Happy Be-Lated Holidays Everyone!
I’ve been so busy that I haven’t had a chance to even check my email. I spent the first part of the week in North Carolina, hanging out and celebrating my birthday with the family. When we returned to Atlanta on Thursday, I hit the ground running with my Christmas dinner preparations. This year, my sister and I decided to split the culinary responsibilities and we each took on the task of preparing a half of dinner. So, while she slaved over the stove top preparing a gratuitous 10 pounds of mashed potatoes, some generously cheesy creamed spinach, and a perfect slow-roasted 8 pound beef tenderloin, I frantically lost my mind over a boozy sweet potato pie, a quad-, cheesecake swirl, diabetes inducing, double-layer chocolate cake, bacon-ranch oven roasted Brussels Sprouts, and a butter drenched, Italian-seasoned turkey. Overall, it was a pretty waist-friendly meal. And by waist-friendly, I mean, waist expanding. There was nothing healthy; nothing that didn’t including butter, bacon grease, or obscene amounts of salt.
But, hey, it’s the holidays.
You can get away with indulging in all of that stuff for a day, or three (depending on the amount leftovers available). To make up for the lack of posting because I was being carefree with my family time, I’ve decided to share my Brussels sprouts recipe that I came up with specifically for this year’s Christmas dinner. I’ll admit, I was particularly inspired by our Christmas Dinner Pinterest board (Yes, we were taking this very seriously). I had seen a lot of recipes for roasted Brussels sprouts, but none of them really interested me until I stumbled upon one that had bacon. Then, I thought, “Why not bacon-RANCH Brussels Sprouts!?!??!” Yes, I felt like I had just created the Holy Grail of side dishes, and I was super excited to try it out on everyone at dinner. And I must say,
THE BRUSSELS SPROUTS WERE A HIT!
Even the kids were eating them!
Seriously, what could be better?! You’ve got your bacon. You’ve got your ranch. Literally, there was nothing wrong with this. I couldn’t go awry!
And I didn’t!
So I’ve decided to share it. This recipe was too delicious for me to keep to myself. My only regret was that I completely spaced out and didn’t get a picture of the final product. I admit that I did have a little problem with time management, so at the time I was running super late for dinner. When I was ready to leave the house, I was already 15 minutes behind schedule, so I wrapped up the sprouts before I could grab the camera, thinking I’d just take one when I get to my sister’s house for dinner.
I was completely wrong.
As soon as I walked in and said, “Hello.” to everyone, the line had already formed and people were making their plates! Man, the perks of being late to a dinner party with starving guests on Christmas. What was I thinking?! So, by the time I even thought about getting out my camera, it was too late. They were gone, and by gone, I mean, there were only like 3 halves and some flecks of bacon left in the serving bowl.
I felt like a failure and a bad blogger, but I also felt like a winner because people loved them! I was a conflicted mix of ecstatic and despondent.
So, here it is.
My recipe for bacon-ranch Brussels sprouts. I will definitely make them again, and when I do, I will TRY to remember to snap a picture of the final product.
- 2 pounds of Brussels sprouts (cleaned and halved lengthwise)*
- 9 pieces of bacon (baked to optimal crispness)
- Bacon fat drippings from the cooked bacon
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of black pepper
- 1 packet of powdered Ranch dressing mix
- ***OPTIONAL: 1 medium onion halved width-wise and each half quartered
*Make sure when you halve them, you do it lengthwise through the core. This keeps each half intact, making the stirring, roasting, and serving of the sprouts so much easier (and prettier).
Directions: (Preheat oven to 350°F or 175°C)
- Place bacon on a sheet pan and put it in the oven. Bake until super crispy (you want that bacon to crumble when you touch it. I do not recommend using thick cut bacon for this recipe).
- When the bacon is done, remove the pieces and place on a plate lined with a paper towel to soak up the excess fat.
- Raise the temperature of the oven to 400°F (205°C).
- Pour the leftover bacon grease into a bowl. Add the olive oil, powdered ranch dressing packet, and pepper to the bacon grease and mix until fully combined.
- Pour the bacon-ranch mixture over the clean and halved Brussels sprouts and toss them until each half is completely coated.
- Empty out the bowl onto a baking sheet, making sure the sprouts are cut-side up and not touching each other (you may need more than one sheet. This is quite a bit of sprouts). If they are too close together, your sprouts will steam, not roast.
- Place the sheet pan in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes. You want the edges to be a dark brown and a little crispy while the cut-side is just lightly browned. The sprouts will also be soft, yet somewhat firm, to the touch.
- Pull your sprouts out of the oven and spoon into a serving bowl. Grab the bacon and just crumble it over the now roasted Brussels sprouts and toss until combined.
(Insert Picture of the Finished Product Here)