Posts Tagged ‘harvest’

I think bacon makes nearly anything taste better and with Thanksgiving shortly coming, I wanted to inspire people to make one last attempt to enjoy Brussels sprouts as an accompanying side dish. Brussels sprouts are incredibly healthy and contains sulforaphane which is believed to have tremendous anticancer properties as well as indole-3-carbinol which boosts DNA repair in cells and blocks the growth of cancer cells.

If you’ve tried Brussels sprouts before in the past and didn’t particularly enjoy the flavor (or lack thereof), I encourage you to try this recipe as a last-ditch effort.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb brussels sprouts
  • 4 or 5 rashers of thick sliced bacon
  • salt and pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Set four or five pieces of bacon on a sheet pan and cook until crispy. Remove and lower the heat to 350 degrees. Crumble the bacon in pieces and set aside.

     

2. Cut the Brussels sprouts in half and add to a large mixing bowl. Tilt the sheet pan slightly and collect  2 tbsp bacon fat. Add it to a bowl with the Brussels sprouts.

     

3. Toss the brussel sprouts with the bacon fat until well coated.  Spread the brussels sprouts out on a clean sheet pan. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

4. Cook for 15 minutes and then turn the Brussels sprouts over. Some will have begun to caramelize and others may just begin to show signs of wilting greens. Cook for another 15 minutes.

5. Serve the Brussels sprouts hot with the crumbled bacon pieces on top.

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I have long maintained a love affair with apple crisp. As I mentioned in the applesauce post, my family had an abundance of apples in the fall and apple crisp was just another family favorite. Whenever I see it on the dessert menu at a restaurant, I can’t help myself but order it. This had led me to some pretty awful crisps, as well as some magnificent meal enders.

For this recipe, I decided to update the classic by adding ginger to the apples. While not an in your face, stand out flavor, the ginger adds a playful undertone that comes out in one bite and disappears the next. I’ve also eliminated the use of nutrient lacking white sugar by using gala apples. Between the crumble and the natural sugars in the fruit, there is just enough sweetness. Apple pie bakers will tell you that macintosh or pink ladies would stand up better to the baking process, but following the rules of bakers has never really appealed to me.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 c instant oats
  • 1/4 c flour
  • 1/4 c unsalted butter
  • 4 gala apples, peeled and cut into slices
  • 1 1/2 tbsp fresh ginger (about 1″ worth)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1. I’ve been asked to demonstrate how the apple peeler/corer/slicer works. I will note this last time that I do not advocate for many unitasker kitchen gadgets, but this one makes me wish I had invented it. If you will not be using one of these to slice your apples, slice your apples in uniform thickness to ensure even cooking. Thicker slices will have more bite in the finished product than thin slices.

2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Peel about 1″ worth of the ginger and grate fine. Ginger is a wonderfully versatile ingredient that can be used in nearly all cuisine. If you have not played with ginger, it’ll cost you the better part of 50 cents for a reasonably sized piece. Like hot peppers, a little goes a long way.

2. After you peel, core, and slice the apples, place them in a bowl with the cinnamon and ginger. Place the mixture in the bottom of a 9 X 9 glass pan. Then proceed to make the topping.

3. Melt 1/2 stick of butter in a saucepan. If you choose to do this in the microwave, do be careful not to overheat the butter as it tends to explode and will make a mess of your microwave. Once melted, add the butter to a bowl with the brown sugar, flour, and oats. Mix with your hands until all the ingredients are combined to a delicious crumble.

4. Top the apples with the crumble mixture and place in the oven for 35 – 45 minutes or until golden brown on top and the apples are bubbling. Let cool on the stovetop for 10 minutes before cutting into. This is to give the syrup time to thicken. If you cut too early, it’ll bleed apple goodness.

5. Serve with whipped cream, ice cream, or my personal favorite, straight up with a fork. This will probably not last long in your house, so you may want to consider doubling the recipe.

Making it last

This recipe freezes well. If you find there is simply too much crisp (which is crazy to even ponder), let the crisp cool on the counter completely. Place in the freezer for 3 hours. After the crisp hardens, you can cut it into whatever sized portions you want. This is great for sending homemade desserts to school with your kids (let’s face it, it’s really for you). By the time they/you eat lunch, the crisp has thawed. I guarantee no kid/adult in their right mind would trade this.