Brussels Sprouts, Bacon, Butter and Olive Oil
I had just enough for our purpose. A Thanksgiving side.
But things were looking lonely at the bottom of the 9x9 square dish.
The bacon was in waiting, off to the side on a small plate. A paper towel leaching any residual fat.
"Just leave a little of the bacon fat in the pan." I said.
"Butter?" He asked.
"And a little olive oil." I said.
"Olive oil, too?" He asked.
"Yep." I said.
The brussels sprouts had been prepped the day before. A paring knife removal of any ornery leaves. An X slashed in the bottom (that's what the book—Joy of Cooking—told me to do). I salted some boiling water. Eight minutes later (to be exact) I extracted the sprouts and rinsed under cool water. Then, lengthwise, I halved and set to cool and drain on paper towels.
I stole a taste—for salt. Just a leaf, or two, perhaps three. I couldn't spare a sprout. There were no sprouts to spare.
Not bitter at all. Boiling is the way to go.
In batches, Roberto brought crispy color to the halved sprouts.
"I was thinking bread crumbs." I said.
"Do it." He said.
I pan toasted cubed bread in a bit of olive oil, a twist of a pepper and a sprinkling of kosher salt.
"I'm starving." I said, pulling yet another tiny cube from the pan.
"You can't even see the sprouts." I said.
But they were in there, layered beneath the toasted bread crumbs and bits of bacon, gilded with parmesan.