A Twist on Sprouts
A Twist on SproutsJanuary 17, 2013
Stuart Tracy, chef at Charleston sandwich shop Butcher & Bee, specializes in tweaking standards.
His menu, which changes daily, is full of unexpected twists. A grilled cheese sandwich might get a sprinkling of pickled okra, or fried chicken a layer of kimchi. One day, when the tart satsuma fruit is at the height of its season, you’ll find a layer of satsuma marmalade on your peanut butter and jelly. The next, the PB&J is gone altogether, replaced by a squash banh mi, or fried egg and tahini on homemade bread.
“We try bring the ingredients and techniques that you would find in more exclusive restaurants to a casual, approachable setting,” says Tracy. Though the restaurant is best known to savvy Charlestonians for its late-night hours—11 p.m. to 3 a.m, weekends only—it’s a good spot for a lazy lunch, too.
Get what you will for a main course, but don’t miss the brussels sprouts if they’re on the menu. A wintertime side, the sprouts are browned, glazed with apple cider vinegar, and then topped with peanuts, bacon, and julienned apple. Like so many of the dishes at Butcher & Bee, this recipe touches on familiar flavors and then takes them a step further, into best-you-ever-had territory.
Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Peanuts, and Apples
from Butcher & Bee, Charleston, South Carolina
Feeds 4-6, as a side
4 oz. applewood-smoked bacon, diced
1 lb. brussels sprouts, cut in half
2 cups apple cider vinegar
4 oz. unsalted butter
2 apples (suggested varieties: Gala, Honeycrisp, or Granny Smith), peeled and julienned
4 oz. peanut halves, roughly chopped, or ground in a food processor
In a large skillet, slowly render the bacon over medium low heat. Cook for 8-10 minutes, or until the bacon is almost completely crisp. Drain and reserve the excess fat for another use. Move bacon to a plate lined with a paper towel, and return the skillet to the stove over medium high heat.
Add brussels sprouts to the heated skillet cut-side facing down. Allow to brown thoroughly for 5-6 minutes. Don’t stir the pan. Add cider vinegar and butter to the pan with the Brussels, bring to a boil, and reduce heat to a simmer, until the liquid has the consistency of a light glaze. Return bacon to the pan, and season with salt and pepper.
Transfer sprouts to a serving platter, and top with apples and peanuts. Serve warm.