Jefferson Adams is a freelance writer living in San Francisco. His poems, essays and photographs have appeared in Antioch Review, Blue Mesa Review, CALIBAN, Hayden's Ferry Review, Huffington Post, the Mississippi Review, and Slate among others.
He is a member of both the National Writers Union, the International Federation of Journalists, and covers San Francisco Health News for Examiner.com.
I admit that I hated Brussels sprouts as a kid, and even into my early adult years. Then, I chanced upon an Italian restaurant in San Francisco called Vivande Porta Via, where the chef sautéed his sprouts in a pan and then finished them in the oven. When the chef came out to see how everything was, he was crestfallen that I had left his sprouts untouched, and prodded me to try them. I did, and the rest, as they say, is history. I coaxed the recipe out of the chef, and never looked back. I make these delicious stouts on a regular basis. They make an excellent side dish for the holidays. Properly cooked Brussels sprouts should be caramelized and slightly black or burnt looking. This recipe makes enough sprouts to serve about eight to ten people.
2 pounds Brussels sprouts, halved, ends trimmed and yellow leaves removed
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup of white wine
2 strips quality bacon, cooked
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
In a frying pan, cook bacon until brown and set aside.
Place trimmed Brussels sprouts, olive oil, kosher salt, and pepper in a large bowl, and stir to coat.
Heat pan to medium. Add garlic to pan and stir to prevent garlic from burning. When garlic is cooked, add brussels sprouts, flat side down to start. As sprouts begin to brown, flip them over and stir. When sprouts are lightly browned, add white wine and simmer 3-4 more minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C).
Place cast iron pan on center oven rack, or, if necessary, transfer to baking sheet. Crumble bacon over the sprouts, and mix.
Roast in the preheated oven for 30 to 45 minutes, shaking pan every 5 to 7 minutes for even browning. Reduce heat when necessary to prevent burning. Brussels sprouts should be darkest brown, almost black, when done. Adjust seasoning with kosher salt, if necessary. Serve immediately.