Saturday, October 21, 2017

A Way (or Two) with Brussels Sprouts

Contributor Jim Dixon of Real Good Food loves to burn his food. Not to a crisp, but to crispy, taking advantage of the Maillard reaction between amino acids and reducing sugars that gives browned food its distinctive flavor. In the recipe below he applies to one of my favorite fall vegetables, brussels sprouts.

Caramelized Brussels Sprouts Two Ways

I think the key to keeping these little cabbages delicious is cooking them over high heat. They brown nicely and get tender without becoming mushy. Use a heavy skillet, preferably cast iron, and plenty of extra virgin olive oil. Here are two different recipes, both starting with the same stove-top approach.

Cut a pound sprouts into quarters lengthwise. Some of the outer leaves may come off, but keep them with the quartered sprouts. Let the oil heat over medium-high for about a minute, then add the sprouts. Stir frequently and cook until the sprouts have browned nicely on all sides. I like mine fairly dark, right at the edge of being burnt, so I cook them for about 15 minutes.

1) With Stoneground Mustard

I learned this from Jason French (chef-owner at Ned Ludd) and David Padbergwhen they cooked at clarklewis here in Portland. I've adapted it a little, but the flavor is still the same.

After the sprouts are browned, add a chopped onion, a healthy pinch of salt, and cook for another 10 minutes. Stir in about a quarter cup (more is better than less) of stoneground mustard. Cook for another 10 minutes or so, taste for salt, and serve.

2) With Honey & Sage

When the sprouts are caramelized, add a chopped red onion, a healthy pinch of salt, and about 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh sage (maybe 8-10 leaves, depending on the size). Cook for about 10 minutes, then add about one tablespoon each of honey and Katz Trio red wine vinegar. Cook another minute, adjust the salt, and serve.

And check out this recipe for a Brussels Sprouts Salad.

No comments: