New Meal Monday: Brussels w/ Bacon & Fig Balsamic

When we first started our "New Meal Monday" blog posts almost a year-and-half-ago, we envisioned that it would be more than just the two of us posting meals we cook at home. We viewed as a place people could also get to know a bit about the people that make Kiss the Cook run, and learn about their favorite meals and journeys with food.  This is our first such post! Sherwin is the Manager at Kiss the Cook and has been with the store for many years.  We asked him to share one of his favorite Thanksgiving sides!

Holidays have always been about returning home. Currently my partner and I are renovating my grandparent's old farmhouse on the lake.  Gatherings have taken place there for generations.  A big loud crazy country family would explode through the front door with arms full of food and hugs with impeccable timing every holiday.  We can hardly wait to be back to a house full of family and home cooked dishes like Gramma use to make.  Pies, rolls, roast and the ever so popular homemade pickle tray.  First we will have to finish our our kitchen remodel, so off to my brother's this year for Thanksgiving.

With that said, what I don't always love is the baby-food-texture of so many sides of the sides that can be served up at the family table.  Mashed potato, mashed turnip and squishy, squashy squash.  Peas and pearl onions may find the way to the plate to lend some lovely green but can be lack luster in flavor. Convincing my meat and potato family to eat, or even try any leafy green is fairly impossible...but I found a way: Brussels with Bacon & Fig Balsamic!

Crunchy, meaty, earthy and sweet a perfect side for turkey, in our house, Prime Rib.  This is a fairly easy dish to prepare for a crowd and can be used for a weeknight meal too (see variation). Enjoy!

Here's what you'll need:

  • 1.5-2 lbs Brussel Sprouts, trimmed and halved.
  • 1/2 medium sweet onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1/2 lb thick cut smoked bacon or ham, cut into 1/4 in strips
  • A good heavy drizzle of olive oil (we recommend Saratoga Olive Oil Company)
  • Salt
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1.5 Tbsp Saratoga Olive Oil Fig Balsamic Vinegar

How you'll do it:

  1. Preheat oven 400F
  2. Place brussels, bacon, onion and garlic in a large bowl and toss together with olive oil by hand. Salt and Pepper and toss again.
  3. Lay out bowl mixture on a roasting pan, or half sheet pan
  4. Roast brussels 20-25 min. Tossing once during roasting.
  5. When bacon is cooked and sprouts are browned, remove from oven and drizzle with fig balsamic right away.
  6. Adjust salt and pepper to taste and serve hot.

Serves 6-8.

Weeknight Meal Variation:
Place brussels after they are cooked into small individual serving bowls and top with a poached egg!