Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Brussels Sprouts Even Haters Will Eat


Without further delay, I'm posting the recipe for my Brussels sprouts dish, which I know some of you have been patiently waiting for (thank you). In the interest of speeding things up and getting this posted before Thanksgiving, which is when some of you wish to serve these, I'm posting the recipe before the pictures ~ stay tuned, the pictures will follow . . . later.


{Update: Pictures! I made these today for Thanksgiving dinner at my parents' house. They were pretty well received ~ the prevailing comments had a single theme: "I had no idea those were Brussels sprouts."}


These Brussels sprouts are good not just because they're Brussels sprouts (well, I think Brussels sprouts are just delightful), but because they're actually delicious! First off, they smell good when cooking, and that's saying something for a Brussels sprout. Second, these cook so quickly that they don't have time to develop the characteristic bitterness that can result from a protracted boil. Third, no stem end = less bitter, and you'll use the stem end here as your handle while slicing, then toss it (into the compost heap). And finally, they take no oven space, so you can whip these up at the last minute for your holiday table. To prep them in advance, slice them earlier in the day and keep them in a tightly sealed plastic container, or a resealable plastic bag, in the fridge.


Now, go make some Brussels sprouts haters turn over a new leaf!



Brussels Sprouts Chiffonade with Brown Butter and Toasted Pecans

~Inspired by a recipe for sliced Brussels sprouts I found on 24 Boxes, a great blog highlighting local, seasonal foods.
  • 1 to 2 pounds Brussels sprouts, wilted and blemished outer leaves removed
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt or sea salt and coarse black pepper
  • 1/3 cup toasted pecan halves, broken

  1. Wash Brussels sprouts and spin or pat dry. Cut in half and place cut-side down on chopping board. Starting opposite the stem end, cut chiffonade-style into thin ribbons. Separate layers with your fingers and put in a bowl until you've finished cutting all the sprouts.





  2. When the sprouts are cut, heat a large saute pan or electric skillet to medium high and melt two tablespoons butter. Spread butter around the pan and allow to cook until it just starts to brown. (It should be golden, not brown-brown.)

  3. Spread shredded Brussels sprouts out over melted butter and let cook for a minute without stirring. When the edges begin to brown, turn with spatula. If the sprouts appear dry, drizzle with olive oil. Keep turning periodically, stirring so the Brussels sprouts don't burn, but don't stir-fry ~ they benefit from some extended contact with the pan.

  4. When sprouts appear limp and are tender, sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper to taste. Scatter toasted pecans over and stir in. Place sprouts in serving bowl and top with additional toasted pecans to garnish. Serve hot.


    Makes 4 to 8 servings.


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    Recipe Notes:


    • You can add other flavoring agents if you wish (garlic, fresh lemon juice, a splash of your favorite vinegar) but please try it first just like it is. Part of the beauty of this recipe is its simplicity. You'll be surprised at how much flavor it has.
    • You can use both large and small Brussels sprouts in this recipe. Since you'll be shredding them, size doesn't matter.

    • You can scale this recipe to feed as many as you like. Just increase the amount of sprouts and pecans. You can use a bit more butter, but you won't need to use much more. The butter serves as a flavoring agent in this recipe; the oil serves as a cooking fat.

    • You can replace the oil with melted butter if you wish, but it's not necessary; you'll get plenty of flavor from the 2 tablespoons of browned butter.

    • If you're doubling the recipe or using a small pan, cook the sprouts in batches. Crowding the pan will cause the sprouts to steam rather than saute, and you won't get the flavorful caramelization you would otherwise.

    4 comments:

    1. I have got to give these a try so I can introduce my boys to brussels sprouts! This recipe sounds wonderful!

      ReplyDelete
    2. Sounds divine. Haven't had them with browned butter, so that will make them even better. We got hooked on them with pistachios this past year. So good for you, too. Okay, so maybe not with butter. Hahahahaha!

      ReplyDelete
    3. ~Patsyk: I think this is a good recipe to get them started with! :)

      ~Kellypea: Thanks! Oh, wow ~ pistachios make everything better, don't they?! The good thing about this recipe is that you don't need to use a lot of butter because browned butter is pretty flavorful. If you need more cooking fat (say, you're making 2 lbs of sprouts) you can use olive oil. You'll still taste the butter. Of course, if butter is no object, go to town! :)

      ReplyDelete
    4. My mom says this was the one side dish she would have chosen over all the others at our Thanksgiving. And? She's hated Brussels sprouts all her life! I'd never cooked them before, so thanks so much for this detailed recipe and all the great photos.

      ReplyDelete

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