Listen, I hear you, ‘Brussel Sprouts? I ate them at Christmas’… ‘boring, soft and lifeless’. Put simply, they don’t have to be. Brussel sprouts have a bad reputation. Too many people ruin them by dumping them in a big pot of boiling water and sadness only to overcook them. Too many people don’t know how to make these little green gems delicious. My method will add more texture and variety while retaining that gorgeous color we all missed at Christmas.
My Christmas experience as a kid was similar, but I never ever gave up on them. Whether it was because I wanted to open my presents, or due to my excitement about the excellent amount of vitamin c and k, I powered through and cleared my plate. Ok, presents…it was the presents.
Brussel sprouts don’t have to be just for that week around Christmas, then locked away in the back of our memories until next year. They can be that seasonal treat you look forward to each year and try something new with or maybe introduce them to a non believer and bask in your new omnipotence as the sprout savoir of your household!
Preparation could not be easier, remember putting the little ‘x‘ in the bottom of each sprout to help with the cooking? Why did we do that?! Don’t bother, just trim the bottom of each sprout real quick with a paring knife, and release a couple of the outside leaves to help clean them. If they are especially dirty, try a damp cloth or clean in some water, just get them super dry before you cook them( we want them crispy). Recycle the bag or if you are super trendy and cool, throw the sprout stem to your kid’s rabbit. Rabbity McRabbit face will thank you.
Cut them in half, from top to bottom so you have two equal halves and throw into a bowl with a glug of veg oil, salt and pepper, and lightly toss together with your finger tips. Heat a pan that can hold the amount you have. Note: you want a large frying pan so that the pan remains hot and crisps the sprouts and doesn’t boil them.
Put the sprouts into the hot pan and keep it on a medium high heat. They will take 10-12 minutes or so depending on the batch size you are working with. Now, you want these crisp so don’t worry and don’t panic when they start to go a little bit charred here and there, as any chef with a touch of pride or bravado will tell you (and I haven’t met one that hasn’t yet, myself included *cough cough*) ‘they are caramelized, not burnt’.
Cook until tender, crisp and then add whatever you want. I added diced crispy bacon and a touch of maple syrup into the pan and then cooked until the sprouts glazed and the syrup reduces into a sticky, bacon-ey (its a word and if it isn’t it should be) goodness.
Try these sprouts asap, you will not be disappointed. Remember people, a sprout is for life…not just for Christmas.