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Glazed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Bread Crumbs

We have had our first frost, first freeze and therefore our gathering of the Brussels Sprouts. These little 'cabbage heads' grow on a tall spike, spiraling around the spear from top to bottom. They are not the easiest vegetables to harvest, as they have to be cut off of the stalk, plopped in a bucket and lugged inside... and did I mention that it is near freezing! Ah, but that is just an added touch to these beauties.

There are 9 full quart zip-lock bags in our freezer just waiting to be served in style. I love this recipe as it highlights the Brussels Sprouts, but escapes the bitter taste of my childhood memories of them. The wine glaze sweetens, the bacon adds crunch, and the bread crumbs top the dish perfectly.

6 slices bacon, cooked reserve 2 T bacon fat
1/2 onion, sliced
1/2 green or red bell pepper, chopped
2 cups Brussels sprouts, tough outer leaves removed, stem ends trimmed
1/3 cup red wine
1 T Splenda brown sugar or 2 T of regular brown sugar
1/3 cup toasted fresh bread crumbs (from hot dog bun)
1 T fresh snipped Basil leaves
3/4 t kosher salt
1/4 walnut pieces

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, cut an 'x' in the stem end of each Brussels sprout to ensure even cooking. Add Brussels sprouts to boiling water; parboil 5 minutes until bright green, and just slightly tender; drain - run under cold water, drain again.

In large fry pan cook bacon until crisp, reserve bacon fat. Crumble or chop bacon and set aside. Add onion and bell pepper to pan, place on medium heat. Add Brussels sprouts and cook 3 minutes. To this mixture add brown sugar, basil, and salt. Stir. Cook 4 minutes longer. Raise heat to medium high, - add the 1/3 cup of wine slowly scraping the bottom of the pan as you stir. Add bacon pieces and if necessary a teaspoon of wine to keep the mixture moist. Add bread crumbs, remove from pan.

This is a fantastic taste for fall. This Brussels sprouts dish is full of flavor, rich in vitamins and colorful. Please share your favorite fall dishes. It is a great time to have friends over for dinner, a time to sit and chat and get to know new neighbors!

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