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Keepers take on Roasted Sprouts

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My dear wife hated Brussels sprouts until we had some roasted sprouts grated into a slaw at a restaurant several years ago. She tasted the veggie side, on the dish she ordered and said what is this, it is really good. I hesitated to tell her what she was eating knowing that she said she hated sprouts. Ever since that encounter I have being roasting sprouts at home, especially for holiday dinners. There are many ways to fix them, this is mine. 

 

If there was ever a dish designated for a cast iron pan, Roasted Sprouts is such a dish. This is my double handled 12" Lodge that I have recently been working on, sanding it to give it a more smooth finish and seasoning it with grape seed oil. 

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Any recipe that starts with "fry some bacon" can never be bad. IMO, anyway. 

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I got this bacon press gizmo as a gift years ago, it actually works pretty well

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It has a cute pressing on it's business side. 

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IMO it helps to fry the bacon flat and cook it evenly

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After frying the bacon, I pull it, chop it into thin strips, and then scrape the pan to release the browned fond, to add to the flavor of my sprouts. 

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I add the sprouts that have been washed, trimmed and dried, to the bacon grease. The best seasoning I have found for this dish, and I have tried many home made concoctions, is actually McCormicks Roasted Garlic and Herb Blend. I stir the sprouts to coat them with the bacon grease and then add a liberal sprinkle of the Garlic Herb Blend. 

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IMO this is one dish that tastes better with a considerable amount of char. I cook it at about 350 turning the sprouts over frequently until I get darker colors with a number of sprouts showing significant char. 

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When I get the color I want, I taste a sprout and check for tenderness. You want them, IMO, tender but not mushy. I think that was the problem when our moms cooked them by boiling the heck out of them. When I get them where I want them, I pull them and then add healthy sprinkles of the crumbled bacon, dried cranberries, slivered almonds, pine nuts, and a good balsamic glaze to taste. I fixed these for a church pot luck, last week,  and took home an empty pot. Most people, even folks who say they hate sprouts, like them fixed this way. IMO, Roasting them really brings out their flavor, while the old method of boiling them seems to make them taste bland.  I love this dish at Thanksgiving. It has such a nice earthy flavor that it easily becomes a Fall Clasic. Enjoy. 

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