We are still busy planning our double birthday as they fall on March 18 (Art) and 19th (Stephen), and it looks like a “quiet” romantic trip to San Diego is in the works. So much to plan and so much to do before we celebrate our first birthdays as a married couple. So baking a cake is probably out of the question because we hear Motel 6 doesn’t have a kitchen, and a cheesecake with blueberry topping (Stephen’s all-time favorite) is definitely not going to happen. Shhhh. Don’t tell Stephen.
I think we’ll finish it off with these braised Brussels sprouts. The sprouts retain their traditional pairings of lemon zest and bits of bacon, but they are tender from braising rather than crispy from roasting, diminishing any traces of bitterness. This recipe also calls for kale sprouts. These little guys are a hybrid cross of Russian red kale and Brussels sprouts, and look like a tiny head of kale. They have a sweet peppery flavor that pair exceeding well with the nutty cabbage flavor of the Brussels sprouts. Kale was (and still is) all the rage when it comes to healthy and flavorful greens, and these little kale sprouts are sure to take the markets by storm. Our friends at Melissa’s Produce sent over a batch for us to try. These little guys are destined to be your new little darling.
So back to our birthdays: we now have three perfect sides to go with our quick and delicious birthday dinner that also needs to travel well. These sides will be perfect with grilled steak, roasted chicken, and even lightly poached fish. I urge you to join us in a fantastic double birthday dinner with this delicious side dish.
Braised Kale &Brussels Sprouts
4 strips of your favorite bacon
8 ounces pound baby kale sprouts, trimmed and halved
10 ounce package baby Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Juice of half a lemon
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Zest of 1 lemon
Using a pair of kitchen shears, cut the bacon in thin matchstick-like strips. Cook your bacon as you normally would. Drain on paper towels. Reserve.
In a 3 quart pot, combine the sprouts, broth, butter, lemon juice and spices. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
Cover the pot and reduce to a simmer. Allow to cook 5-7 minutes, or until the sprouts are just getting tender. Stir occasionally.
Remove the lid and allow most of the liquid to cook off.
Serve hot. Sprinkle some zest on your braised sprouts just before serving.