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Brussels Sprouts, Bacon, and Beer, Oh My!

sproutsFess up:  are you one of the many sufferers from an irrational fear of Brussels sprouts? Well, fear no more, valiant eater!  Eleven’s chefs have come up with a recipe that combines this oft-avoided, yet very good-for-you vegetable with two of your favorite food groups–bacon and beer–to produce a dish that even the most skittish vegiphobe will devour with gusto!  And what goes better with Brussels sprouts and beer than a tasty beer and cheese spread?  It’s a win-win-win situation!  Cheers!

Brussels Sprouts, Bacon, and Beer

Sprouts dish1/4 lb sliced bacon 4 cups Brussels sprouts (about 1 pound), trimmed, halved Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 1/4 cup golden raisins 2 medium shallots, finely chopped 2 tablespoon unsalted butter 1/2 cup beer Fry bacon, drain on paper, and crumble. While bacon cools, add Brussels sprouts to drippings in skillet; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until well-browned in spots and beginning to soften, 5 to 7 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add raisins, shallots, and butter; cook, stirring often, until shallots are soft, about 3 minutes. Add beer to skillet; increase heat and bring to a boil, scraping up browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer; add crumbled bacon. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Beer and Cheese Spread Yields approximately 4 cups

Dip8 oz cream cheese 2 1/2 C extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded 1 tsp Dijon mustard 2 Tbl half-and-half 1/4 C beer 2 scallions, thinly sliced 1 tsp garlic, minced 2 Tbl parsley, chopped salt and pepper to taste

Add cream cheese, cheddar, Dijon, and half-and-half to the bowl of a food processor. Process until very smooth. While machine is running, slowly drizzle in the beer until incorporated. Season with salt and pepper. Add scallions, garlic, and parsley, and pulse several times until mixed in. Make at least two hours ahead and allow to sit in refrigerator to allow flavors to develop. Serve with crackers or bread and, of course, MORE BEER!