Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Pan-Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts.

Do you love them or hate them?

Surely no one would argue that these emerald cruciferous jewels have the one of the worst reputations among vegetables. 

Similar to my discussion on how to prepare salmon (and most fish preparation in general), I contend it is because Brussels sprouts are mostly overcooked.  The result is bitter, gummy nastiness.  And who wants to choke that down?

Brussels sprouts have a sweet tenderness that jumps up and down with its hand in the air like a kid in math class who finally knows the correct answer and is eager to be called on.

You just have to know how to evoke it.

Enter:  pan-roasting.

First, begin by washing and trimming the sprouts.


To trim, pull back the outer leaves if they are at all discolored or wilty-looking.  (Usually the smaller the Brussels sprout, the sweeter it will be once roasted.  Bigger = bitter.) 

Pull back the outer leaves,

and trim at the base of the sprout. 
(Try to leave as much of the stalk intact so that the whole thing won't fall apart on you.)

Trim the sprout in half lengthwise.


Usually I'm not a huge fan of non-stick cookware, but it works well with this recipe.
 Melt 1 tablespoon each of olive oil and butter.

Place the halved sprouts cut-side-down in a single layer.
I left them alone over medium-high heat for about 3-4 minutes.

I like 'em dark. 
Flip them over, add a bit of chicken broth, and a pinch of salt. 
Cover and let them cook about 3-4 more minutes.

The perfect accompaniment...or perfect by themselves.

Pan-Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Serves 3-4 as side dish

16-ounces Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth

In a large non-stick skillet, heat butter and oil.  Add Brussels sprouts in a single layer, cut side down.  Cook on medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes without stirring.  (Flip over the center sprout (or the largest one) to check on the color/doneness, if desired.)  Using tongs, flip the sprouts over, sprinkle with the salt, and pour the broth over them.  Cover pan with lid (or foil, if necessary) and allow to cook about 3-4 minutes.  The sprouts should be crisp-tender.

Adapted from CookingLight.com