Maple Bourbon Brussels Sprouts

Maple Bourbon Brussels Sprouts

Maple Bourbon Brussels Sprouts ready to serve.
Maple Bourbon Brussels Sprouts ready to serve.

I came up with Maple Bourbon Brussels Sprouts one day when I ran across an almost empty jar of Sam’s Choice Spicy Maple Bourbon Fresh Pack Pickle Chips (try saying that five times fast). It was almost empty, because there were no pickle chips left, but there was plenty of sweet and spicy maple bourbon juice. What’s ironic about this is that the ingredients don’t include maple or bourbon. Nonetheless, they do taste a little like both. 

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I had some sprouts on hand, and thought, “What would happen if I put this juice in with those sprouts?” Apparently, good things. And meat lovers? I promised you a sprouts recipe, so here it is in one word: BACON. This is delicious with a little (or a lot) of bacon added in. I like to use maple bacon. Don’t eat pork? These would play nice with a barbecued beef brisket. 

Not Your Grandmother’s Brussels sprouts

If your memory of Brussels sprouts is of nasty, bitter, mushinesstimes have changed. Back in the 1990s, scientists studied the Dutch treasury of Brussels sprouts seeds dating back generations and discovered that some strains were less bitter than others. They began a selective breeding program that resulted in a tastier sprout, which may explain the booming interest in Brussels sprouts over the 21st century. So, don’t write those sprouts off as just a bitter memory … give them a try! 

About Maple Bourbon Brussels sprouts

If you’ve tried my Asian-inspired Brussels Sprouts Sauté recipe, you cook this recipe in a similar manner. However, this dish is a little sweeter and not as spicy hot as my Brussels Sprouts Asian Sauté. But feel free to dial up the heat with hot pepper if you want to. 

You’ll want to use a shallow pan with a lid while cooking, because you need to both sauté and steam the sprouts. Cook the sprouts until they are tender on the outside and a little firm at the center. If you don’t cook them long enough, they will be too hard and crunchy. Cook them too long, and they will be too mushy or browned. 

I often serve this dish with rice and make a one-bowl meal out of it. The last time I made these I served them with salmon steaks. I used some maple bourbon juice on the salmon, too. Salmon with a hint of maple flavor paired well with the sprouts, and the onion and peppers from the sprouts dish made a great topping for the salmon. 

These sprouts are tasty without salt, but some may want to add a little. Without salt (or bacon) this is a low sodium, gluten-free, vegetarian dish. Dig in. 

“Cooking, I found, gives us the opportunity, so rare in modern life, to work directly in our own support, and in the support of the people we feed. If this is not “making a living,” I don’t know what is. In the calculus of economics, doing so may not always be the most efficient use of an amateur cook’s time, but in the calculus of human emotion, it is beautiful even so. For is there any practice less selfish, any labor less alienated, any time less wasted, than preparing something delicious and nourishing for people you love?”


—Michael Pollan

Do you have a winner recipe that emerged from unusual leftovers? Share what inspired your latest leftover creation in comments below!

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Maple Bourbon Brussels Sprouts

A 21st century experimental leftover dish, Maple Bourbon Brussels Sprouts is a lightly flavored side dish substantial enough to make a vegetarian meal over a bed of rice, and it’s tasty topped with bacon, too. Pairs well with a variety of meats.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword Brussels Sprouts, vegan option, vegetable, vegetarian option
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Author Lisa Kamolnick

Ingredients

  • 5 C Brussels sprouts about 26 pieces
  • 1 -2 medium clove garlic minced
  • ½ yellow or white onion diced
  • 2 sweet peppers diced
  • 1-2 TBSP light olive oil
  • 2 TBSP Maple Bourbon pickle juice Sam’s Choice Maple Bourbon Fresh Pack Pickle Chips
  • OPTIONAL: bacon pieces for topping

Instructions

  • Trim bottom of Brussels sprouts and chop in half lengthwise.
  • Mince garlic and dice onion and sweet peppers.
  • Place oil into pan and heat to medium.
  • Add onion, garlic and peppers and sauté until onion becomes translucent.
  • Add and sauté until Brussels sprouts outer leaves soften.
  • Turn heat to low, cover and simmer about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Serve or refrigerate in airtight container.

Notes

Tip
Be sure to cover the pan as the intent is to hold liquid in to steam the sprouts and to infuse the maple bourbon flavor.
Serving Suggestions
Serve as a side or on a bed of rice. Top with bacon if desired. Pairs well with barbecued pork or beef and with salmon marinated in maple bourbon juice.