Helen's Hungarian Heritage Recipes

Helen's Hungarian Heritage Recipes
Chef Ilona Szabo Reveals The Secrets of Hungarian Cooking

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Bacon Sautéd Brussels Sprouts (HUNGARIAN STYLE)



Szalonás Párolt Kelbimbó

Brussels Sprouts don't just look like tiny little cabbages, they are! And adorable at that! But sadly, most children grew up already having a pre- concieved notion that they HATE Brussels Sprouts, along with broccolli and most other members of the cabbage family. Guaranteed, when they grow up to be adults, they will learn that cruciferous [krew-SIH-fer-uhs] vegetables have high amounts of anti-oxidants. Specifically, they contain indole-3-carbidol (I3C). This element changes the way estrogen is metabolized and may prevent estrogen driven cancers. This alone would give them a reason to at least try it.

Healthy benefits aside, seriously, once you try this recipe, your children (and husband) will BEG you to make more. Every time I bring this dish to family functions of church gatherings, I have people lining up asking for the recipe!

Chef's Hint:  Brussells Sprouts are sold loose by the pound. You want to look for the biggest round sprouts with plenty of dark green outer leaves. Buy it at the farmer's market or the grocery store - matters not. You will find quality!

I heard a Hungarian gent at a family BBQ chatter away incessantly about how bacon fat contains fibre AND that it was actually a vegetable. Everyone around him howled. (present company included). I don't know if he was serious, or trying to get everyone engaged in lively banter. Either way, " I" would buy both stories. I would even go as far as adding it on the Canada's Food Guide as a Food Group on it's own!


1 pound brussels sprouts

8 strips of bacon

1 tbsp bacon fat

2 tbsp butter

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp black pepper


Cut the cores from the sprouts and discard. Gently peel off the leaves, reserving them and discard or thinly slice the tight, innermost heads. (Save them for stock)

Heat a large sauté pan and fry the bacon until crisp; remove to a paper towel to drain. Pour all but a tablespoon of fat from the pan. Add the butter, to melt. Toss the leaves in and sauté until tender, 10-15 minutes. Keep tossing gently to cover each petal with the fat. Season with salt and pepper then crumble the bacon and cascade it all over the soft green petals. 

SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Serve piping hot and crumble more bacon as desired.

CHEF’S HELEN'S HINT:  Take a little time to peel off each leaf individually.  I like to cut away at the core as I go. You will get mounds and mounds of leafy  green petals. Watch a soap opera and peel away.  

Other suggestions: Trim the ends, peel off any dark green leaves from each sprout, and roast, steam, or sauté them. Or, keep it simple and just slice them into a salad.


With our great cookbook, Helen's Hungarian Heritage Recipes TM © 2005 we wish to serve one purpose: to bring the flavours of Hungary nearer to your hearts and also give you a glimpse into Hungarian life and acquaint you with our wonderful hospitable country.

Let Clara M. Czegeny and renowned Chef Ilona Szabo (Helen I. Czegeny) share the secrets of Hungarian Cooking that will make you fall in love with Hungary food  one delicious recipe at a time.

Clara and daughter Evangeline (Graphic artist for book) 


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