Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Brussels Sprouts


Stewart H
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi all,

I've never liked brussels sprouts; I remember dreading their arrival in the winter, and I equally remember drowning them in ketchup to do anything I could possibly do to mask the taste. I'd have a guess that I've always eaten them somewhat overcooked (my mum does like her vegetables mushy, to say the least).

So my question is... what recipe suggestions do you have for sprouts that may convert me into (maybe) liking them?

Thanks in advance,

Stewart

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Roasted with S&P, just like the infamous Egullet roasted cauliflower.

I also like them blanched and pan-fried in a generous amount of butter and garlic. Both my young girls LOVE brussel sprouts, but I remember hating them as a kid.

Baker of "impaired" cakes...
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I second both of those methods. For the pan roasted, I suggest you crush some garlic and brown it in the oil you will use to cook the sprouts. When it has browned (over medium heat) throw it away as it will have imparted its flavor to the oil and become bitter. Then, have some cleaned and cut sprouts and place them cut side down on the pan. Cook until done to your liking with a lid on (I usually go 15 or so minutes). You could add some buttered bread crumbs for an extra buttery crunch or some crushed red pepper for a bit of heat.

josh

ETA: With some S&P, natch.

Edited by saucée (log)

josh

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yep, roasting is key.

Pull off any loose or wilted outside leaves, trim off the very bottom of the stem end. Cut the larger ones in half, maybe even in quarters. Give them a quick sautée in oil, with salt and pepper, just a minute or two to distribute the oil and seasonings (you can even get away skipping straight to the roasting step, but they somehow seem to turn out better for me when I give them a quick toss in a pan on the stovetop...) . If your sautée pan can't go in a very hot oven, transfer them to a pan that can, drizzle them with a little maple syrup, and roast at 400F for about 10 minutes. Stir them once or twice to expose different surfaces.

gallery_23992_4192_95935.jpg

Of course, they're even better with bacon. I chop several strips of bacon (the smokier the better) into maybe 1-inch long pieces, and start those in the pan, let them get not quite done, then toss-in the sprouts, let the sprouts pick up some bacon drippings, then proceed as above, the bacon will finish cooking in the oven.

The restaurant Momofuku in NY serves this with puréed kimchee to drizzle over the top. It's absolutely fantastic. Easy to do at home: just buy a jar of kimchee from a Korean grocery, and put it in the blender. Purée it. Done. Serve cold.

gallery_23992_4192_45875.jpg

Edited by philadining (log)

"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What everyone else said. Bacon is wonderful, of course. If you're blanching, just blanch; don't overcook them. (I think our moms went to vegetable cooking class together.) Ignore any cookbook instructions about cutting an "X" in the stem end before blanching. Dill also goes well with Brussels sprouts.

If you're in the vicinity of a farmers' market, try to locate sprouts still on the stalk.

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've used this recipe for my 75-year-old father and 93-year-old grandmother-in-law, both whom have HATED brussel sprouts for their entire lives.

Brussel Sprouts with Pancetta

Rinse and clean 1 lb. brussel sprouts. Removing small leaves, majority of stem, and cut in half.

Dice 1 oz. pancetta, (+/- depending on fat to lean ratio) . Render over medium heat. This can be done at any stage of prepatation.

15-20 minutes before serving time, add sprouts, salt and pepper to taste, toss, and cook for 10 minutes on medium. Try to position sprouts cut-side down in pan to carmelize.

After 10-12 minutes, add 2-4 cloves diced garlic, to taste.

A minute or two later, add 1/4 cup water, cover, and toss while covered to degalze and coat sprouts. Steam until cooked throughout.

Remove cover, cook on high to remove remaining liquid. Serve immediately (or ASAP depending on the rest of the meal).

DUCK FAT (naturally!) may be substituted for rendered pancetta.

Good wine is a necessity of life for me. --Thomas Jefferson

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I love them. I just steam them and roll them around in butter and grind black pepper and sea salt on them. I'll eat a pound or two in one sitting. Yum.

My soup looked like an above ground pool in a bad neighborhood.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Agree with all of the above suggestions, especially the roasting and the combining with pancetta.

Prosciutto also has a wonderful affinity for Brussels sprouts, use it in a similar fashion as the pancetta. Cut it into ribbons (since the slices are usually pretty thin to start with) crisp it up, pull it from the pan, brown the halved or quarted sprouts in the fat with some garlic, S&P and add back the prosciutto. Heaven.

Chestnuts also work wonderfully with the sprouts. Especially good this time of year, throw them (after you've shelled them) onto the sheet pan when you're roasting the sprouts. Can even use frozen chestnuts (I find these at Trader Joe's). Heaven again.

After they're roasted, drizzle with some balsamic, or white balsamic, vinegar. Close to heaven.

Edit because its harder than I thought to type with 15 pounds of poodle in your lap.

Edited by Pierogi (log)

--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

My *outside* blog, "A Pound Of Yeast"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My observation is that many people hate brussels sprouts because they grew up eating sprouts that were not only cooked to death, but were well past their prime to start with. Vegetables in the cabbage family are notorious for not aging well! Sprouts that either grew old on the plant, or grew old sitting around in the store, will be bitter and nasty-tasting no matter what you do to them afterward.

To avoid nasty old sprouts, try to pick the smallest, greenest, most-tightly-furled sprouts you can find; try to avoid any that are bigger than usual, overly loose-leaved or dull-colored, or with yellowed outer leaves. Once you have your nice sprouts, then have at them with the roaster and the garlic and the bacon and the pancetta or what-have-you--all of these are lovely ideas.

My personal favorite recipe for converting brussels sprouts haters into brussels sprouts eaters is to steam or simmer halved sprouts until just barely tender, and then cover them with a nice snappy maple/mustard vinaigrette while still warm. Refrigerate in the vinaigrette overnight; serve at room temperature or even warmed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

PUREED KIMCHI???? could be my new favorite condiment whoaaaaa....

how about separating all of the leaves and sauteeing them in a pan with some olive oil, butter, and s & p?

sometimes I just like them boiled or steamed with butter and salt...however when my mom used to make em this way for me as a child, it would make me gag

BEARS, BEETS, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Everyone here swears by the Julia Child recipe. I'm not allowed to try anything else at Thanksgiving

Blanch til half done, rough chop, simmer in a lot of heavy cream. Pass gas. Repeat as necessary. :laugh:

Carpe Carp: Seize that fish!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

chop them in half and add them to stir frys, or roast them as other posters have suggested but add a little chicken stock and reduce down when they are half done.

"Experience is something you gain just after you needed it" ....A Wise man

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dutch stamppot (roughly equal amounts of potatoes and vegetables mashed together) is really good with sprouts.

Boil equal amounts of sprouts and potatoes seperately until done. Cook the sprouts until well done, not al dente!

Put them together in 1 pan, add a large knob of butter, some salt and pepper and (very important) some freshly grated nutmeg, a splash of milk and mash together. Add more milk if necessary (I sometimes add some creme fraiche if I happen to have some). It cools off quickly so keep warm in the oven or on very low heat.

Eat with some sort of smoked meat (smoked sausage, fried bacon etc).

This also works as a side dish, sprinkled with cheese and breadcrumbs and dotted with butter, put briefly under the grill to brown.

If you have leftovers, they taste even better the next day, fried up in lots of butter.

Edited by Chufi (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow, I didn't expect quite so many replies to quickly... thanks a lot everyone. I'm now (for the first time in my life, I must say) looking forward to getting down to some sprouts... just the small matter of 4 exams to get out of the way this week first!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The first way I learned to make sprouts so that my family (well, most of 'em, at least) would enjoy them was to poach them in homemade beef stock, well salted, until tender but not overcooked. I never thought to cut them in half, although I did always trim off the stem. The biggest complaint the kids had before was that they were bitter, but trimming the bottom & using stock seemed to fix that.

Later I tried creaming shaved Brussels sprouts... sauté shallots in butter then add shaved sprouts and toss for about 2-3 minutes, then add some good white wine (for the record, I used Gewürztraminer the first time, and it worked perfectly, so I never tried anything else, but I'm sure it could be substituted) and reduce until it's almost gone. I then add prepared horseradish (about 1/4 cup per pound of sprouts) and cream (about 1 cup per pound,) season with salt & pepper, and reduce slightly. This won over another few of the holdouts, since we love anything with heat, and horseradish is a favorite. I think the shaving of the sprouts helped take away some of the "prejudice" as well!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi all,

I've never liked brussels sprouts; I remember dreading their arrival in the winter, and I equally remember drowning them in ketchup to do anything I could possibly do to mask the taste. I'd have a guess that I've always eaten them somewhat overcooked (my mum does like her vegetables mushy, to say the least).

So my question is... what recipe suggestions do you have for sprouts that may convert me into (maybe) liking them?

Thanks in advance,

Stewart

Here is one I came across last week at Fearing's in Dallas. Pull off the leaves and wilt them. Use as a base for sauteed scallops (with your choice of sauce if you wish). This preparation bought out the flavor of the brussel sprouts and provided a texture contrast with the scallops.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Like many foods that I disliked as a kid I now really, really love the Brussels sprouts.

I would like to try cooking them on the stalk. Has anybody seen or done this?

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Blanch until half done, drain well, and then saute in browned butter using fairly high heat until a bit of crunchiness begins to form on the outside. Finish with a spoonful of good dijon mustard. Pure heaven!

I think the blanching step removes much of the bitterness to which some folks object.

I haven't tried it yet, but I'm thinking that brussels sprouts would be very good in the method for "world's best cabbage" in All About Braising by Molly Stevens. Molly was nice enough to put some of her recipes, including the best cabbabe recipe, on the web. So if you don't have her book, you can get the recipe here: Molly Stevens Cooks.

I would certainly shorten the braising time for brussels sprouts, though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I only started eating brussels sprouts this year myself. Unlike many people, I hadn't had any bad experiences with them when I was young--I just hadn't ever tried one before. I didn't know what to do with them.

Then I saw Dave Lieberman work some brussels sprout magic on the Food Network. I grabbed a handful of the mini cabbages, tried out the recipe, and have been hooked ever since. I keep meaning to try other recipes with the sprouts, but every time my fork slides through a melty, buttery slow-cooked brussels sprout, my good intentions disappear entirely--on my last bite of sprout, I'm already scheduling our next slow-cooking date.

When I do venture into new brussels sprouts territory, I imagine that I'll start with one of Orangette's two brussels sprouts recipes, found here and here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This sounds weird, but I like 'em steamed or boiled briefly so they're still bright green and crunchy, then just eating them as is. Ok, maybe with a little coarse salt....

They're tasty sauteed with sliced lap cheung (Chinese dried sausage).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...