Brussel Sprouts with Pancetta

The Capital Grille Recipe

Makes 4 servings

1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
10 ounces brussels sprouts
4 ounces leeks (white part only), cleaned
2 ounces pancetta, diced
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
freshly ground black pepper to taste

In large saucepot, combine about 2 quarts water with salt and sugar and set over high heat. While water comes to a boil, wash brussels sprouts in cold water. Trim off any spotted or bruised leaves and cut the sprouts in half, trimming off bottom of cores as needed. Set aside. Cut off the root and green portion of the leeks and cut remaining white part of leek in half lengthwise. Gently peel apart the leek at the root end and wash well with cold water to remove sand. Dice leeks into  1/2 inch squares. Set aside.

Once water has come to a boil (working in batches), blanch brussel sprouts 3 minutes. Shock 1 minute in an ice bath, drain and set aside for serving. Do not leave in ice water for more than 1 minute or they will become soggy.

Add pancetta to a cold saute pan and begin heating over medium heat. Increase heat to medium high and cook, stirring occasionally, until pancetta is golden brown and bottom of pan is coated with golden fat. Reduce heat and remove pancetta from pan with a slotted spoon. Set aside on paper towels to use later.

 Add leeks to pan in which pancetta was cooked and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until leeks become translucent but not brown, about 2 minutes. Add reserved brussel sprouts and cook an additional 3 minutes or until hot. Add reserved pancetta, butter and remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

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