Brussels sprouts have become an incredibly popular mainstay on menus, including steakhouses and New American restaurants. For a holiday menu or another special event, take them to the next level by smoking hazelnuts and making your own bacon marmalade.
FOR THE SMOKED HAZELNUTS
- In a bowl, combine the hazelnuts with the olive oil and salt.
- Pour the nuts into a pan and spread them in a single layer.
- Fire up a smoker to 225 degrees.
- Add 3 to 4 medium chunks of hickory wood. When the smoker is ready, place the nuts in the smoker.
- Smoke the nuts, shaking the pan with tongs a couple times to prevent burning, until they are toasted and have a nice smoky flavor, 30 to 60 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the smoker and let the nuts cool completely in the pan. Coarsely chop the nuts and set aside.
FOR THE BACON MARMALADE
- In a large sauté pan over medium heat, cook the bacon until it starts to get crispy and the fat is rendered, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Transfer the bacon to a bowl and set aside. Reserve the bacon fat.
- Add the butter and 2 tablespoons of the reserved bacon fat to the pan and return to medium heat.
- Add the onions and salt and sauté for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Return the bacon to the pan.
- Add the brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, dried thyme, black pepper and cayenne and stir until the ingredients are well incorporated.
- Add water and continue cooking until the mixture reaches a jamlike consistency, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the olive oil.
FOR THE BRUSSELS SPROUTS
- Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
- On a sheet pan, toss the Brussels sprouts with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
- Spread in a single layer and bake, tossing once halfway through, until tender and golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes.
- Toss the roasted Brussels sprouts with 1 cup of the bacon marmalade and sprinkle with ½ cup of the chopped smoked hazelnuts.