Chopped Challenge: Brussel Sprouts, Bacon, Blueberries and Pasta
November 11, 2011 by Seth
This challenge was offered by Astrid Torres last week here
source:  Astrid Torres on facebook here
I was thinkn brussels sprouts too! From my kitchen I got brussel sprouts blueberries mac n cheese and bacon
... later
source: Jeanie Graham
OK, I'm game...any kind of pasta, or should it be macaroni?
... to which I agree, we want to make the ingredients as broad as possitle.
zoom to album


My entry is ... Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Red Onions with Bacon

Self-evaluation:  I made this pretty much according to this recipe but both me and Denise agreed that the only taste of bacon was loose pieces in the dish and sauteing the sprouts in bacon grease just made the dish greasy.  Honestly i've made better tasting Brussel sprouts just by steaming them.  Next time perhaps i'll try the bacon white sauce that i was dreaming about.

I just happened on the sprouts still attached to their stalks at Fred Meyer.  I tried to do something with the stalk ... it has an extremely woody bark.  So i cut it in half and discovered a eatable core and scraped that out with a spoon ... pictured here.  Some day perhaps i'll discover how to make something of that tasty enough to justify all of the work.

zoom to album


... and for desert ...  Blueberry Pastina Pudding

Self-evaluation:  This was delicious ... sorry, once you start eating it, you will finish the entire plate.  Even Denise said so and ate it all even thugh she had professed she just wanted a taste. 

I followed this recipe at but i use half pasting and half orzo.  I also lightened it a bit by using 1/2 cup of the heavy cream and 1/2 cup milk.  It didn't really need the extra cream, it was quite rich enough. I topped it with blueberry sauce made simply in this recipe.

Thing about this recipe is that it is very quick ... don't over cook the pasta.  Perhaps the longest part of it is chilling it in the fridge.  

zoom to album


Norma Torres made ... Baked tilapia with blueberry chutney served with brussel sprouts and parsnips in a smoky mustard sauce over spiral pasta

Self-evaluation:  this came out really well and I'll be making these dishes again. A friend tasted it and he liked it as well... and he does not usually eat brussel sprouts. The fish was baked with only salt, pepper and a dash of cayenne pepper. The blueberry chutney complimented with a savory tang. Recipe is here.

Everything in the pasta sauce highlighted the brussel sprouts beautifully... parsnips, mustard, bacon, and sage. The spiral shape of the pasta held the sauce deliciously. No leftovers... we ate it all up!

I forgot to mention the pasta dish was improvised by me... so no recipe. Just mingle those flavors in a basic white sauce and it should be wonderful.
Entry by Norma Torres

Jeanie Graham made ... Brussels Sprouts and Butternut Squash Roasted with Blueberry-Balsamic Glaze, Tossed with Macaroni and Bacon

source: entry by Jeanie Grahm

Self-evaluation: This dish is actually pretty tasty. I was yearning for fall flavors, so I decided to add butternut squash to the dish. I had considered roasting the Brussels sprouts and squash with bacon grease, but I thought it might make the dish too heavy. So, instead of my original thought of making a salad of mixed greens with blueberry-balsamic vinaigrette to serve on the side, I used the vinaigrette (made with frozen wild blueberries, balsamic vinegar, a little sugar, garlic, olive oil, salt & pepper) to coat the sprouts and squash chunks. This gave the veggies a rich flavor, but not too strong. The blueberries roasted up into tiny little dark blobs that had an intense, tart flavor. My husband, Kevin B Graham, who doesn’t like Brussels sprouts, said he actually liked them this way"the sweet-tart flavor of the glaze took away the bitterness of the sprouts. The squash added even more sweetness. Then the bacon gave it smoky overtones. Eating the dish reminded me of a fall day when the grapes are harvested and there is woodsmoke in the air. I served the leftover vinaigrette with fresh herb bread for dipping"it was a nice accompaniment to the main dish (and so was the salad Kevin made).
by Seth in group seth — 2011-11-10 12:47:48, changed 2011-11-11 08:59:49 thought 15613
1 comment thread
Seth 2015-12-10 12:52:57 [item 15613#23709]
M 2011-11-11 07:16:59 item 15613
M 2011-11-10 17:28:30 item 15613
need some HTML work on this one to fit the screen it scrolls empty for a page or so at the bottom
in IE9 anyway
Yep, must be some kind of unbalanced <div> ... all the other browsers cope with it, but IE (even IE8) seems to choke.  When i get a moment i'll prolly rebuild the item from scratch or something.