May 22, 2014

Caramelized Brussel Sprouts

Oh goodness, brussel sprouts. They are a child's worst nightmare and yet they are life changing when they are prepared properly. I hated brussel sprouts as a child, actually until about 8 months ago when Pooky McSchnubkins made them for me. He roasted them, tossed them in olive oil, salt, and pepper. They changed my life. Needless to say, I have a very serious lady boner for brussel sprouts now.

There is a restaurant here in Baltimore called Alchemy, it is in Hampden on 36th street. If you are ever in the area go - get the brussel sprouts. You will never want to put any other vegetable near your face. Every other green vegetable will seem like a waste of time. Due to the fact that I often dream of these sprouts, I wanted to try to replicate them... so I started Googling. Much to my dismay, there were no real recipes for caramelized brussel sprouts the way they make them. In fact, they all had about 1/2 cup of sugar on them. So I asked for some help on this one.

I used the Joy of Cooking's recipe for caramelized brussel sprouts but modified it a little bit.

2 pounds of brussel sprouts
1 Tablespoon white sugar
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1 Teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1/4 cup olive oil

Cut the sprouts in half

Mostly for the purpose of this blog, I did a new thing that I learned about today called blanching. I blanched the sprouts for 5 minutes to make them super bright green. Blanching is just putting the sprouts in a pot of boiling water for a few minutes. I don't know why it makes them so beautiful, but it brightens things right up, yet isn't enough time to cook them. Winning.

Put all of the ingredients and the sprouts in a ziploc bag, or container with a lid and shake it all together, coating all of the sprouts in this sugary mixture. 

Bake on 430 for 30 minutes face down:

Drink wine and wonder how in the hell you are going to manage to hold down a 9-5 for the next 27 years of your life?? The answer is still eluding me.   
Final product. They were very delicious but a pale comparison to the Alchemy brussel sprouts. The Alchemy brussel sprouts are covered in heavy cream, bacon, and have onion in them. These were my attempt at a healthier version. 

I consider these a success; however, I would use about half of the salt next time and a little more brown sugar.

~ Enjoy!