I'm amazed at all of the various members of the cabbage family that are essentially the same plant, much in the same way that a Great Dane and a Chihuahua are the same subspecies of wolf: broccoli, kale, cauliflower, collard greens, kohlrabi... There's a dozen more, but today I'm focusing on the Brussels Sprout.
I never had to eat this as a child, which meant that I never had any particular love or hate for it. Maybe my parents didn't like the sprouts, or they just never got around to fixing them, and I've never seen them in restaurants, but I've made it almost three decades without tasting the little green orbs. I say almost because last year I boiled up some, tried to eat them, and found them horrendous. However, I recently learned that some Yankees enjoy Brussels Sprouts as a Thanksgiving side dish. The secret: bacon.
Going by a Yankee recipe, I cooked three strips of bacon and set aside the meat for topping at the end. (A note on this: my local grocery store has incredible thick-cut bacon at the butcher counter. I'm notorious for buying only three or four strips at a time. It's more expensive per pound, but the quality is much better and I don't normally buy bacon unless it's for a recipe.) A shallot went into the bacon fat until clear, and then I tossed in the sprouts (washed, trimmed, and halved on the longitudinal section). Cooked for a while, added some chicken broth, and let simmer until tender.
Wow. Granted, the salt and savory flavors from the bacon and broth really help, but something about the preparation brings about an essential sweetness of the Brussels Sprouts that's rather nice. While these were cooking, I made a batch of turkey meatballs... ground turkey, breadcrumbs, sautéed mushrooms, egg, a dash of the leftover fennel & tomato soup, and a little soy sauce. Baked until nice and brown.
I know it's an odd dinner. I had this for a late meal and found it pleasantly filling and delicious.