Laura Calder (host of "French Food at Home" on Food Network Canada) cooked brussels sprouts in a way we'd never seen before and as soon as we saw it, we knew we HAD to try it.
Instead of parboiling the sprouts, she peeled the leaves off and sauteed them with bacon and shallots. It's a bit labour intensive, especially if the sprouts are tightly closed as these sprouts were, but what a great way to deal with sprouts that are starting to open up!
Calder says to discard the cores. But we just couldn't bring ourselves to do that. So we chopped the cores finely and included them.
We are very fortunate to live close to a terrific Polish butcher, who smokes the most wonderful ham, bacon and sausage. (Warmia, for anyone living in the Toronto area) The bacon is always just a little different; sometimes smokier; sometimes sweeter; always good. This time we think he may have cured it with maple syrup.
Chop the bacon and sauté.
Calder seasoned only with bacon, salt and pepper but we just couldn't stop ourselves from adding some garlic.
When the bacon and garlic are done, throw in the brussels sprout leaves. Cover the pan to allow the steam to wilt the leaves.
Use tongs to toss the leaves after a few moments. Cover again until the leaves are wilted nicely.
On this occasion, we served the sprouts with pan-fried pork chops and mandolined potatoes.
We were going to make Calder's grated potato cakes too but changed our minds at the last minute and just scattered the mandolined potatoes on our cast iron stovetop griddle.