~more recently updated recipes~
WAY BACK IN 2008: Oh. My. MY. What heat and cream don't do for "baby cabbages" aka Brussels sprouts. In fact, this might be my new most-favorite way to cook Brussels sprouts, simple and decadent both at once. The sprouts are elevated to a whole new experience, perfect for special occasions. And they couldn't be easier to make, so for anyone who has room for the calories, this is a great recipe for everyday, too.
UPDATE: Turns out, seven years later and this remains my favorite way to cook Brussels sprouts during cold weather. I have switched to half & half and skip the topping. (The purpose of a topping is usually to "finish" the appearance of an otherwise unattractive dish or to provide a "texture" contrast. Neither are needed here.) And I"ll say it again, Oh. My. MY. What heat and cream don't do for Brussels sprouts. We make them for dinner quite often and for this mid-afternoon batch for pictures, two of us may or may not have eaten an entire two pounds worth!
"YUM! ... It turned out fabulous ... !" ~ seashell
"... it was delish." ~ dvinokur
" ... this recipe ... has become one of my favorites." ~ Shannon
CREAMY BRUSSELS SPROUTS GRATIN
Time to table: 60 minutes
2 pounds (900G) fresh Brussels sprouts, stem ends sliced off, outer layer of leaves removed, sprouts halved lengthwise through the core
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted in the microwave in 10-second increments
1 teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste)
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup heavy cream or half & half
1/2 cup panko
1/4 ounce fresh Parmesan, grated
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
BRUSSELS SPROUTS Heat the oven to 425F/220C. Toss the Brussels sprouts with the butter, salt and pepper. Arrange in a shallow baking dish just large enough for a generous single layer. The sprouts do shrink while roasting so some overlap is good.
Roast for about 35 minutes (stirring well after 15, 25 and 35 minutes) until the sprouts are very nearly cooked through and brown in spots. Pour the cream over top and return to the oven for 5 - 10 minutes (stirring after 5 and 10 minutes) until the cream thickens, coats the Brussels sprouts and darkens slightly.
TOPPING Remove Brussels sprouts from oven, turn on the broiler. Mix topping ingredients and spread evenly over top. Place under broiler for 5 - 10 minutes until topping turns crisp and golden.
DAY BEFORE Mix and refrigerate the topping ingredients.
MORNING OF Prep the Brussels sprouts, toss with butter, salt and pepper.
BEFORE DINNER Roast and finish.
ALANNA's TIPS & KITCHEN NOTES
CHOOSING BRUSSELS SPROUTS I don't recommend using frozen Brussels sprouts for this recipe. Choose Brussels sprouts of any size for this recipe but do make sure that all the Brussels sprouts are roughly equivalent in size. In addition, smaller Brussels sprouts will cook somewhat faster. If what you find are large, you might consider quartering rather than halving.
HOW MUCH TO MAKE? Three pounds Brussels sprouts was perfect for our Thanksgiving table of twelve last year. My favorite ten-year old l-o-v-e-s these Brussels sprouts! I used two quiche pans and roasted the Brussels sprouts at 400F/200C (they shared the oven with my grandmother's Sausage Stuffing!), stirring after 30 minutes; stirring and adding the cream after another 15 minutes; pulling them out of the oven after another 15 minutes. Perfect!
FORGIVING By accident, I learned that these Brussels sprouts are very forgiving. They were already cooked when I popped them into the oven to reheat for a few minutes. Instead, they were in the oven for nearly an hour and emerged looking completely burned and inedible. Instead, the cream had just turned very dark, the Brussels sprouts had turned into soft bites of amazing flavor.
WATCHING CARBS? COUNTING CALORIES? If you or your Thanksgiving guests are watching carbs, skip the topping. It's largely a superfluous finish, though does offer some small texture contrast too. To reduce the calories, switch to half 'n' half (half cream, half milk) but I don't recommend using fat-free half 'n' half, as it doesn't have thickening properties. One reader even uses whole milk!
AL DENTE vs WELL, THIS Brussels sprouts are the darling of chefs these days but to my taste, there's a tendency to undercook them, leaving them nearly raw at worst and barely cooked at best. There is a place for this. But there is also a place for cooking Brussels sprouts until they are dark and soft and dreamy. This would be the time.
FAITHFUL READERS Are you afraid that A Veggie Venture has become butter-cream-n-cheese blog? No doubt, after the special recipes I'm posting for Thanksgiving: Thanksgiving vegetables are rich! But don't worry, A Veggie Venture will soon return to its usual vegetable recipes, fast, low-calorie and easy to put on the table. After cooking all these Thanksgiving recipes? I have to!
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MORE THANKSGIVING RECIPE IDEAS for BRUSSELS SPROUTS~ Brussels Sprouts with Apricot Glaze ~
~ Brussels Sprouts with Maple Walnut Vinaigrette ~
~ Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta & Garlic ~
~ more Brussels Sprouts recipes ~
~ Thanksgiving Vegetable Recipes ~
~ Bodacious Brussels Sprouts ~
~ Marinated Brussels Sprouts ~
~ more Brussels sprouts recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade, my food column
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