Brussels Sprouts Gratin

04 February

2 hickory-smoked pieces of bacon
3 large shallots, thinly sliced
2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
1 cup water
½ teaspoon sea salt, divided
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (2-ounce) piece of French baguette
3 tablespoons butter

1. Preheat the broiler.
2. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-heat until crisp. Remove the bacon from the pan, reserving the drippings; crumble the bacon. Increase heat to medium-high. Add shallots to drippings in pan; sauté for 2 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add Brussels sprouts and 1 cup of water, bring to a boil. Cover pan loosely; cook for 6 minutes or until the sprouts are almost tender. Uncover and remove from heat. Sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon sea salt and pepper; toss to combine. Spoon sprout mixture into a 2-quart broiler-safe glass or ceramic baking dish and coat lightly with oil.
3. Place bread in a food processor, and process until finely ground. Melt butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add breadcrumbs and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt to pan, sauté for 2 minutes, or until toasted, stirring frequently. Add cooked, crumbled bacon to the toasted breadcrumb mixture. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the Brussels sprout mixture. Broil for 3 minutes or until golden and thoroughly heated.

Serves 6 (about ¾ cup each)