"Who doesn’t love Brussels?" Zachary Shuman, chef-owner of Union Kitchen in West Hartford, wants to know. "I think this dish screams holiday season. We get to partake in the finer things in life when the holidays come around, like brown sugar bacon and white truffle honey."

Truffle honey Brussel sprouts brown sugar and cracked black pepper bacon Chef Zachary Schuman (1).jpg

Crispy Brussels sprouts with brown sugar bacon 

Serves: 2-3

Prep time: 45 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups whole Brussels sprouts
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1½ tablespoons clover honey 
  • 1½ tablespoons white truffle oil 
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 8 slices thick-cut applewood smoked bacon 
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar 
  • 1 tablespoon cracked black pepper

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees

2. Cut Brussels in half and toss in large bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper 

3. Once Brussels are glazed with oil, place on foiled tray and bake 15-20 minutes until golden brown 

4. While Brussels are still hot, mix in clean bowl with honey, truffle oil and paprika

5. For the bacon, place an oven-safe cooling rack on a sheet pan

6. Lay bacon on rack and sprinkle with brown sugar and black pepper

7. Bake the bacon on 375 for 10-13 minutes until bacon is crisp and sugar is caramelized

8. Once bacon is cooled, crack into “chip” like pieces

9. Place Brussels on serving piece and sprinkle the brown sugar bacon on top for extra crunch and garnish


Q&A with Zachary Shuman

Chef Zachary Schuman (1).jpg

Zachary Shuman, chef-owner of Union Kitchen in West Hartford

How did you first get into cooking?

My dad, uncle, great-grandfather, great-uncle were all chefs. It was in my blood!

What’s your fondest memory of a holiday meal?

Growing up, especially around Thanksgiving morning, I was always up early to watch the Macy’s day parade and make sure all food was ready for friends and family.

Tips on using local ingredients in holiday meals?

Even if you can’t find local products for the holiday season, maybe support the local grocery store instead of the massive chain. Use the local butcher if you have one. Seek out all the farmers markets you can. Support these guys!

When preparing a holiday feast, is it better to be a traditionalist or an innovator?

Both! There are some classics you don’t want to mess with, but there are also some classics that you want to throw your culinary skills on! Everyone loves green bean casserole, but what if we used our own crispy onions and made our own mushroom soup?

Zachary Shuman on Instagram: @chefshuman

This article appears in the November 2020 issue of Connecticut MagazineYou can subscribe to Connecticut Magazine here, or find the current issue on sale hereSign up for our newsletter to get our latest and greatest content delivered right to your inbox. Have a question or comment? Email editor@connecticutmag.com. And follow us on Facebook and Instagram @connecticutmagazine and Twitter @connecticutmag.