If you would have asked me two years ago what my most disliked foods were, Brussels sprouts would have been at the top of the list. In all honesty I don't know that I had ever tasted them. Then, at one of our legendary Reserve cookouts, Kim made Brussels sprouts. I was feeling brave that day so I decided to taste one. It was very much an "aha" moment in my life. I had to admit that I was blown away. She had simply roasted them in the oven with butter and they were delicious. They had become caramelized and a little bit crispy. That day changed my life and I unapologetically began a love affair with those delicious little veggie nuggets.
Image: Courtesy of Fork Heart Kentucky
If you know me, you know that you must love everything that I love. It's one of my many flaws. I will just not take "I don't like it" for an answer. You should try everything at least once. I don't care if your mother forced you to eat it when you were a child or tried to disguise it in order to trick you into eating your vegetables. For the record, my mother never forced my sister and I to eat Brussels sprouts. She would however, grate sweet potatoes and tell us they were carrots. They were NOT carrots and neither one of us were dumb enough to think that. I've already explained my dislike of mushy sweet potatoes. Ick.
So, with my love of these little mini cabbages, I figured my family should love them too. I made them for a family meal and the only person who liked them was my 9-year-old nephew. A little background on this kid: He loves broccoli. Plain. Please don't put cheese anywhere near his broccoli. He might not eat it. After that Brussels bust I set out to find a delicious way to get my family to eat Brussels sprouts. I figured Thanksgiving was the perfect time to test out a new recipe. If no one ate them I would gladly finish them off in the days following. Much to my surprise, they were a hit. Of course they were. They have bacon and orange juice and honey. It's a fantastic combination.
This recipe could not be much simpler. It's literally four ingredients. The hardest part of this recipe is slicing the Brussels sprouts. I do it by hand with my favorite kitchen tool, my knife. If you have a shredder attachment on your food processor it would work perfectly and save time! I think this dish is a perfect addition to any meal! Especially if you need a last-minute side. It comes together in less than 30 minutes.
Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Honey Orange Dressing
1 pound Brussels sprouts, thinly sliced or shredded
5 slices bacon
1 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons honey
In a Dutch oven or large saucepan brown the bacon until it's crisp. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, slowly bring orange juice to a simmer. Once the juice is warm, about 4 or 5 minutes, add the honey. Gently whisk together and bring to a boil. Add a pinch of salt, stir, remove from heat and set aside.
Once the bacon is done, remove from pan and place on paper towel-lined plate. Add Brussels sprouts to the Dutch oven and stir into the leftover bacon grease. Cook on medium heat for about 2 minutes. Pour in the honey orange dressing and mix well. Add a pinch of salt. Let cook for about 5 minutes or until most of the dressing has been soaked up by the sprouts. Remove from heat and serve.