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Cooking with Pete and Barb Marczyk: Brussels sprouts with bacon

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Pete Marczyk and Barbara Macfarlane do not leave their work behind when they leave Marczyk Fine Foods and head for their great old Denver house with the big, new kitchen. They often bring some of their market's choicest ingredients home with them, and cook up a feast.

The Marczyks, not surprisingly, also cook up a big feast at Thanksgiving, and this year, Brussels sprouts are making an appearance on the table. "We love Brussels sprouts," says Barb, "and I was thinking of a different way to cook them, and thought cider would be a good match, but only if it was reduced and sort of caramelized." The recipe, reproduced on the following page, is easy, fast and a terrific addition to this year's Thanksgiving bounty.

Brussels sprouts and bacon

Ingredients

2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved lengthwise 4 slices thick cut bacon 1 cup good apple cider (not apple juice) 1 tablespoon bacon fat 2 tablespoons unsalted butter Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. Place Brussels sprouts in a bowl of cold water. 2. Fry bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until crispy. Remove bacon, let cool and roughly chop. 3. Drain all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the skillet. Add 2 tablespoons butter, and melt until the foaming subsides. 4. Drain Brussels sprouts and add them to the skillet. 5. Add cider. Cover and cook for 5 minutes over high heat, stirring occasionally. 6. Uncover, and stir to coat the sprouts with the cider. Cook until the cider starts to caramelize and all the liquid has evaporated. Continue to cook until the sprouts begin to brown. 7. Add chopped bacon, salt and pepper, stir and serve.

For more from Pete, Barbara and Marczyk Fine Foods, visit the market website. And be sure to check out Pete's blog.

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