Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Caramelized Brussel Sprouts with Chestnuts

Several years ago we were having a large gathering for Thanksgiving. As I was planning our menu for the day, I decided it was time to try a brussel sprout recipe. I'm not sure why because I don't ever remember eating brussel sprouts. Ever. Not once.

I proceeded to call each of the families coming over to forewarn them. The conversation was simple and it's only purpose was to let them know that I was going to have brussel sprouts on the menu. Now isn't that weird? When in the world have you ever called people to tell them about a single side dish on the menu? That's the kind of stigma associated with brussel sprouts though isn't it? It was like we had this big sign on the front door: BEWARE. BRUSSEL SPROUTS INSIDE.

It was the funniest thing though. The brussel sprouts became the talk of the meal. We were surrounded by turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, stuffing, sweet potatoes, gravy; you know the spread. You name it, we had it; but people were continually asking for the brussel sprouts to be passed. The bowl was empty and EVERYONE was saying the same thing. "Who knew?" "Who would have ever guessed that brussel sprouts were so good."

I am not lying. The bowl was empty and people were willingly eating them. They might have even licked the bowl clean if I let them.

Try this recipe. It may also change your mind about the "B" vegetable that no one wants to talk about or serve.


Here are the Brussel sprouts after rinsing. Notice all the stem ends are brown. You can't see from the picture, but some of the outer leaves look a little....not healthy. Remove the "unhealthy" looking leaves like you would Romaine lettuce.

The Brussel sprout in the foreground had been cleaned up and the brown end has been removed. Isn't it lookin' better already? The two in the back still need some work to be done.

Let's keep trimming to make ALL of the Brussel sprouts look just as good.

After removing all the waste, it's time to quarter each Brussel sprout.


1 pound Brussels sprouts, small, firm, bright green, rinsed with stem ends and discolored leaves removed, quartered
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 can (16 oz.) peeled chestnuts in water, drained (about 1 1/2 cups)
Ground black pepper


1. Bring sprouts, 1/2 cup water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to boil in 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Lower heat, cover, and simmer (shaking pan once or twice to redistribute sprouts) until knife tip inserted into a brussel sprouts center meets no resistance, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain well and set aside.

2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter and sugar in medium skillet over medium-high heat until butter melts and sugar dissolves.

3. Stir in chestnuts. Turn heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until chestnuts are glazed, about 3 minutes.

4. Add remaining butter and sprouts. Cook, stirring occasionally, to heat through, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

Recipe by Cook's Illustrated, November, 1995


Lainie said...

We still talk about these Bruseel Sprouts from that one Thanksgiving. These were soooo good.

Weren't they supposed to be with chestnuts though?

Either way, yum, yummy!

Mamahollioni said...

Oooops! You're right. I changed the title...for some reason I typed in Hazelnuts in the title, but the rest of the recipe it read Chestnuts. Thanks!