Eat Your Veggies – Brussels Sprouts (with Bacon!)

Being able to eat well during the week means that I need to have a few tricks up my proverbial sleeve. I try to plan meals ahead of time, but so often – life gets in the way. Because of the unpredictable nature of life, I love veggies that can hang out in the fridge for a while, waiting to be turned into delicious side dishes on short notice!!

For me, as soon as the weather turns cooler,  Brussels Sprouts become the perfect fall veggie – they have a long-ish shelf life (as far as fresh vegetables go), and there are a ton of delicious and easy ways to prepare them. One of my favorite recipes for Brussels Sprouts involves bacon, onions and white wine.

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Onions and White Wine

  • 10 oz (or 1 Container) of Brussels Sprouts
  • 2-4 oz Bacon
  • 1/4 Onion or 1-2 Shallots
  • 1/4 C. White Wine
  • Balsamic Vinegar (the older the better!)
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper



  1. Preheat oven to 350 Degrees F.
  2. Wash, trim and quarter Brussels Sprouts.
  3. Cut bacon into pieces (Lardon)
  4. Cook bacon on stove-top over medium-low heat in heavy bottomed (oven proof) pan until fat has rendered the meat begins to brown.
  5. Thinly slice 1/4 onion. Add to pan with bacon and cook until soft and browned.
  6. Add Brussels Sprouts to pan with bacon and onions and stir until sprouts are coated with bacon fat.
  7. Add white wine to pan and scrape up browned bits using wooden spatula.
  8. Place pan in heated oven.
  9. Roast for 10 minutes, or until the Brussels Sprouts are tender, and nicely browned in some spots.
  10. Serve hot – finished with freshly ground pepper, and a drizzle of Balsamic Vinegar (or squeeze of fresh lemon).

More than one suspicious, but polite, guest has tried this recipe and proclaimed themselves new fans of this much maligned veggie.

A quick note about bacon – I always have bacon in my freezer… a habit I strongly suggest you acquire! Instead of overcrowding the pan for extra weekend bacon that often gets thrown out, I only cook a few slices (2-3 per person), then wrap the rest of the package tightly, and freeze. You can cut off sections of the frozen bacon whenever you are preparing a dish that can benefit from Bacon’s salty, smoky presence. Enjoy!

Kitchen Adventures – Bacon-Parmesan Cauliflower Soup

At some point in September or October, as the muggy days of summer fade into the cool rainy days of fall, I find myself craving a nice bowl of soup.

For the first soup of the season I looked to a favorite that I discovered last year – Bacon-Parmesan Cauliflower Soup. My friend Alisa swears by it, and I adapted my version from her recipe.

As with most of my favorite recipes, none of the measurements need to be exact – feel free to make additions or substitutions to suit your taste!

Bacon-Parmesan Cauliflower Soup

  • 4 – 8 Slices bacon, cut into Lardons
  • 1 Medium Onion, Diced
  • 2-4 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 2 Tbsp Sherry Vinegar
  • 1 Head Cauliflower, Chopped
  • 1 Quart – Chicken Stock (Low Sodium if desired)
  • 1-2 stems of Fresh Thyme
  • At least 1/2 Cup Good Quality Parmesan Cheese, finely grated

In a dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed pot, brown bacon until crisp. Drain off rendered fat, reserve crispy bacon bits.

Add 2 tsp. of bacon fat (or olive oil if preferred) into pot and saute the onions and garlic over medium heat until the onions are translucent but not brown. Scrape up all the browned bacon bits from the bottom of the pot as you go – this adds a nice depth of flavor to the soup.

Stir in sherry vinegar and thyme, and then add the cauliflower, 1/2 the crispy reserved bacon bits and all the stock. Bring liquid to a boil, reduce to a simmer, then cover and cook until the cauliflower is very soft (approx. 15 minutes).

Remove pot from heat, retrieve the thyme stems from the broth, and puree mixture with an immersion blender. You can also puree the soup in a blender or food processor but you will need to do this in batches and return to the pot.

Once the soup is pureed, stir in Parmesan cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve generous bowls topped with the remainder of the crispy bacon. ENJOY!!!


Kitchen Adventure – Burgers’ Smokehouse Country Pork Jowl Bacon

You may or may not know that I have a *mild* obsession with salted cured meats. I love them all – prosciutto, salami, pastrami, sopressata, corned beef, bresaola, panchetta, bacon… you get the idea!

Over the last few years I have heard rumors of hard to find, high quality bacon available by mail order, and a co-worker raves about the bacon he receives as part of a bacon-of-the-month club. Who knew that such an amazing thing existed!!!  After inquiring as to the source of the magical bacon club, I ended up on the website for Zingerman’s Mail Order ( I purchased a few highly recommended items, and thy were shipped overnight from Michigan – arriving chilled in a Styrofoam cooler whose very existence on my front step made it very hard for me to concentrate at work the next day! I could (and probably will) do an entire post on the site, but for now, it’s all about the BACON!

I was most excited about the jowl bacon, a smoked bacon made (you guessed it!) from the jowl portion of the pig, instead of the more popular belly. The jowl bacon is shorter than standard bacon, and the meat is more marbled. This version was cut to a nice thickness, and I could not WAIT to start cooking!

We woke up early on Saturday, and the bacon went on right away. Slices were arranged in a cold pan, and then cooked over medium heat.

These little beauties start to render quickly, and need to be turned/rotated often until they are cooked to your desired level of doneness. I like really crispy rendered bacon, so I cook to a nice golden brown, and then drain on paper towels. *This bacon shrinks quite a bit, but not to worry! Save the leftover fat and use it sparingly to add smoky, meaty flavor todishes like pan fried potatoes etc.

After draining off most of the fat, I fried eggs in the same pan – adding a ton of flavor (and texture) to the standard sunny-side-up breakfast stalwarts. No salt or pepper needed.

I can confirm that I am a huge fan of Burgers’ Smokehouse Country Pork Jowl Bacon – it is full of flavor, and has a satisfyingly crisp texture that you can not get all the time when using standard mass produced (wet cured) bacon.  The flavor is deeper and more nuanced, salty, smoky, and slightly sweet in the background.

This bacon is not just for breakfast either – It would make an amazing BLT, would add wonderful depth to bean or vegetable dishes, and (crumbled up) would make the humblest salad or baked potato shine.
Telephone 1.888.636.8162
FAX 1.734.477.6988