Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tasty Tuesday: Voltaggio Brothers' Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Apples

Did anyone happen to catch The Voltaggios Take On: Thanksgiving on the Cooking Channel? 

It was the first holiday cooking show I have seen this season, and despite the warm November we are having, it got me in the holiday spirit!  I absolutely love this time of year.  Whether we are preparing a big meal here at home, or whether we are spending Thanksgiving in NYC with Mark's family, there is no better way to give thanks than to spend time at a table sharing memories with family and friends. 

Thanksgiving will be a bit different for us this year.  Every other year, we spend Thanksgiving in Manhattan, and this was our year to do so.  Baby A had other plans.  Since Baby A is due November 16th, there is a chance that he or she will be here in enough time for us to have set holiday plans.  If Baby A decides to stay warm and cozy in my tummy for a few extra days, we could be dining on hospital turkey and gravy rather than the Voltaggio's specialties.  So we're already getting a taste of this "play it by ear" life we're about to begin. 

Knowing that my taking part in preparing the Turkey Day feast won't really be an option, I am hoarding all of the delicious recipes I find for Christmas.  I am thinking we'll do a dinner of roasted beef tenderloin, pommes puree, cornbread stuffing, and the Voltaggio's brussels sprouts.

I was certainly not a brussels sprouts fan growing up, but a few years back I tried a perfect version of roasted brussels, and I fell in love.  They still had that strong somewhat bitter taste I remember hating, but the roasting process had allowed them to caramelize and take on a rich and buttery flavor too.  The version the Voltaggios prepared sounds just lovely with the addition of the onions and apples and the smokiness of the bacon.  i think it'll be a real treat and a very colorful addition to our meal. 

If only we didn't have to wait until December to try it!!


For the sherry-Dijon vinaigrette:
8 1/2 fl. oz. canola oil
6 fl. oz. extra-virgin olive oil
3 1/2 fl. oz. sherry vinegar
2 Tbs. Dijon mustard
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Kosher salt, to taste

For the Brussels Sprouts:
2 lb. brussels sprouts, halved lengthwise
8 oz. double-smoked bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium yellow onion, julienned
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
2 green apples, peeled and sliced
3 fresh thyme sprigs
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions:To make the vinaigrette, in a blender, combine the canola oil, olive oil, vinegar and mustard and blend until fully incorporated. Season with salt and pepper. Set the vinaigrette aside.
Fill a large saucepan with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Salt the water so it tastes like seawater. Fill a large bowl or casserole dish with equal amounts of cold water and ice to create an ice bath.

Add the brussels sprouts to the boiling water and cook until tender, 2 to 3 minutes; do not cook too long or they will lose their bright green color. Remove the brussels sprouts from the water and shock them in the ice bath to stop the cooking. Let the brussels sprouts stand in the ice bath until cool, then remove them and set aside.

In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, add the bacon and cook until the fat renders and the bacon crisps, about 7 minutes. Add the onion to the pan and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the butter and let it melt, then add the apples and thyme sprigs. Toss to coat and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the blanched brussels sprouts and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sprouts are golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the thyme sprigs and discard.

Drizzle half of the vinaigrette over the brussels sprouts and toss to coat. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve immediately. Pass the remaining vinaigrette alongside. Serves 4 to 6.

Have you started planning your holiday menus yet?


  1. I've recently jumped on the brussel sprouts train and I'm now obsessed! Bookmarking this recipe to try asap!

  2. I love brussels sprouts. They are also delicious if you slice them thin and saute them with a a good bacon and then add whole wheat spaghetti. Perfect meal in my eyes!

    and I haven't even started to plan out my holiday menus other than that yummy baked spinach dish Gina at Skinny Taste shared at her blog. With the new baby I find I'm a lot less of a planner than I was before because you can't plan too far in advance!

    I hope you are feeling well! Hopefully Baby A will stay on schedule! My sweet pea came a week early!

  3. Can I use frozen Brussels sprouts r do I have to get fresh



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