten them once, because I was curious. I didn't grow up being forced to eat them but steaming these little things is not the best way to eat them. So I kept reiterating "I hate brussel sprouts" convinced that there was no way on earth that I would ever eat them again, given the choice.
Suddenly brussel sprout dishes were popping up all over menus. What's the best thing to do if you've got a food with a negative legacy? Something that people just don't like to eat? Easy, pair it with bacon or deep fry it! Deep fried sprouts with bacon was the way that these little buggers snuck back into my heart again and I would never again say that I hate them. In fact I really like them but it does depend on how they're done. I loved the flavour of deep fried brussel sprouts but I hate deep frying and it's not exactly healthy so I looked for a way to make these.
Enter the method from Momofuku. I actually tried these at the Momofuku bar and I loved the sweetness from the vinaigrette. I paired the vinaigrette with some bacon and walnuts to create a halfway point between two of my favourite ways of cooking them and instead of deep frying them, I roasted them after crisping and browning them in the pan. I have to admit that I shall no longer say that I hate brussel sprouts-I really quite like them. I may even use the other word and say that I love them!
So tell me Dear Reader, do you hate brussel sprouts or do you hate any foods? And do other people call you stubborn?
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Roasted Brussel Sprouts With Bacon & Walnuts
Serves 2-4 as a side dish
- 500g/1 pound brussel sprouts
- Oil or coriander oil if you have it
- 1 middle rasher bacon, sliced into pieces
- 1/4 cup toasted walnuts*
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
*You can toast the walnuts in the oven prior to roasting the brussel sprouts. Place raw walnuts on a baking tray and bake for 10 minutes at 180C/350F.
Step 1 - Preheat oven to 200C/400F and have a baking tray ready. Do not wash the sprouts as you want these dry to roast them. Remove any grey or old outer leaves from the sprouts and trim the bottoms if they are dry or woody. Cut in half.
Step 2 - Heat frypan to medium to high heat and add the oil. Brown the brussel sprouts cut side down and when browned, place onto the baking dish (if you have a very big frypan or two heatproof frypans, you could just slide the frypans straight into the oven but I don't). Fry the rest of the bacon in the frypan until crispy and cooked.
Step 3 - Roast the brussel sprouts for 8-10 minutes until tender. While they are roasting, mix all of the vinaigrette ingredients together. When the sprouts are done, toss with the bacon and walnuts and drizzle over with the vinaigrette.