One of our fine cooks, Courtney Lapresi, the most recent MasterChef winner, wanted to share with you her delicious Bacon-fried Brussels Sprouts with Pears & Sour Cherries recipe. Impress your loved ones this Christmas dinner!

Recipe: Bacon-fried Brussels Sprouts with Pears & Sour Cherries
Serves: 2 – 4
Coffee: La Colombe’s Colombia – San Roque

8 oz Brussels sprouts, outer leaves peeled, halved lengthwise
4 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 Bosc pear, halved, cored and diced into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons dried sour cherries
¼ cup apple cider
2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup (not the fake stuff!)
1 pinch crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon toasted pepitas
Kosher salt

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In a medium sauté pan over medium-low heat, cook the bacon, rendering the fat until the bacon is crispy, about 6 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon, and place on a paper towel-lined plate. Bring the heat to medium, and add the pears. The oil should sizzle when they hit the pan, and toss them frequently, until they are shiny and can be easily pricked with a fork – but not mushy – about 4 minutes. Season with salt.

Remove the pears with a slotted spoon, and place them with the bacon. With the pan still at medium heat, add the Brussels sprouts, and toss. Cook the sprouts until they have a good sear, and are cooked through but still crunchy, about 5 minutes. Add the sour cherries and the apple cider to the pan (be careful, it may splatter), and sauté quickly. The cider will plump the cherries, and deglaze the pan giving a delicious crisp and sweet flavor to the sprouts.

Once the apple cider has evaporated, add the bacon and pears beak to the pan, and drizzle with maple syrup. Sauté for about 10 seconds, just enough to coat all the ingredients, and sprinkle with crushed red pepper. Toss again to coat, and serve sprinkled with the pepitas.

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