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Most people have a love/ hate relationship with Brussels sprouts. Personally, I have a “thing” for these tiny cabbage-like morsels. I love them, and I can eat them day after day after day. A few years back, I was with my sisters in Boston and I believe all three of us ordered Brussels sprouts every night for probably five nights in a row. That’s how we rock and roll.
Admittedly, this recipe with it’s method of cooking is a pain in the neck, I won’t lie. Even though there are very few ingredients, it digresses from my usual steaming only or oven blasting. BUT if and when you have the time and want to eat the best Brussels you have ever tasted, make these. It involves blanching, then sauteeing in a small amount of butter, and finally roasting. The finished sprouts come out crunchy on the outside, creamy yummy on the inside, and I could eat pounds and pounds of these. But you already knew that.
Best Ever Brussels Sprouts
Serves 2 large eaters (can be doubled or tripled)
- 10 ounces Brussels sprouts
- 2 tablespoons salted butter
- Pinch smoked paprika
- Sea salt to taste
- Few sprigs of fresh herbs: tarragon or mint if you have either, if not no worries
Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add 1 teaspoon of sea salt.
Wash and trim stems of all Brussels sprouts, then cut a shallow X in the bottom of each sprout.
Put all sprouts in the boiling water and cook four minutes, uncovered. Remove the sprouts with a slotted spoon and place directly into an ice-water bath.
Once cool (~ five minutes), drain the sprouts in a strainer and shake off as much water as you can. Cut sprouts in half lengthwise. Put them on a dish towel and pat to remove some of the moisture . Don’t get too carried away here, just blot them.
Meanwhile preheat your cast iron skillet if you have one AND your oven (or better yet, your toaster oven) to 450 degrees.
In a large 10-inch saute pan or cast iron skillet, melt the two tablespoons of butter. Add the sprouts cut side down, season with a bit of salt and a small amount of smoked paprika.
Brown the sprouts for about five minutes. I shake the pan to get a layer of fat under the sprouts but I don’t turn them. Once brown, remove to a rimmed cookie sheet or ceramic dish with enough room for them to be uncrowded and in a single layer. Include the leaves that fall off the Brussels sprouts too!
Place sprouts and the cookie sheet in the preheated oven(uncovered), and roast for about 20-30 minutes. Shake the pan every 8-10 minutes. When sprouts begin to look almost burned, they are ready. I baked mine in the toaster oven and it took me about 20 minutes, but it will be longer in a conventional oven. They should be slightly crispy and creamy in the center.
Put on a pretty serving dish and garnish with fresh herbs if available. Sprinkle with a few grains of salt if you wish. My husband always dusts the tops with fresh parmesan, just a smidge but IMHO, this is over.
For me, this is all I need for dinner!