I’m just going to give you a minute to stare at the picture while repeating “Bacon Cream Sauce… bacon cream sauce… bacon cream sauce”. Yes, you can do it out loud or in your head.
Yeah, I went there…
Hey um, you have a little bit of drool on your chin there. You may wanna go wipe it out otherwise people may laugh at you. I won’t but others will… no wait I will too but then again I’ll be drooling right along with side you. This dish truly left me speechless and if you know me you know that’s virtually impossible. But this… this dish. Dear sweet baby Jesus it was amazing! And the kicker.. this was something I threw together on a whim. I knew I wanted Brussels Sprouts and gnocchi but just wasn’t into a tomato sauce. I could not have asked for an easier and seriously amazingly delicious dish!
I was at the farmer’s market a few days prior and picked up some gorgeous fresh Brussels Sprouts. Ever since I realized that they don’t have to be made as my dear Mother did and that they didn’t suck, I was in love. See Mom only made them on the holidays. They are always from a box (frozen) then boiled and covered in a vat of butter. They were gross, mushy, and just blech. But when I made my first real recipe with Brussels Sprouts I was hooked! Initially, these 2 recipes were my 2 favorites with Brussels Sprouts…
I had made the gnocchi already. Normally I make it from scratch but I was so burnt out from work that I had no energy to do it. Now granted it’s not hard but I had 2 hard workouts earlier in the day. In the morning I did an hour of legs (squats, hip abductor and adductor, leg press, and a few other things) plus 30 minutes of intense core. Then a few hours later, over lunch, I did 18.25 miles of spinning. So by the time I got home I was whooped. We’re talking to smooch Mr. Fantabulous and lord knows I love ‘dem lips of his! *wink*.
However, since he’s still on the mend from surgery he needed to eat. Thankfully all I had to do was reheat him a bbq chicken breast that I had made in the oven. I do love making stuff in quantity like that (4 breasts a week) so when I am so tired to cook he always has a hot meal. Since I knew he doesn’t like gnocchi I opted to make him the Brussels Sprouts and some crispy potato rounds. Since I wasn’t feeling the chicken, and I already had the gnocchi made I opted to go with that and incorporate the Brussels Sprouts with it.
I love bacon. You know I love bacon. I know you know I love bacon. So for me, when I have these sprouts bacon is pretty much a certainty. That saltiness tames down the sometimes bitterness of the sprout. The thing is I needed a sauce of sorts. I didn’t want marinara sauce as that was not something I was craving. I wanted creamy, decadent.. sinful perhaps since I busted my butt (literally) earlier in the day at the gym.
Remember, you eat pretty much everything IN MODERATION along with a well-balanced diet and exercise. Would I eat this daily or weekly? No – trust me I’d love to but my thighs would love it more as that is where this would end up!
Without knowing what type of sauce I’d make for this I decided to just let it happen naturally. I got to fry up the bacon and as that was rendering I sliced the sprouts in half leaving the core intact. If you don’t cut them in half (with a top and bottom) they tend to fall apart when you cook them. Trust me, I made that mistake. It’s still good but not exactly presentable. I remove the crispy bacon from the pan (after testing it for doneness.. wha??? I had to check it, folks! Don’t judge me!) I placed the sprouts cut side down in the bacon grease to create an amazing bacon caramelized char on it. After cooking for a few minutes I flipped those gorgeous babies over and let the outsides char up beautifully. You can see just how awesome they look.
I removed them from the pan to work on some type of sauce. To aid in the creation of a sauce I added a bit of butter and as that melted, I grabbed a shallot. Do you cook with shallots ever? Do you know what the difference is between a shallot and an onion?
Shallots, like onions and garlic, are a member of the allium family, but their flavor is richer, sweeter, and more potent. Like garlic, they grow in clusters, with several bulbs attached at the base. You’ll recognize them by their coppery skins and their off-white flesh, which is usually tinged with magenta. Shallots add a great depth of flavor to pan sautés, soups, sauces, and stews, and pair especially well with chicken and fish. To substitute one for the other in recipes, use half the amount of shallot that you would onion.
I sliced up the shallot in small rounds and tossed it in the foaming butter along with the cooked gnocchi. The butter had that warm nutty smelly infused with bacon and onion awesomeness. Seriously if someone could bottle that scent they’d be bajillionaires! Psst.. don’t forget you will be required to adopt me and help me publish a cookbook, open a bistro and feed Mr. Fantabulous!
The rest of this honestly just fell into place. With the heavy cream, it’s not exactly the healthiest and you could easily use half and half but I didn’t have any on hand. To round out the flavors I added in some grated Parmesan and was on my way to HAPPYVILLE! Thankfully Mr. Fantabulous doesn’t like gnocchi otherwise he would have so inhaled this dish and I would have had none. Trust me when I say one thing:
IF you are forced to share this dish with others, make enough for leftovers though I can guarantee that there will be no leftovers. I ate 2 helpings of this dish and was in true carb heaven! The flavors are so creamy but balance so perfectly with the salty bacon and the caramelized sprouts.
It’s funny because as I was eating this Mr. Fantabulous came out to the kitchen to see what I was up to. He spied the dish and then took a whiff followed by a very long and deep whiff. Oh yeah, it smells THAT good! He came over to inspect my plate further only to give me a disappointed face because he saw gnocchi in it. However, I begrudgingly said, “Here, at least try the sauce with a Brussels Sprout”. And that was all she wrote… I was informed that I MUST make him a dish of sprouts JUST LIKE THAT with that sauce.
I’ve made this a few times since creating the recipe and have used other pasta. One night I even added shrimp to the mix to get some extra protein. Seriously this dish will overnight become one of your most requested dishes.
IT. IS. THAT. AMAZING!
And FYI… keep a close eye on the website for future recipes staring my Bacon Cream Sauce! It’s gonna blow your mind folks!Print
- 1lb potato gnocchi
- 8–10 Brussels Sprouts, cut in half length-ways
- 6 slices of bacon, cut into 1” pieces plus the bacon drippings
- 1 medium shallot, sliced thin
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 1/2 cups cream
- 1/2–3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1–2 tablespoon gnocchi water
- Boil your gnocchi per your packages instructions, reserve 1-2 tablespoon gnocchi water.
- Once cooked, strain your gnocchi and set aside.
- In medium skillet over medium heat add your bacon and cook until crispy on both sides.
- Remove the bacon from skillet to paper towels.
- In the bacon grease add the sliced Brussels Sprouts cut side down and cook for 5-6 minutes each side or until a deep brown caramel color is achieved.
- Remove from the skillet and set aside.
- In the skillet add in the butter and allow to melt.
- Once melted add in the shallots and gnocchi.
- Saute for 5-7 minutes or until the shallots are soft and translucent.
- Add in the cream, cheese, salt and pepper and bring to a rolling boil stirring constantly.
- Once boiling start with 1 tablespoon gnocchi water to help thicken the sauce. This should take about 2-3 minutes once at a boil.
- When thickened, remove from the heat add half of the bacon and sprouts gently combining.
- Taste for seasonings.
- Plate and garnish with the rest of the bacon and Brussels Sprouts.