Brussels Sprouts + Bacon + Maple Syrup + Mustard, while the weather’s still cool
BRUSSELS SPROUTS WITH BACON, MAPLE SYRUP AND MUSTARD
Serves 2 to 4 (depending on what you’re doing with the dish)
1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half from top to bottom
3 to 6 strips meaty bacon
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon grainy mustard (or Dijon), or more to taste
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, or more to taste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Set up a steamer. Salt the water in the steamer and season the Brussels sprouts with salt and pepper. Steam the sprouts until the tip of a small knife can easily poke but not completely pierce them, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the sprouts and set them aside. If you do this ahead of time, dunk the Brussels sprouts in ice water (or run cold water over them) to stop the cooking and dry them.
While the sprouts are steaming, cook the bacon in a large saute or wok-shaped pan. When the bacon is crisp, drain it between a triple thickness of paper towels, then coarsely chop the strips.
Pour off all but about 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat and add the olive oil to the pan. Turn the heat to high and, when the oil is shimmering, add the Brussels sprouts. Cook, turning a few times, until the sprouts are charred here and there and cooked crisp-tender. Lower the head to medium and stir in 1 tablespoon of mustard followed by 2 tablespoons of maple syrup. Season with salt and pepper, taste and add more mustard and/or syrup, if you’d like.