Why do Brussels sprouts get such a bad rap? If you don't like cabbage to begin with, then I get it. But if you like raw or cooked cabbage, then you really should be on the BS (that's Brussels sprouts) train. Having said that, maybe you just haven't found the right recipe or cooking technique. I love them shredded into thin slices and eaten raw in a salad or slaw like Shaved Brussels Sprout Slaw with Walnuts and Pecorino or cooked in Brussels Sprout Hash with Caramelized Shallots and Pancetta. I also like them sliced in half and braised in Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Herbs. What I don't like are sprouts that are over cooked, musky, and swamp green. Very off-putting to serve at the table and the smell...I'll refer to the swamp description. So those are three different recipes with three different cooking techniques. Now it's time to introduce #4.
Before we get to the recipe and technique, let's have a quick chat. When buying these tiny cabbages for cooking, look for ones that have tight heads and are 1 1/2-1 inch in size (the one in the middle and far right). They tend to be more tender and sweeter than the big guy on the left. Save him for shredding in a slaw or salad. Now...
If you are serving BS (😆) at the holiday table, I find this to be the perfect recipe. No oven is required and you can make them not he stove-top at the last minute while main event and other sides are resting.
The sprouts start in cold oil and then they are covered and cooked over a medium high heat for just 5 minutes. This creates steam (without any added liquid) and starts the browning process on the cut side. The cover comes off and then they are cooked for just 2-3 minutes more. They are delicious as is, but take it one step further by dressing them with a Dijon mustard-brown sugar-white vinegar mixture. This recipe is a keeper!
*Quick Note*- Dijon mustards vary in taste. I use Maille mustard 100% of the time for my recipes.
Skillet-Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Dijon and Brown Sugar
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt plus more to taste
1 pound small (1- 1 1/2 inches) Brussels sprouts, end trimmed and halved lengthwise
5 Tablespoon Extra-Virgin olive oil
In a small bowl, combine mustard, sugar, vinegar, cayenne (if using) and 1/4 teaspoon salt; set aside.
Arrange Brussels sprouts in a single layer, cut sides down, in a 12-inch nonstick skillet. Drizzle oil evenly over sprouts. Cover skillet, place over medium-high heat, and cook until sprouts are bright green and cut sides have started to brown, about 5 minutes.
Uncover and continue to cook until cut sides of sprouts are deeply and evenly browned and paring knife slides in with little to no resistance, 2 to 3 minutes longer, adjusting heat and moving sprouts as necessary to prevent them from overbrowning.
Off heat, add mustard mixture to skillet and stir to evenly coat sprouts. Season with salt to taste. Transfer sprouts to a serving dish and serve. Enjoy!
Source: Adapted from Cook's Illustrated, November/December 2017
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