Monday, July 25, 2011

Whitney Miller's Bacon Wrapped Brussels Sprouts

I'm a huge fan of the TV show Masterchef.  Last season Whitney Miller was the first winner to become Masterchef.  I just fell in love with her on the show.  She's young, cute, southern, and a whiz in the kitchen.  She recently released her first cookbook Modern Hospitality: Simple Recipes with Southern Charm.  The recipes in her book are pretty simple and definitely southern.  If you like Brussels sprouts you are sure to love these! Whitney labels them as an appetizer but I made them as a side dish.

Let's get started:

18 large Brussels sprouts, stem ends trimmed and loose outer leaves discarded
4 ounces of cream cheese or goat cheese, at room temperature (I used cream cheese)
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
9 bacon slices, halved crosswise
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Fill a large pot halfway with water and bring to a boil over high heat.  Add the Brussels sprouts and cook for 2 minutes to blanch. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain in a sieve. Pat the Brussels sprouts dry with paper towels or a kitchen towel. Using a paring knife, cut an "X" in the top of each Brussels sprout, cutting halfway down through the sprout.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Blend the cheese and garlic in a small bowl. Spoon the cheese mixture into a small resealable plastic bag. Cut a small hole in one of the bottom corners of the bag. Place the cut out corner of the plastic bag in the "X" of each Brussels sprout and squeeze in a dollop of cheese mixture.

Wrap a piece of bacon around each sprout vertically, covering over the cheese. Place on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle the oil over the sprouts and sprinkle with the pepper.

Bake the sprouts, flipping them over halfway through the baking time, until the bacon is evenly browned, 25-30 minutes.

I secured my bacon with wooden toothpicks before the baking process.

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