Apple and Bacon Brussels Sprout Hash
This gorgeous recipe that is ideal for holiday cooking is from Marie Rama, author of the Bacon Nation Cookbook. When brussel sprouts are crisped to a golden brown on one side and tossed with crumbled bacon and sautéed apples, you get one of those holiday dishes that never winds up in a Tupperware container the day after. The funkiness of the brussel sprouts, the crunchy, smoky saltiness of the bacon, and the tart, smooth sweetness of the apple are a trio that makes for a beautiful food melody.
4 slices bacon, cut into ¼-inch pieces
1 pound brussel sprouts, trimmed and cut in half
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and cut into about ¼-inch dice
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
Pinch of sugar
Freshly ground white pepper
1. Cook the bacon in a medium-size skillet over medium heat until lightly browned and most of the fat is rendered, 5 to 8 minutes, stirring often and adjusting the heat as necessary. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
2. Bring a medium-size pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the salt and brussel sprouts and blanch them by boiling them for about 2 minutes. Drain the brussel sprouts, then shock them by placing them in cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain the brussel sprouts again.
3. Melt 1 1/2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the brussel sprouts, cut side down, and cook them without moving until the bottoms turn a tempting brownish gold, about 2 minutes. Stir the sprouts and continue cooking them until crisp-tender, 3 to 4 minutes longer. Transfer the brussel sprouts to a bowl and set them aside.
4. Add the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons of butter and the apple to the skillet and cook over medium-high heat until the apple softens and lightly browns, about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer the apple to a bowl and set it aside.
5. Place the skillet over medium heat and add the brussel sprouts, drained bacon, wine vinegar, and sugar. Season with white pepper to taste. Cook until the vinegar steams off, which should happen rapidly. Return the apple to the skillet and mix gently until all of the ingredients are heated through, about 2 minutes.