brussel sprouts w. currants + walnuts

I will never understand why brussel sprouts get a bad rap. Maybe someone can enlighten me. Perhaps there are just tons of people out in the world being served very badly cooked brussel sprouts. I love them. Always have…even as a kid. But then with the exception of cooked carrots, I love vegetables. I know; I’m a freak. Whether they’re roasted, in a gratin, sautéed, steamed, if I see them on a menu I’m getting them. Good thing Mike likes them too or there would be problems in our house. Here’s a simple and easy recipe for a brussel sprout side dish that even the kiddos will like because 1] they are buttery and yummy, 2] there are nuts and currants and 3] bacon! Everything is always better with bacon. You can prep everything a day in advance, including through the blanching of the brussel sprouts. If you do, just drain the brussel sprouts from the water bath, loosely wrap them in long piece of damp paper towel and then put that in a large plastic ziploc bag. Everything will be ready to go when you cook them right before serving Thanksgiving dinner. 

Brussel Sprouts with Currants + Walnuts
serves 6

1 ½ lbs. brussel sprouts, thinly slices
½ tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 cup walnuts, chopped
4 slices thick-cut, lean smoked bacon
½ cup currants, rehydrated in warm water for 20 minutes
Kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add brussel sprouts and cook for 1 minute. Immediately remove from hot water and place in an ice water bath to stop the cooking. Drain and set aside.

In a large sauté pan,  heat the oil and butter over medium high heat. Add the walnuts and stir to make sure they are fully coated. Sauté for 2 minutes. Add bacon and cook until just starting to crisp; about 3 minutes. Add brussel sprouts and currants. Cook for 3 more minutes stirring frequently. Salt and pepper to taste. 

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