I don’t know if anyone has told you this, but Brussels sprouts are all the rage. Who cares if kids don’t like them, all the grown-ups I know love them, which means more for us. At this time of year I just love to roast them to a golden crisp and OMG, have you had the deep fried Brussels sprouts at Sssam Bar? If you’re tired of traditional preparations, lately I’ve been seeing a lot of chatter about shaved Brussels sprouts for perfect Fall salads and slaws. But no matter how you make ’em, you ought to have plans for these little guys on your Thanksgiving table.
You know what else is great about Brussels sprouts, they just love to be paired with bacon.
So the other day Brad and I returned home from the Greenmarket hungry for a big old weekend brunch. Brad was craving bacon, I had a hankering for some potato pancakes, and I also had Brussels spouts on the brain. I was thinking about how beautifully the shaved sprouts would crisp up if fried – perhaps in bacon grease – and that’s when inspiration struck. I folded a pile of them into the potato pancake mixture and before you know it, we were breaking some runny fried egg yolks all over a plate of delicious.
Brad now swears by this method for cooking bacon. Previously, he was doing it all wrong.
I’m pretty sure these would tempt any Brussels sprout hater. Don’t you just love the green color in the pancakes? Next time around I think I’ll try upping the ratio of sprouts to potatoes because I love those little suckers so much. And yes, I recommend you serve some harissa on the side with the eggs and bacon.
Potato and Brussels Sprouts Pancakes
You should get 12-16 pancakes depending on the size
- 1 1/2 lbs. starchy potatoes (like Russet), washed and peeled
- 1 small onion
- 1/2 lb. Brussels sprouts
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 3 tablepoons bread crumbs
- Salt and pepper
- Butter, bacon grease, or duck fat* for frying
In a large bowl or food processor, grate the potatoes and the onions and mix together. Trim the hard root end off the Brussels sprouts and remove any discolored leaves. Holding each Brussels sprout by stem end, cut into very thin slices (you can do this with a knife or a mandoline). Add to the potato and onion mixture and toss to separate layers.
Sprinkle the bread crumbs and a good dose of salt and pepper over the mixture. Pour in the eggs and mix together thoroughly.
In a large cast iron skillet or frying pan, heat 2 Tbs. of fat or butter on medium heat. Make sure the entire bottom of the pan is covered. Test with a drop of water, it should sizzle when ready.
Fry the pancakes by dropping large spoonfuls of the potato mixture onto the greased skillet (I use my ice cream scooper). Gently press to flatten and cook for about 4-5 minutes, until the bottom is nice and crispy brown and then flip them over to cook and crisp the other side. If the fat in the pan gets low, add more as needed.
Place them on a paper towel or brown paper bag to drain a bit of the oil and then kept them warm on a plate in the oven (at 200 degress) until ready to serve.
Whenever I hear people discuss the secret to potato pancakes, it always comes down to the fat used for frying, and duck fat is said to be the best. But if you don’t have that on hand – or happen to be making bacon! – I don’t think there is anything that isn’t delicious when fried in some bacon grease.
Bonus: More on Brussels sprouts
Dislike for these delicious little cabbages is an unfortunate side effect of bad cooking. As explained by wikipedia:
Whatever cooking method is employed, it is important not to overcook them, which will render them gray and soft. Overcooking releases the glucosinolate sinigrin, which has a sulphurous odour. The odour is the reason many people profess to dislike Brussels sprouts, having only ever tried them overcooked. Generally, six to seven minutes boiled or steamed is enough to cook them sufficiently. However, they taste best when sauteed or roasted.