26 December 2010

Brussels Sprouts with Cranberry Brown Butter

As a run up to Christmas, for the past month I'd been testing out recipes for Christmas dinner in Ireland with Andy and a large crowd of his family. To begin, I tested out four Brussels sprouts recipes with everything from orange and pecan-butter to raw shredded sprouts. It took me nearly 35 years to come to appreciate the humble sprout, and when I finally did it was due to a recipe I saw that roasted them till crispy and brown. Previous to this the only way I had eaten sprouts was the traditional way -- boiled and whole,perhaps with a bit of butter or balsamic vinegar. Not that interesting and inevitably a bit like eating a soggy bit of cabbage. However roasted and shredded they take on a crispy-ness that is reminiscent of a winter (warm) version of coleslaw. 

This recipe with browned butter and cranberries won out for the Christmasy color and simplicity of ingredients which I knew would be easy enough to find anywhere. The cranberries too can replace the traditional cranberry sauce side dish. Don't be scared by the amount of butter as the prescribed amount is enough to serve 8-10 as a side dish. 
Brussels Sprouts with Cranberry Brown Butter
Adapted (slightly) from Food and Wine 
Serves 8-10 

4 pounds brussels sprouts, cut in thirds 
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and Pepper
1/2 pound fresh cranberries
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, (honey or golden syrup can also be substituted)
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter
1 large shallot, minced
1 teaspoon chopped thyme

Preheat the oven to 400 F. On two large rimmed baking sheets, toss the brussels sprouts with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for about 30-40 minutes, stirring halfway through, until the sprouts are browned in spots.

While the sprouts are roasting, in a small saucepan, combine the cranberries, maple syrup, ginger and orange zest. Cover and cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until the cranberries break down and thicken, about 10 minutes. You might add a teaspoon of water to assist in cooking. 

In a medium skillet, melt the butter and cook over moderately high heat until deep golden, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the shallot and thyme and stir into the cranberry sauce. Transfer the butter to a bowl, add the brussels sprouts and toss. Season with salt and serve warm. 

1 comment :

  1. YUM! hope you're having a super time in ireland!! hi to andy!


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