|Brussels sprouts, steamed first, then sauteed in butter and cream, and finished with a bit of salt, pepper and Parmesan.|
How to Cook Brussels SproutsI have been trying to learn to love brussels sprouts all my life, and more so since I started blogging about food. I've tried them a multitude of ways, and quite a few different versions here lately - a simple saute, oven braised, roasted and now creamed.
Now... in all fairness, although I'm a veggie lover, there are a few vegetables that I don't particularly love. I don't necessarily hate them, I'm just not crazy about them. Turns out brussels are one of them.
All of my life, folks who love brussels sprouts have tried to convince me that they are just like little baby cabbages. With all due respect, malarkey! I am a cabbage lover through and through and I like it just about any way you can prepare it, but brussels taste nothing like my beloved cabbage. At least not to these taste buds.
I have found that I enjoy fresh brussels far better than frozen ones, so if you've only ever tried them frozen, you might want to give fresh ones a taste. Don't buy brussels sprouts too far in advance though, because in my experience, like cabbage, they do take on an odd flavor if they aren't cooked soon after purchasing or especially if they are overcooked.
Still though, I do have to admit, this creamed version of brussels was quite good, as brussels go, and I enjoyed them far more than any others that I've tried. It's actually a classic French preparation and if you're a fan of brussels I think you'll enjoy them too. I've gone ahead and included all the other varieties I've made in my quest for brussels love for all you Brussels lovers out there, including my next favorite, roasted with bacon and dusted with Parmesan.
Here's how I made them.
Trim root end of brussels sprouts, slice in half lengthwise if desired, or if serving whole, cut a crisscross cut into the root end, which will help them cook through. Peel away the dark outer leaves. Steam for 10 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a wide skillet, saute the onion in the bacon drippings or butter until tender.
Add the cream, bring to a simmer, add salt and pepper; stir. Add additional cream if desired. Add the brussels sprouts and sprinkle with sugar.
Gently toss to coat with the cream and warm through; taste and adjust seasonings. Grate fresh Parmesan all over the top and toss. Transfer to serving dish, dot with additional butter and grate additional cheese on top. Serve immediately.
Recipe: Creamed Brussels Sprouts©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 15 min | Yield: About 4 servings
- 1 pound of fresh brussels sprouts
- 1/4 cup of chopped onion
- 2 tablespoons of bacon drippings or butter, plus more butter to finish
- 1/2 cup of heavy cream, more or less
- 1/2 teaspoon of kosher or sea salt, or to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper or to taste
- Pinch of granulated sugar
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Trim root end of brussels sprouts, slice in half lengthwise if desired, or if serving whole, cut a crisscross cut into the root end. Peel away the dark outer leaves. Steam for 10 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a wide skillet, saute the onion in the bacon drippings or butter until tender, add the cream, bring to a simmer, add salt and pepper; stir. Add additional cream if desired. Add the brussels sprouts and sprinkle with sugar. Gently toss to coat with the cream and warm through; taste and adjust seasonings. Grate fresh Parmesan all over the top and toss. Transfer to serving dish, dot with additional butter and grate additional cheese on top. Serve immediately.
Cook's Notes: Double this as a holiday side dish. May be made ahead and slowly reheated. If your oven is already on, a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes, stirring once, should do it. I use steaming to cook the brussels because it's a more gentle way to cook them, but they may also be boiled slowly if you prefer.
Buttered Brussels: Trim, prep and steam the brussels as above; drain well. Omit cream and onion and increase butter to 1/4 cup or more and add to saucepan to melt. Return brussels to the pan, add salt and pepper and toss; taste and adjust. Serve immediately while hot.
Braised Brussels: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Trim, prep and steam the brussels as above, except for only 5 minutes. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 3 tablespoons of butter in a skillet and add the brussels, cut side down. Saute for about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper; toss. Pour into a buttered, 2-1/2 to 3 quart serving dish in a single layer and bake at 350 degrees for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until brussels are tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife, tossing 2 or 3 times. Serve immediately while hot.
Shredded Skillet Fried Brussels: Render fat from 2 slices of bacon in a large skillet, cooking until crisp. Remove bacon and set aside. To the fat add 1/2 tablespoon of butter and 1/2 cup of chopped onion. Cook until tender, add 2 teaspoons of garlic and cook another minute. Meanwhile, trim ends off of 1/2 pound of Brussels and remove outer leaves. Thinly slice Brussels sprouts and add to the skillet. Add 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, a pinch of brown sugar and dash of pepper flakes (optional). Cover and cook until crisp tender, about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in another 1/2 tablespoon of butter and season to taste with salt, pepper and Cajun seasoning.
Roasted Brussels: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cook two slices of bacon until crisp; crumble and set aside. Trim and prep the brussels as above, except do not steam. Place onto a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil (about 2-3 tablespoons) and season with sea salt or kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Toss to coat well. Bake at 400 degrees F for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until brussels are tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife, tossing 2 or 3 times. Dot with butter, toss with 1 or 2 teaspoons of a good balsamic vinegar (optional), add bacon, toss and transfer to serving dish. Serve immediately while hot.
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©Deep South Dish
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