Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Brady's Brussels Sprouts Hash

This is a "guest post" of sorts.  This recipe was created by my son, Brady.  They may be the best Brussels sprouts I've ever had.  It is so wonderful having people in your life who can put together a meal, and who can bring a kernel of an idea into fruition of a fabulous dish!

First of all, let's be honest.  Caramelized onions and bacon would be good on a flip flop, so you know they will be great in this dish!  But the rest of the flavor profile is spot on; and the first time he made this, the two of us stood there eating it out of the pan.  We love fresh roasted Brussels sprouts here, and we're always looking for new ways to prepare them.  Last weekend I planted some out in the garden, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we'll have a bumper crop!
Ingredients: (4 servings)
  • 1/2 pound of fresh Brussels sprouts
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 2 small onions (about 2 cups sliced)
  • 2 oz pine nuts, dry toasted
  • 4 strips cooked bacon, cut into pieces
  • 3 Tbsp aged balsamic vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp freshly grated Parmigiano reggiano + more for plating
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • kosher salt and black pepper to taste 


Step-by-Step:
Prep all the ingredients first.  Shave the Brussels sprouts on the mandolin, using the "stem" as a handle. 
1/2 pound of fresh Brussels sprouts
We always use fresh Brussels sprouts... never frozen or canned.  I just feel good buying fresh ingredients for my family.  We also prefer the taste of fresh produce when it's available.
Please be careful when allowing your children to use the mandolin.  It is extremely sharp, but an excellent way to get super thin, consistent slices.
Slice the onions very thinly.
2 small onions (about 2 cups sliced)
Toast your nuts. Brady used pine nuts, but other nuts would be just as nice.  These were dry toasted until golden.  Watch them carefully.  Don't skip this step.... the toasted nuts have a completely different taste than the raw ones.

2 oz pine nuts, dry toasted
Cook and chop the bacon.   He cut them into about 1/2" pieces.
4 strips cooked bacon, cut into pieces
Caramelized the onions in the butter.  Bring them up to a bit of color on a medium heat, then reduce heat to medium-low/low for about 15/20 minutes until they are beautiful and brown and sweet. 


Once they onions are pretty much caramelized, add in the shaved Brussels sprouts.  Cook on medium for a few minutes. 



Add in the other ingredients and adjust seasonings.  He started with 3 Tbsp aged balsamic vinegar..
The smoky bacon pieces
The kosher salt
The grated Parmesan
3 Tbsp freshly grated Parmigiano reggiano
Looking great, huh?
Toasted pine nuts
2 oz pine nuts, dry toasted
Olive oil
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
To serve, finish the dish with a little extra Parmesan at the very end.
The kitchen master!  He has the "stance" of a professional chef... focused and meticulously adjusting his seasonings until they are just perfect!
Seriously, if you could only taste these flavors!
Okay, so this doesn't have a whole lot to do with the Brussels sprouts hash, but we served it with beef medallions, so I thought I'd pass that along.  I have one reader who always writes to ask me about the preparation of other dishes that I serve my recipes with.... So this is for you, Beth!  :) I love this cut because it is super tender, and super lean.  If you prefer something else, go for it!
2 beef filets
We're going to slice them into beautiful medallions, so they will cook really quickly.  It will also spread out the meat, which stretches your dollar!  I mean seriously, these filets are like little roasts.  We don't really need to eat THAT much at a time!
Allow your beef to come to room temperature.  Basically, just take them out when you start the hash.  This will give you more even cooking.  Season well on both sides.  Oh - another thing... make sure your meat is dry on the outside in order to get the best sear.
Montreal steak seasoning
I'm using my grill pan for these, and butter.  Yep.  Butter.  Don't shoot me!
1 - 2 Tbsp butter
You want your pan really really hot!  And remember, these guys are thin now (and no longer cold in the middle), so they only take a couple of minutes on each side to cook to a medium.   Also, they will continue to rise in temperature a bit while they are resting.
Ok, so there's not a really great way to make shaved Brussels sprouts look pretty, but please trust me when I tell you that these were amazing!  If you have someone in your family who says they don't like them, this would be a great recipe to introduce them to!  I would put this meal on any restaurant menu out there!
I sure am proud of Brady and his awesome recipe creation!  In case you are wondering, he's 14!  He made me a deal one day that if I picked him up from school (rather than riding home on the bus), he would help me cook.  And this is what he came up with!  REALLY?!! 


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