Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Something from Giada
Brussels Sprouts With Pancetta
Everyday Italian Copyright 2005
1 pound fresh Brussels sprouts, trimmed
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 ounces paper-thin slices of pancetta, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
¼ teaspoon salt. plus more to taste
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the Brussels sprouts and cook until crisp-tender, about 10 minutes. Drain. Place the Brussels sprouts in a large bowl of ice water to cool completely. Drain again. (The Brussels sprouts can be prepared up to this point 8 hours ahead. Dry thoroughly and refrigerate in a resealable plastic bag.)
Meanwhile, in a large, heavy skillet, heat the oil over a medium flame. Add the pancetta and sauté until it begins to crisp, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until pale golden, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta mixture to a large serving bowl. Add the Brussels sprouts to the same skillet and sauté until heated through and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the broth, ½ teaspoon of pepper, and ¼ teaspoon of salt, and simmer until the broth reduces just enough to coat the Brussels sprouts, about 3 minutes.
Transfer the Brussels sprout mixture to the pancetta mixture, and toss to combine. Season with more salt and pepper to taste and serve.
I should have gone with my gut instincts on this one. I really prefer to cut my brussels sprouts in half, so that the flavor of the meat (I usually use bacon) really penetrates the brussels sprouts. I should have browned these more too. And I thought the 3/4 cup of chicken broth was too much. That step really killed the pretty green color my sprouts were holding onto up to that point.
But, even though they could have been better, these were still pretty good. There was pancetta in there, right? My two-year old even sat next to me and begged for mouthfuls. I only gave him the flavorful outer leaves. I'll never understand why brussels sprouts have such a bad reputation - they're one of my favorite veggies. I'm not sure why I don't eat them more often.
I got this book from the local library, which carries a unusual amount of cookbooks from chefs who appear on the Food Network. This is the second time I've checked this out but last time I never got around to cooking anything from it. I wasn't crazy about Giada DeLaurentiis when she first showed up on the Food Network but I've grown to like her cooking and I really like this cookbook and plan on buying it when I find it at a good price. It's just what it says it is - Everyday Italian. The recipes aren't complicated yet they use fresh ingredients and I swear I want to make each and every one of them.