Have you ever gotten into a mood where you just had to have a certain food? I certainly have. Yesterday was one of those days. I really wanted Brussels Sprouts.
I could hardly believe it. These are the dreaded vegetables of childhood (and often adulthood) that can really stink up your kitchen like moldy feet. But I wanted them.
Now, I like to watch cooking shows and have seen a number of ways to prepare them over the past few years, so I wasn’t totally lacking in preparation ideas. Perhaps the recipe that most stands out in my mind, and was a major influence on this dish, was Alton Brown’s Bacon Brussels Sprouts on Good Eats.
I bet they were pretty yummy, but they were just a side dish. I wanted something that would serve as an entire meal.
So I thought of making a Brussels Sprout and rice salad, or perhaps in serving them in a cream sauce over pasta, but neither of those sounded too appealing. And then I recalled my newest obsession: Quinoa.
I was on my way now. I sautéed the Brussels Sprouts with bacon and onion and tossed in the quinoa, but something was missing. If you can believe it, I remembered a recipe I saw for Maple Bacon Gelato (I still can’t decide if that sounds good or gross) and splashed some real maple syrup over the dish.
Oh my goodness, that was wonderful! It gave the entire dish a sweetness and tang that was oddly complimentary to the crunchy and bacon/sprout flavor of the dish.
The best part (in my opinion) is that I pretty much made up the recipe on the spot, but Denise, who was over for dinner, still enjoyed it. I call that a win.
So here’s how you can do it, too:
Maple Bacon Brussels Sprouts and Quinoa
6 strips bacon, roughly chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1.5 to 2 cups Brussels Sprouts, roughly chopped
quinoa (1 cup simmered 12 mins in 1.25 cups of water – use all)
about 1/4 cup of real maple syrup
Cook quinoa according to package. Chop and cook bacon over high heat until mostly crispy (a splatter screen may help here). Lower to medium heat and add chopped onion – saute 2 minutes. Add Brussels Sprouts and saute until cooked through, but still a bit firm. Salt and Pepper to taste. Add cooked quinoa and toss to coat with bacon fat. Drizzle maple syrup over to taste. Toss again and serve.