Grilled Brussels Sprouts with Onion-Bacon Marmalade
Most of us have a short list of foods that we've not eaten since we were
kids. These foods were so repugnant that our palettes were permanently
scarred. Near the top of my short list are Brussels sprouts. So, this time
out I thought I would tackle something that I've eaten exactly once before
in my life. My kids have never had them, so it was also an opportunity to
either add something to their short list, or to expand their culinary
Brussels sprouts are mini heads of cabbage. But the problem with sprouts
for me is that they're mini heads of cabbage. They taste like you took an
entire head of standard cabbage and concentrated the flavor into
something as small as a Brussels sprout.
In my research for this adventure I discovered that roasting or grilling
sprouts mellows that pungent flavor and brings out whatever modicum of
sweetness they have. I've roasted broccoli and I can testify that it does
make a huge difference. Given that broccoli is in the same botanical family
I figured grilling would be a good approach.
Even grilled, I felt that taming these little cabbage grenades would require
something more. I did some flavor research
and found that onions and
bacon would likely be a great combination. This lead me to develop the
onion and bacon marmalade
that I posted earlier. In addition to the onion
and bacon it brings a very welcome sweetness.
How did it work out? Well, I'm happy that I gave the humble Brussels
sprout a second chance. They were actually pretty good. The flavor was
still strong, but not in the showstopper way that they were as a kid. Oh,
and my wife and kids loved them.
If sprouts are on your list, give these a shot.
The cooking method was inspired by Alton Brown's recipe
1 lb Brussels sprouts (smaller and uniform in size)
3/4 cup Onion and bacon marmalade
2 Tbsp Canola oil
2 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp Black pepper
Start your grill and prepare for direct cooking over medium heat (350º).
Trim 1/8" from the stem end of each sprout, and remove any loose leaves.
Put the sprouts in a zip-top bag, seal the bag halfway, and microwave on
high for 3 minutes.
Mix the oil, salt and pepper with a fork in a small bowl, add the mixture to
the bag and shake the bag gently to coat the sprouts.
Pour the sprouts onto a platter and allow to cool until you can handle
Skewer 4 or 5 sprouts through the stem end onto each metal skewer,
leaving at least 1/2-inch in between each sprout.
Grill for two minutes, roll each skewer 1/4 turn and grill two minutes more.
Repeat twice more to grill the entire circumference of the sprouts.
Microwave the marmalade for 1 minute at high to warm it.
Remove the sprouts to a cutting board and cut each in half vertically. Put
the sprouts in bowl and toss gently with the warmed marmalade.
Serve and enjoy!