Sunday, November 14, 2010

Mashed Brussels Sprouts

At my dinner party, one guest showed up with brussels sprouts cooked with bacon. At the time, I wasn't quite sure I'd like them. My memories of brussels sprouts seem to involve frozen bags being heated to a stinky mess, but after one bite of this dish, I was convinced that perhaps I'd been too hard on the poor vegetable (or perhaps bacon just makes everything better). The next day, when I saw brussels sprouts on sale at the Val-Mont for $1.50, I couldn't resist (not that I'd even know what a good price is for them!). Originally, I planned to make this recipe as stated, but on a trip to Maison du Roti to pick up bits of bacon (lardons), I found lardons du prosciutto instead ... and really who could pass on prosciutto? I also subbed a shallot I had on hand for onions. The end result is good ... nothing life changing, but a great way to get something green ... which carbs, cheese, and bacony goodness.

Mashed Brussels Sprouts (adapted from Kayotic Kitchen)

2 pounds potatoes
1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts (my bag was only 1lb)
1 large onion (or shallot)
3 garlic cloves
1/4 tsp curry powder
200g cream cheese
1 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste
150g bacon bits (or prosciutto)

1. Peel, wash and cut the potatoes in 4.
2. Wash the Brussels sprouts. Slice off the stem and remove the outer leaves. Cut the bigger ones in half and leave smaller ones whole.
3. In a large pot, mix the potatoes and sprouts, add 1 garlic clove, salt and enough water to submerge the potatoes and sprouts. Bring to a boil and cook for 20 minutes or until tender.
4. Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, cook the prosciutto/bacon bits. Set aside.
5. Finely chop the onion.
6. If you have plenty of bacon grease, you can skip this. Otherwise, melt the butter in the skillet.
7. Add onion and 2 cloves minced garlic to the skillet. Cook until lightly browned.
8. Add curry powder and cook for an additional 30 seconds.
9. Add milk, cream cheese, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring until cream cheese has melted. Remove from heat.
10. Drain potatoes. Mash them to desired consistency. Stir in milk/cheese mixture. Top with bacon or stir in depending on whether you value presentation or bits of bacon in every bite.

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