Brussels Sprouts Throwdown

I saw the stalk in the kitchen upon arriving at Papa Foodies for this Thanksgiving holiday. I immediately saw potential. After a few minutes of bantering between Papa Foodie with regards to the best way to make Brussels Sprouts, I immediately saw a competition.

So we decided the following night we would have a brussels sprouts throwdown. He told me his recipe. Then asked for mine.

I paused.

“Not wanting to share?” he asked.

I didn’t want to give Papa Foodie an unfair advantage. He clearly had no idea that I had never once in my entire life actually cooked a brussel sprout. That being said, I will argue with anyone on how they should be made, but the truth is, until around a year ago, I had never actually eaten one.

That life-changing event occurred one night last December at a swanky restuarant-turn-nightclub downtown, where some friends and I went to celebrate our youngest friend’s birthday. The Tall One ordered deep-fried brussels sprouts. The birthday girl and I looked horrified.

“I don’t do brussels sprouts.” I said. “And, I definitely don’t sing karaoke” I yelled over a tone-deaf dressed Cyndi Lauper wanna-be on stage.

Turns out, a few “Dark and Stormy’s” into the night one may try both. And, one my enjoy both immensely, oddly enough even together.

So, I cannot help but be drawn back to that night. And, just like that night on stage and tonight in Papa Foodie’s kitchen I was “Living on a Prayer”.

Tonight’s prayer being that my cocky “I am foodie” attitude and complete cluelessness on how to cook the brussels sprout didn’t earn me second (i.e. losing) place.

Wine in hand, Bon Jovi in support on a nearby iPod, I concocted this gem of a recipe (seen right). Papa Foodie’s Recipe is also below 🙂

So who won? In the words of Hubs- “I rarely, if ever, request seconds of the feared and dangerous sprout. In this case, my belief that bacon makes everything better, was confirmed. However, I was pleasantly surprised that Papa Foodie’s Tajin Infused Sprouts also made my palate cry for more”.

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Parmesan and Balsamic Glaze

1 stalk Brussels Sprouts (I used half in my recipe, half in his)

1/2 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled

1/2 C. Parmesan cheese (blue cheese would be excellent also)

3 Tbl. Balsamic Glaze

Olive Oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Remove sprouts from stalk, remove outer green layer and halve. Place on rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.

Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes or until brown and crispy. Remove to a dish and sprinkle with Parm, crumbled bacon and drizzle with balsamic glaze.

Brussels Sprouts with Tajin

I must admit I’m quite secretly proud Papa Foodie and I are equally obsessed with Tajin spice

1 Stalk Brussels Sprouts (use half the stalk)

Tajin Spice (see “Grapefruit Margaritas” for info on where to buy)

 1 pad Butter

Olive oil

Dash Cayenne Pepper

Dash onion powder

Lemon wedges

Remove sprouts from stalk and remove outer green layers. In a large saute pan over medium heat melt butter. Add brussels sprouts and season with Tajin and cayenne pepper and onion powder. Add 1/4 C. of water and steam with lid on. Once water has evaporated continue to add 1/4 C. water and cover with lid until desirable texture is achieved.

Serve with lemon wedges or drizzle with fresh lemon juice.

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