3 Ingredient recipe: Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts and Bacon
I've read that a lot of the elaborate sauces invented by the French, and Roman sauces like garum , were concocted to mask the flavor of spoiled meats. I thought about this as I worked thru the 10 days of this challenge. Normally happy to be cooking with a spectrum of spices, I was now forced to focus on the details of my paltry ingredient lists... and while it's not like they were rotten or anything to begin with, they did have to be even better quality than the usual "it's gonna go so let's make stir fry out of it".
I'll admit this was intensely frustrating at first. I found it amusing when friends would suggest dishes and it would be a conversation much like the process I'd go thru in my own head while putting these together: "Well you could just make a salsa and, wait, no that has 4 ingredients already... well I had this pesto cream with chicken and CRAP that's not going to work..." You don't realized just how long the ingredient lists run in most recipes until you do something like this.
There are great things about it, though, obviously. It's easy to go shopping for a recipe. It has tendency to be less expensive. It forces you to really think about each ingredient you choose.
I think maybe my palate had been too spoiled before this. We have so much flavor thrown at us in our food that it can be easy to forget what the chicken tastes like outside the Kiev or the peppers before they've been stuffed. This experiment, for me, has been like putting my taste buds on "time out" to think about just how much privilege they've had in their short lives, what with all the tandoories and tagines and tazikis available to them. Except it turned out to be anything but a punishment. The dishes were surprising flavorful and rich, much of that owing to the fact there was a sincere concentration, both in the cooking and in the dining process.
I really think I'll do this again sometime, and I hope you'll join me and at least watch the fun...
I thought I end this challenge with the recipe that put the idea in my head in first place: an impromptu side dish that turned into a meal. All because Jason bought me these...
For a refresher on the rules of my 10 day, 3 ingredient challenge, check out the first post.
- 1 pound of Brussels sprouts, quartered (or 1/2 the sprouts of one large stalk)
- 2 strips of bacon (diced)
- 2/3 cup walnuts (chopped and toasted in dry pan)
What to do with it...
- Heat a large saute pan on medium heat and add your bacon, sautéing for 3 mins or until you have a some grease to cook your sprouts in
- Add sprouts and cook for 15 mins, stirring occasionally - you want some of the sprouts to get a nice golden color and the bacon to cook (it won't get crunchy, though)
- Add walnuts and salt and pepper
So easy, and so good! Thanks so much to everyone who read along or contributed comments on this challenge, it's made all the difference!