Friday, March 11, 2011

Addicted to Brussels Sprouts

But don't tell my father. I think he'd disown me, his hatred for them is so deep.
Clearly he's never eaten them like this...

I start by chopping off their stem ends and peeling off the outer 2-3 leaves, as they tend to be a bit gritty. If they are ping pong ball-sized or smaller, I halve them. Any bigger and I quarter them.
Then I sauté them in a bit of olive oil, cut-side down, on medium-high heat. I also toss in some chopped prociutto, because that makes just about everything better.

When the brussels sprouts are starting to brown on the bottom, add a touch more oil (they absorb quite a bit) and add 1 small shallot, or half a medium one, finely chopped, as well as one clove of garlic, also finely chopped.
Season with salt.

As soon as they soften and become fragrant, add a splash (1/4 cup roughly) of white wine to the pan (sizzle!) to deglaze, and then an equal amount of chicken stock.
Turn the heat down to medium or medium-low, and place the lid on your pan so the sprouts can soften and absorb some of the liquid.

About 4-5 minutes later (less if you have those really petite sprouts) remove the lid and allow the remaining liquids to reduce down to a tablespoon or two.
I then add either a splash of half and half, or a teaspoon of mascarpone cheese, depending on what I have on hand, and knock the heat down to low. You just want the cream to meld with what is left of the wine and stock. I sprinkle a bit of grated parmigianno on top and toss to coat everything well.

The result is tender sprouts with a bit of caramelization, a bit of saltiness, and a bit of luxury from the addition of cream/mascarpone.
I tend to eat this as a side dish, (or as a snack!) but if you use a bit more of the liquids while cooking and don't reduce it down to the last tablespoon of sauce, it would also be very tasty tossed with pasta for a whole meal.


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