Friday, April 4, 2014

Charred Brussels Sprouts with Caramelized Shallots

This is one I've been working on for a while.  I have been really falling in love with roasting Brussels sprouts, something my mother always served steamed.  (Which is gross.  Please don't ever do this.)  They are one of those vegetables that tastes even better the darker and more roasty they get.  I wanted a quicker way to cook them and get them really dark without completely overcooking them, and it took a few rounds of trial and error to perfect this one.

The champagne vinegar is something I threw in without planning to.  I always have it on hand - anytime I have a party or friends over and a small portion of champagne goes unfinished, I put it in a small jar and let it sit in a cupboard for a month or so.  It doesn't have a very strong or acidic flavor, so it's great for salad dressings.  (If you don't have champagne vinegar, just mix a little white wine and vinegar together and this will work just fine.)

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound of Brussels sprouts, trimmed and sliced in half
Salt and pepper
1 shallot, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup champagne vinegar

Coat a large saute pan with the olive oil.  As you trim and slice the Brussels sprouts, place them cut side down in the cold pan until it is completely full.  Set it on a burner at medium high heat.  When it begins to sizzle, season the Brussels sprouts generously with salt and pepper.  Cover the pan with a tight fitting lid.

While they cook, chop the shallot and garlic.  After about five minutes the Brussels sprouts will begin to smell smoky (don't forgot to turn on your overhead fan and open a window).  Check one of the center sprouts to see if it is cooked to your desired color (mine is black, so I left them a bit longer). When they look almost done, sprinkle the shallots over the sprouts.  Return the lid.

After two or three minutes, remove the lid.  Add the garlic, and then pour in the champagne vinegar and quickly deglaze the pan with a spatula, scraping up the Brussels sprouts.  Toss until all the vegetables are well coated.  The Brussels sprouts should still be bright green (not brown) with very dark bottoms.  Add to a serving bowl and season with more salt if needed.


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