brussels sprout cheddar bake

I discovered Brussels Sprouts this spring and they've become a slight obsession.  So much so that I accidentally planted an entire garden bed of Brussels Sprouts.  No, it really was accidental.  I meant to plant half Brussels Sprouts, half Broccoli, but apparently I only planted Brussels Sprouts.  Whoopsnotwhoops.  Anyway, I've been mostly just roasting them with olive oil, salt and pepper with a medley of other veggies (new favorite way to eat veggies, btw), but I was getting a bit bored of that schtick so I perused Pinterest for some new recipes to try and stumbled upon this baked Brussels recipe by Emeril (bam!), and it included cheese, garlic, bacon and onion... how could it go wrong? All of my favorite things in one place.  

If there's one thing to be said about this dish, it's that it's not a beautiful looking thing to photograph.  Eventually I gave up trying to make it look appetizing in a photo.  Here's a pile of baked cheese, bacon, brussel sprouts and onion.  I promise it tastes good, even if it just looks like a mound of bleh.  It's really easy to make, and would actually be a good side dish to bring to a potluck or Thanksgiving, but we just ate it as a whole meal on it's own.

(Recipe adapted slightly from  Emeril Lagasse)

Servings: ~4-5
Prep + Cook Time: ~30 min

4 slices bacon
1 cup onion, small diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound Brussels sprouts, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/4 cup chicken stock or water
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar

1. Preheat your oven to 450º  F.  Cook the bacon until crisp, and then remove the bacon from the pan and set aside.

2. Add the onions to the pan and cook for appx 4 minutes or until translucent and beginning to caramelize.  While the onions are cooking, chop up the bacon into little bits. Add the garlic to the pan and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the onions and garlic from the pan to a bowl with the bacon.

3. Add the butter to the pan along with the Brussels sprouts and 1/4 teaspoon thyme. Cook the sprouts  on one side until they begin to brown. Add the chicken stock, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Flip the Brussels sprouts and continue to cook for another couple minutes.

4. Throw in the bacon, onions and garlic from the bowl you set aside and mix everything together. Pour the mixture into an 8 x 8 inch baking dish. Sprinkle the top of the dish with the cheese and bake for 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and beginning to brown on top.  Enjoy!