Although I continue to eat and enjoy meat, I seem to be gradually losing my taste for it. Take last Sunday night. I wanted to cook something comforting and special, and I had the time and energy to make just about anything.
I thought of all the usual standbys—chicken potpie, beef stew, roast chicken. Nope, none of those appealed. I googled Sunday suppers and clicked on recipes like pork roast and shepherd’s pie. Nothing attracted my taste buds there either. In the end, I realized I was craving Spaghetti Squash Lasagna that Maggy and I had baked up a few days before, and that’s what I made.
But I don’t think I could ever be a vegetarian. The big reason—I love bacon too much. I guess it’s the salty, sweet, crunchy factor that’s got me hooked. Wrap it around my favorite vegetable—Brussels sprouts—with a little Dubliner cheese sandwiched in between, and it’s my new favorite hors d’oeuvre.
And just in time. These bacon-wrapped Brussels sprouts have a serious St Patty’s Day feel. So if there isn’t time to make the traditional corned beef and cabbage, assemble a platter of these, crack open a beer, and toast the day!
- 6 long, lean thick-cut bacon slices
- 24 Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved lengthwise
- 3 ounces Dubliner cheese, sliced thin and cut into 24 approximate 1-inch squares
- Fry bacon in a large skillet until some of the fat has rendered but bacon is still pliable, just a few minutes. Drain and then halve each bacon slice crosswise and then each halve each piece lengthwise to form 4 short thin strips.
- Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon renderings and add ½ cup of water to the skillet. Place Brussels sprout halves, cut side down in a single layer, in skillet and cover. Turn burner on high and steam until water has almost evaporated and Brussels sprouts are bright green, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove lid, reduce heat to medium low and continue to cook until Brussels sprouts' cut sides are golden brown, removing them as they color. Let Brussels sprouts cool slightly.
- Sandwich a piece of cheese between 2 Brussels sprout halves, wrap a bacon strip around Brussels sprout, secure with a toothpick and place on a small rimmed baking sheet. Repeat with remaining Brussels sprouts, cheese, and bacon. (Can be covered and refrigerated overnight. Return to room temperature before baking.)
- When ready to serve, adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Bake Brussels sprouts until bacon browns and cheese melts, 5 to 7 minutes. Serve.