Creamy, cheesy, smoky, bacony—there aren’t enough words to describe your first bite of this Charred Brussels Au Gratin, but that’s okay; you won’t be talking anyway.
I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: Brussels sprouts are the most versatile vegetable in your recipe arsenal. Baked, broiled, steamed, or boiled, there are a variety of ways to ignite your menu with these little flavor bombs.
My Blackened Brussels Salad from the Acadiana Table cookbook has become legendary, and now I take a page out of my book with a variation that just might be the cheesiest little side dish ever. In fact, this is my keto-friendly, low-carb stand-in for potatoes au gratin that packs a whole lotta flavor and removes the guilt.
For me, the key to cooking Brussels is to char them until blackened around the edges. The nutty notes will perfume your kitchen and will eliminate the cabbage-type smell that turns off most Brussels sprout haters. It’s an entirely different vegetable.
Bring out the brie for an elegantly creamy finish in reduced heavy cream and then bake it all off with a mozzarella topping. Oh yeah, this side dish just took center stage.
- 2 pounds Brussels sprouts
- 6 strips smoked bacon, chopped
- 1 cup diced yellow onion
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1 cup diced green bell pepper
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 apple, peeled, cored and diced (optional)
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon white pepper
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ cup chicken stock
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup brie cheese, rind removed
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 tablespoons grated mozzarella
- Remove the woody stem end of each sprout. Cut each sprout in half lengthwise. Reserve for later use.
- In a large skillet with a lid over medium-high heat, add the bacon and sauté until crispy. Remove the bacon and drain on paper towel.
- Add the Brussels sprouts to the remaining bacon grease and cook until blackened around the edges, about 10 minutes. Add the onion, celery, bell pepper, and garlic, and cook for 3 minutes longer.
- Add the apple and thyme along with the herbs and spices.
- Add the chicken stock, lower the heat to a simmer, cover the pan, and cook until the stock has evaporated and the sprouts are tender, about 10 minutes.
- Add the cream and ½ cup of the brie cheese broken into chunks. Cook until the cream reduces and thickens to coat the back of a spoon. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the crispy bacon pieces.
- Into 4 individual ovenproof ramekins, divide the mixture. With the remaining brie, insert chunks of the cheese into the mixture. Sprinkle each with grated mozzarella.
- Place the ramekins on a metal tray and bake under the broiler until bubbly and just beginning to brown on top.
- Remove and serve immediately.
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