Sunday, April 10, 2011

Fatty 'Cue Brussels Sprouts

This is among the weirder recipes that I have ever made.  Just look at the list of ingredients - Thai bird chilis, coriander seeds, brussels sprouts, bacon and maple syrup.   Who comes up with these things?  I'm certainly not that creative with my flavor combination (although I guess most people would call that list of ingredients insane rather than creative).  But I love Fatty Crab, and since this recipe came from their sister barbecue restaurant Fatty Cue, I figured it had to be good.  Perhaps a little strange, but good.  And having eaten the dish, I am sticking with that assessment.  I really liked the addition of crushed coriander seeds and maple syrup.  The coriander seeds gave the dish some slightly floral peppery kick.  And maple syrup provided a hint of sweetness in the background that rounds out the dish nicely and balanced out the heat of the Thai chilis.  And then there's the bacon for some porky goodness.  Make sure to crisp it up in the pan in the beginning, because there is nothing sadder than flaccid bacon.  And the bacon just gets thrown back in at the very end, so it's certainly not going to crisp up then.

Word of warning - if you don't like things spicy, skip the second Thai chili (or remove the seeds from both).  Because this dish has some kick.

Recipe after the jump!

Fatty 'Cue Brussels Sprouts
Adapted from Fatty 'Cue
Available on NY Times

2 Thai bird chilies, stems removed
2 garlic cloves
2 small shallots
4 ounces double-smoked bacon, cut crosswise into thin strips
1 tablespoon coriander seeds, crushed
1 pound brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
Kosher salt
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon maple syrup.

Combine one of the chilies with the garlic and shallots in a food processor and purée, or use a mortar and pestle.

Fry bacon in a large sauté pan over medium heat until most of the fat is rendered (and the bacon is crispy), about 5 minutes. Add coriander seeds and stir until fragrant. Transfer bacon to paper towels using a slotted spoon.

Add brussels sprouts to the pan, cut sides down, and cook over medium heat until golden brown on the undersides, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and transfer to paper towels.

Add garlic-shallot paste and cook over low heat until fragrant, about one minute. Return brussels sprouts to pan and cook, stirring, 1 to 2 minutes. Add chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until sprouts are mostly tender, about 5 minutes. Uncover and reduce broth to the consistency of a glaze. Thinly slice the remaining chili. Remove pan from heat and stir in the syrup, bacon and sliced chilies. Sprinkle with salt.

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