Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Vegetable Formerly Known As Brussels Sprout

If I were to pair these recipes with music--and maybe I should--the perfect match to this side dish preparation would be Prince's "Let's Go Crazy." The way I'm suggesting you serve these humble, wild cabbages is dialing it up to ELEVEN. First, you cook them in a combination of butter, brown sugar, and maple syrup. Are you getting the vapors already? You would think this is indulgent enough, but oh no. We're going to put cheddar on top of these puppies. I'm a big fan of Black Diamond's grand reserve, but you really can't go wrong with any good cheddar. Here are the ingredients:
  • Vegetable oil

  • 2 1/2 lbs Brussel Sprouts, cut in half

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar

  • cheddar (optional, but highly recommended)
When I mentioned this dish to a friend whose former profession was as a sous chef he asked, "What? No bacon?" So if that's your sort of thing, go ahead and crumble some crispy bacon on top. You can start with this recipe, but first a few notes:
  • Brussels sprouts should be washed thoroughly because these buggers hide grit well.

  • Trim the sprouts' butts before halving or quartering them.

  • Shave cheddar on top right before serving sprouts piping hot.

  • Are you one of those people who grew up hating Brussels sprouts? I did not because, as it turns out, my mother hated them so they were never served in our household. I may not have eaten a single Brussels sprout until college. This, and another preparation that I'll tell you about later, might change her mind and yours.

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