Keyword: Brussels sprouts, Hen of the woods mushroom
4cupsBrussels Sproutsroots trimmed and scored with an X, then halved
3tablespoonbacon fatreserved from the cooked bacon
½cuppickled hen of the woodschopped, plus 2 tablespoon of their pickling liquid (basic recipe for pickled hens here)
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
8ozslab bacondiced into half inch cubes
In a saute pan large enough to accommodate the Brussels sprouts, render the bacon on medium heat until it has released it's fat and is crisp. Remove the bacon from the pan and reserve. Place the Brussels sprouts cut side down in the pan with the fat and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook the Brussels sprouts until golden brown and caramelized and tender about 5 minutes, depending on size.
The Brussels will soak up a lot of the fat. If the pan looks like it's getting dry and the sprouts are in danger of burning, add the unsalted butter to cool the pan and flavor them. (This is optional, but a treat)
Add the hen of the woods to the pan with the Brussels and heat through along with a tablespoon or so of their pickling liquid to taste, just to make it sparkle a bit. Serve immediately.
A little trick to cooking Brussels sprouts is to score the bottom of them with a knife creating an X; it helps them to cook quickly, and evenly. After they are scored on the bottom, cut them in half. See a video of this technique here.