Brussels sprouts are one of those vegetables, like cauliflower and beets, that you either love or you hate. Some people just do not like the look or texture of them or the way that they smell when they are cooked. I, on the other hand, am a big fan of Brussels sprouts and love to make them just about any time of the year, though they seem particularly well suited for fall and winter meals. To me they are a great side dish for any dinner entrée and can be something different and special for your Thanksgiving meal this year. There are a number of different ways to cook them, but I find roasting them gives them the best flavor. It also gives you a chance to add something to them to have their flavor come out even better and get a fabulous green color when they are cooked. I found this recipe from Food & Wine not long ago for maple-roasted Brussels sprouts that sounded like a really tasty way to bring sprouts to the table.
Maple- Roasted Brussels Sprouts
1/4 cup canola oil
2 1/4 pounds baby Brussels sprouts or regular Brussels sprouts that are halved lengthwise
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 stick (4 ounces) butter, cut into tablespoons and softened
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/4 cup Grade A pure maple syrup
1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 cup vacuum-packed roasted chestnuts, coarsely chopped (6 ounces), optional
1 tablespoon walnut oil, optional
Heat the canola oil in a very large skillet until it is shimmering. Add the Brussels sprouts and season them with salt and pepper, then cook the sprouts over high heat without stirring until they are browned, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the butter and brown sugar and cook the ingredients over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the brown sugar is melted, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the maple syrup and cook, stirring occasionally, until the Brussels sprouts are just crisp-tender, about 7 to 9 minutes. Stir in the apple cider vinegar. Add the chestnuts and walnut oil, if using, and cook until they are hot.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the Brussels sprouts and chestnuts to a bowl. Boil the cooking liquid over high heat until it is thickened slightly, about 2 to 3 minutes. Pour the sauce over the Brussels sprouts and serve.
A couple of things about the original recipe. This recipe serves 10, so it is well-suited to use for Thanksgiving if you are having a lot of people over. For my purposes, I cut down the recipe significantly since they are only 3 of us for dinner. I cut everything in half and still had some leftovers. Also, the original recipe from Food & Wine doesn’t have the chestnuts and walnut oil as optional. While they might provide great crunch and flavor, I didn’t have either on hand and find both to be quite expensive for something that I would rarely use so I eliminated them and made them optional. If you love chestnuts and have walnut oil, I am sure they add to the dish but I think it was good without them. I loved the mix of the maple syrup and sprouts and the glaze created for the sprouts was fantastic. Make sure to use real maple syrup and not the pancake syrup (which isn’t really maple) to get the great taste. The Brussels sprouts were nicely browned and crisp and done just perfectly. It was the perfect side dish for the engagement chicken recipe I made the other day it was one I would make with turkey, poultry or pork.
That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!