5@5 - Brilliant Brussels sprouts
November 16th, 2012
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

A very wise frog once told us, "It's not easy being green." No vegetable knows that plight better than the Brussels sprout.

The tiny green orbs cause such visceral reactions among some eaters that you'd think a plate of rotten eggs and moldy bread was in front of them.

Walter Bundy, the executive chef of Lemaire in Richmond, Virginia, argues otherwise. In fact, he thinks Brussels sprouts are quite fabulous when done right – and we're going to have to agree.

“I love to cook with Brussels sprouts because they seem to represent autumn and winter to me. They are very robust with an earthy flavor. They have a slight bitterness that works well with so many other foods, " says Bundy.

Five Ways to Cook with Brussels Sprouts: Walter Bundy

walter bundy

1. Brussels sprouts can be cooked using an array of techniques, including boiling, braising, sautéing, steaming, frying and roasting.

2. Before working with Brussels sprouts, blanch them in salted, boiling water to heighten the color and flavor.

3. Roasting Brussels sprouts in the oven with herbs is a simple and great way to add color and crispness to the dish.

4. If you’re looking for a richer, creamier side dish, braise Brussels sprouts with heavy cream and goat cheese.

5. One of my favorite fall side dishes is Brussels sprouts with bacon and butternut squash. It represents the flavors of the season and brings out the slight bitterness of the Brussels sprouts.

Brussels Sprouts Soup with Cream and Nutmeg
Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 large Vidalia onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 quarts vegetable stock
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1/2 quart heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 quarts Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
  • Kosher salt, white pepper and freshly ground nutmeg to taste

Cooking Directions

  1. In a soup pot, heat butter, olive oil, onion, celery and garlic over medium heat. Sweat for 7-10 minutes.
  2. Add the stocks, cream and Brussels sprouts. Cook until tender, about 15-20 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste.
  3. Remove soup pot from heat and blend in small batches. Adjust consistency with warm water if necessary, and enjoy.

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Butternut Squash
Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 8 oz Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
  • 8 oz butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped into medium dice
  • 4 oz applewood bacon, rendered and diced
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 oz pumpkin seeds, toasted until golden
  • 1 cup heavy cream, reduced by 1/2
  • 3 oz or 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Kosher salt and white pepper to taste

Cooking Directions

  1. Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a boil. Add butternut squash. Cook for 2 minutes. Remove and immerse the squash in an ice bath.
  2. In a saucepan, warm the reduced cream and add Parmesan cheese.
  3. In a large sauté pan, heat butter over medium heat. Add the Brussels sprouts and cook until slightly roasted and caramelized. Add blanched butternut squash and bacon. Heat throughout. Season with salt and white pepper to taste.
  4. Serve sautéed Brussels sprouts, bacon and butternut squash on individual plates. Drizzle Parmesan cream over the top. Finish with toasted pumpkin seeds and serve with your favorite fall protein.

Brussels Sprouts with Lemon Juice and Thyme
Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 10 oz Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
  • 1 clove fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 lemon, cut in half
  • 12 stems fresh thyme, leaves removed and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Kosher salt and white pepper to taste

Cooking Directions

  1. In a large sauté pan, heat butter over medium heat. Add the Brussels sprouts and cook for 3 minutes. Add the minced garlic, and continue to cook until the Brussels sprouts are slightly caramelized and soft throughout.
  2. Squeeze the fresh lemon over the Brussels sprouts and garlic.
  3. Add the cream and fresh thyme. Season with kosher salt and white pepper to taste and enjoy.

Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta and Vidalia Onions
Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 8 oz Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
  • 4 oz pancetta, diced
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 large Vidalia onions, cored and julienned
  • Kosher salt and white pepper to taste

Cooking Directions

  1. Fill a large pot with heavily salted water and bring to a boil. Add Brussels sprouts. Cook for 2 minutes. Remove and immerse the Brussels sprouts in an ice bath. Reserve.
  2. Heat a sauté pan over medium heat. Add butter and let brown. Add onions and cook until slightly caramelized, about 7-10 minutes. Reserve.
  3. Heat another sauté pan over medium heat. Add pancetta and cook until slightly crispy and rendered. Drain the oil. Add the pre-cooked Brussels sprouts and Vidalia onions. Season with salt and white pepper.
  4. Heat through and serve as an autumn side dish.

Is there someone you'd like to see in the hot seat? Let us know in the comments below and if we agree, we'll do our best to chase 'em down.

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Filed under: 5@5 • Brussels Sprouts • Holiday • Holidays • Make • Recipes • Thanksgiving • Thanksgiving • Think


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