Brussels sprouts, as they’re named, are of Belgian and Roman origin. They resemble miniature heads of cabbage, and while that may not sound appealing, Brussels sprouts are one of my favorite vegetables of late. They’re nutritious and delicious with their anti-cancer properties and earthy, nutty flavor. Overcook them, and they’ll be gross. But when made right, Brussels sprouts offer just the right balance of texture: tender yet crispy. So forget those soggy, bland, dull gray Brussels sprouts of yesteryear. Roast and/or broil them, and you’ll get some stellar sprouts. My foodie twin, Sherry, fed me Brussels sprouts tossed with candied bacon and a classic homemade vinaigrette, and I’ve been dreaming of them ever since. The candied bacon combine both salty and sweet components and add an oomph of flavor to the Brussels sprouts. Then the vinaigrette pushes it into bliss with the acidity edge. Serve them as a first course salad or as a vegetable side component like I did with the dirty rice stuffed Cornish hens. If the Blind can Cook it, so can you.


Recipe: Candied Bacon


  1. 12 slices bacon
  2. Ground black pepper
  3. 1/3 c. Light brown sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Put bacon slices in a bowl. Season with pepper and toss with brown sugar. Cover baking sheets with parchment or foil and arrange in a single layer. Sprinkle any leftover sugar from bowl over the bacon. Top with another layer of parchment or foil, and top it squarely with a second baking sheet. (This will flatten the bacon as it cooks.)
  3. Place tray in center of oven and bake for 12 to 16 min. Halfway through cooking, flip bacon and drag through syrupy liquid. If bacon is not yet golden brown after 16 min., bake for another 5 to 10 min or until dark as mahogany.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 20 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4

Recipe: Roasted Brussels Sprouts


  1. 2 lbs. brussels sprouts, unwashed & halved lengthwise
  2. 3 tbsp. Cooking oil
  3. 2 tbsp. Melted Butter
  4. Salt & pepper
  5. Candied bacon, cut into bite-sized pcs. (see recipe – 2 servings)
  6. 4 tbsp. Vinaigrette dressing (see recipe – add 3 tbsp. reserved bacon fat)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 or 420°F.
  2. Toss brussels sprouts with oil, butter, salt & pepper. Arrange sprouts, cut side down, in one layer on a baking sheet covered with foil. Roast sprouts for 30 to 35 min. Until crispy on top.
  3. Combine sprouts with bacon. Right before serving, toss with vinaigrette dressing.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 35 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 6

Recipe: Vinaigrette Dressing


  1. 1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil and/or bacon fat
  2. 1/3 c. balsamic vinegar
  3. 1 heaping tbsp. Brown sugar
  4. 1 generous tbsp. honey
  5. Juice from 1/2 lemon
  6. 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  7. Salt & pepper


  1. In a sm. Bowl, combine ingredients and whisk until blended.

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)

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20 Discussion to this post

  1. Andy says:

    "If the Blind can Cook it, so can you." Is that a reference to "Yan Can Cook"?

  2. TBui says:

    aaah, Chi Christine..please more vietnamese recipes if you can : ) I am rooting for you on masterchef, btw! hehe 😛

  3. Heather says:

    This recipe looks DELICIOUS! I can't wait to try it! I absolutely love watching you on Masterchef! Your dishes look beautiful and I wish I could taste them!

  4. Timothy Elsasser says:

    Christine you blow my mind with your incredible cooking and how well you plate your food on Masterchef. I obviously can't taste them since I'm not there haha but they look beyond amazing. I really hope you win Masterchef, there may be a few other very good chefs, Felix and Josh are my second and third favorites, but you are absolutely incredible. Watching you cook brings something amazing and pure to Fox television and I hope you stay on the show through the finals and win what you truly deserve!

    Now, onto the recipe… I've actually never eaten brussel sprouts, but honestly I'd probably try anything created by you because of how amazing it looks when you make food. And the "If the Blind can Cook it, so can you" line… noooo… trust me, if I attempted anything you create it wouldn't be able to hold a candle to yours. I'm not much of a chef/cook in the slightest, I would love to be able to have your passion for cooking and a tiny fraction of your talent, but sadly I was not blessed like you are. I'm not sure if you actually have time to hear what people say on your blog since this is the first time I've commented on it, but I just want you to know that it is such a pleasure to see you cook on Masterchef and I just wanted to thank you for having the confidence and courage to try out for it and show your success so proudly. Okay, I rambled way too much. Have a great day.

    • Christine Ha says:

      Yes, I try my best to read everything from people. Thanks for this note; it made me smile. I appreciate your words of support.

      • Timothy Elsasser says:

        I meant to reply sooner, but kept forgetting to go back on the computer, you made my day when I heard that my comment made you smile. I was reading an interview you had with AFB CareerConnect and I think it is awesome that you want to write a memoir or have fiction published, I've tried for the last… 10 years almost to write fiction, I've written little short stories but nothing really good, I typically come up with a bunch of ideas for stories that I think are great, but then end up getting killer writers block. When you publish your first book I'll have to get you to autograph it, then if I ever get a book published I'll do the same haha I think your dream of opening an ice cream shop and gastropub are really cool also. I will admit though, I had no clue what a gastropub was at first though, I had to look it up, but I think that sounds cool. You might be an overachiever and I might not actually know you, but from what I've seen you do on Masterchef, I can honestly say I don't have any doubt that you will do everything you can to make those things come true and will in a big way. You're ambitious, creative and smart, I'm confident you'll succeed in everything you put your mind to. Okay, one last thing before I shut up since I'm sure you're quite busy, did they record Masterchef awhile ago or is it like somewhat close to when the shows come on? Like, I won't lie, I was thinking that Masterchef was somewhat "live"ish like recorded earlier that day or the day before or something, until I remembered that every Tuesday they have a clip for the following week. So is Masterchef in reality all over or do they record it like a week in advance? I hope all is going well for you Christine! Have a great day! And also, thank you for commenting back, it was nice to know that my comment was well received. 🙂

        • Christine Ha says:

          “MasterChef” wrapped filming a few months ago but editing, I hear, could happen up until the day before the episode airs.

          • Timothy Elsasser says:

            Oooh, okay well I won’t ask for any details on the show since I’m sure you have like an agreement you have to sign not to talk about the results! I really hope you win/won!

  5. Beverly says:

    Given how much my husband LOVES bacon, I think I need to give this a shot. I try not to make it more than once every couple of weeks but he can blow through a 3 lb package in a day. I've even considering buying him bacon chapstick. Your recipe sounds far better.

  6. Crystal says:

    I hate brussel sprouts normally, but this sounds delicious!!! I will have to try this out this coming week and see if I can add some more green to my diet…my readers have been bugging me to eat healthier. Bacon will help. 🙂

  7. Fortune Cookies says:

    Christine, you are an inspiration to me. I am losing my sight to Retinitis Pigmentosa and have become legally blind. I love to cook and have worried about the future and my ability to continue cooking. I am also an artist and get frustrated with my art being altered by my ever declining sight. But you remind me to adapt, adjust and to carry on. Thank you! Oh, also, I just love your recipes!

  8. TheAmazingBuck says:

    First time I've watched Master ached since moving back to Vegas from Australia, and the first person I noticed was you. Your vision impairment, hands down, is the most awe inspiring story I've ever heard in my life. Regardless of what the outcome may be in the show, you best out hundreds of thousands of chefs. That, right there, is the will to win, succeed and excel against the hardest odds anyone could ever come up against. Bless your soul Christine and fight on! I'm rooting heavily for you! Remember, vision and believe what you want, and you will get it. 10/10 times!

  9. sheila says:

    Try par steaming them, splt them in half and finish by sauteing in butter with garlic….absolutely delish!

  10. Roasted Brussels with candied bacon! The very thought makes me go crazy. You know what I am going to do? I am going to prepare this at my home and serve it to my family for the upcoming thanks giving.

  11. Erica says:

    I've been reading this blog for days and found many and many fantastic recipes. Each time it comes up with a big smile on the right of the page. No matter what follows, your smile, Christine, is the best of the best ingredients to the recipes.

  12. Luke says:

    Thank you Cristine for the recipe. It would be better if you put some nice pictures here 🙂

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