Did anyone actually like brussels sprouts as a kid? I don't think I ever even tried them because I always thought they were stinky and unattractive. It wasn't until I ate them as an adult that my love affair with this bulbous vegetable truly began (though I'm sure the fact that they were served with bacon didn't hurt).
Now, I try to eat Brussels as often as I can, and I still stay true to the great combination of sprouts and pork. For this recipe, I use pancetta and shred the brussels sprouts to make a hash/salad of sorts to rest under beautifully seared scallops. The only thing that you're going to have to master is using a mandoline. If you don't have one, I suggest picking up a plastic one as they're super inexpensive and a great time-saver for busy weeknight cooks.
I'll admit that the giant blade made me a little nervous, as I watched shreds of perfectly-sized greens collect in a bowl and imagined my fingers joining them next, but there's no reason to fear the mandoline. If you keep your eye on the hand doing the slicing, you'll know when to stop before it gets too close (for beginners, feel free to stop even earlier). By using a mandolin, I cut down on time two ways: one, I don't have to trim the roots of the sprouts, since I can use them as anchors while shredding, and two, because shredding is just plain faster than cutting with a knife.
After that, I cook the pancetta, add the shallots and shredded sprouts until they begin to brown, then deglaze the pan with rice wine vinegar to add some acid and scrape up any tasty brown bits stuck on the bottom of the pan. The key to the scallops is to place them in a very hot pan and then leave them alone for a few minutes so they can sear properly. Then flip, warm the mixture back up, and enjoy.
Dinner is served in less than 30 minutes, and all you had to do was buy four ingredients. Not bad, right?
About the Author: Yasmin Fahr is a food lover, writer, and cook. Follow her @yasminfahr for more updates on her eating adventures and discoveries, which will most likely include tomatoes. And probably feta. Happy eating!
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