“Bacon makes everything taste better.” There’s a phrase you hear/read a great deal all over the internet. Whether it’s on Facebook or Twitter or on any of the million or so chat rooms and forums on the world-wide web people are constantly extolling the virtues of bacon. But does bacon really make everything taste better? Over the weeks and months to come I’m going to try to answer that question by grilling or smoking a range of food items wrapped in bacon. So stay tuned for some weird and whacky cooking experiences. I've got to admit that I'm already a brussels sprouts fan. If cooked right this is one of my favorite vegetables so I was pretty sure adding bacon would make it taste pretty good. I was right...
Brussels Sprouts can have a bitter after taste if not selected and prepared properly. There are several methods for removing the bitterness. First, select the smallest sprouts you can find. It seems the smaller the sprout the less bitterness. Next trim off the hard bottom of the sprout and remove the first layer of leaves. Next par-boil the sprouts for a couple of minutes in salted water. Don’t cook them all the way. Just a couple of minutes will do the trick. Plunge them into ice water to stop t he cooking. The par-boil and ice water bath will also help them maintain their bright green color. Using these methods has never failed me. I never end up with bitter sprouts.
I wrapped each of the Brussels Sprouts in a half strip of thin sliced bacon and put them on skewers to make grilling easier. I set up my Weber kettle for indirect heat and cooked the sprouts until they were almost done. You want the sprouts tender, but not mushy so watch them. Once they are done I gave them a flash over direct heat to crisp up the bacon.
While the sprouts were cooking I reduced 1/4 cup of raspberry balsamic vinegar down to about two tablespoons of thick tasty syrup. I added two tablespoons of butter to the syrup and heated it through. When the sprouts were plated I spooned the balsamic reduction over the top.
The bacon was good on the Brussels Sprouts but it was a little overpowering. I know I’ll make these again, but next time I’ll just stick a piece of thick sliced bacon between each sprout on the skewer. This will give me the flavor without it being overpowering.