Genius Brussels Sprouts
Welcome to Spring Cookbook Week on Macheesmo! I’ll be posting recipes from five cookbooks this week and giving away copies! All winners will be announced next Friday (06/05).
Brussels Sprouts are one of my favorite veggie side dishes and I’m really happy that they are having a resurgence in the US right now. I’ve seen them on the menu in a few different restaurants recently as standalone appetizers.
If prepared correctly, they can be really delicious and a great start to a meal (or a side).
“Prepared correctly” is the tricky part though. There’s a lot that can go wrong. Sometimes they just fall apart. Sometimes they get mushy. Sometimes they are just bland.
This recipe though has exactly zero of those issues and completely conquers Brussels sprouts. I’ll probably have them prepared other ways, but I’m not sure I need them in any other way. This is pretty much my dream crispy Brussels sprouts recipe.
The recipe is from the new Food52 cookbook, Genius Recipes, which basically compiles the best of the best from their website and a bunch of other sources. I think you could probably find most of these recipes if you dug around the Internet or through various cookbooks, but it’s nice to have them all compiled together.
This Brussels Sprouts recipe, from David Chang of Momofuku fame is about as sexy as Brussels sprouts can get.
1) For sprouts, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Heat about 2 tablespoons oil in two oven safe skillets over medium heat. Add sprouts, cut-side down to the skillets. You’ll need two to hold all the sprouts. Don’t pile them in one skillet.
2) After bottoms of sprouts begin to brown, about five minutes, transfer skillets to oven to finish roasting for 10-15 minutes until they are really crispy on the bottom and around the edges. Don’t stir them or touch them.
For sauce, combine fish sauce, water, vinegar, lime, sugar, garlic, and chiles in a bowl. Taste for salt. if it’s too salty, add more water. Right before serving, combine this base with cilantro and mint.
Drizzle roasted sprouts with the vinaigrette and serve warm or at room temperature.
Crispy Brussels Sprouts prep
I used to spend the time to chop off all the little stems on Brussels sprouts but if you try to get the smaller ones, this step is pretty stupid. Just slice them in half and leave the stem. It’s no problem to eat it and it keeps all the leaves together.
The key to these sprouts is to start them on the stovetop but finish them in the oven and no matter what you do: don’t touch them. Don’t stir them. Don’t poke them. Don’t fiddle.
If you’re cooking a full two pounds of sprouts, you’ll need more than one skillet so you can cook them in a single layer. Heat some neutral oil in a large skillet over medium heat and lay out all the sprouts, cut-side down.
Let those cook for about five minutes and they will start to get some color on them already.
Transfer them to a 400 degree oven and let them roast for another 10 minutes or so. This will cook the sprouts through and make them really nice and crispy on the bottoms.
Umami Fish Sauce Vinaigrette
This is some dreamy sauce. It’s light, but super-flavorful. It starts with fish sauce. I’ve been using this brand recently and like it a lot, but any brand will work. Some brands are saltier than others and you might have to adjust the sauce at the end with a little more lime or water if you have a saltier brand.
Mix in the fish sauce with the water, garlic, chiles, vinegar, lime, and sugar. Smells good already.
Right before you serve the sprouts, hit them with the chopped cilantro and mint. If you add this too soon it’ll turn brownish. It’s best really nice and fresh.
All together Now
Remember those sprouts in the oven? This is what happened to them and I tell you it’s beautiful.
As soon as they come out of the oven, toss them with big spoonfuls of the vinaigrette and serve them while warm or at room temperature.
I would put these up against any Brussels sprout side dish out there. They are a delicious masterpiece.
Let’s talk cookbook!
The Genius Recipes Giveaway!
Like I said a bit before, this book is a crowd-sourced book, but sourced from the most experienced of crowds. It has about 100 recipes and 250 pages. That ratio may seem a bit off, but I’ll tell you that the recipes are very meticulous in their writing and direction. I read through a few of the more complicated ones and they removed any doubt I would have at any point in the recipe.
It’s a beautiful book and while you (probably) could find most of the recipes in it on other sources (about half of them are on the food52.com website), it’s also nice to have a compendium on your shelf. I can tell you that I personally earmarked enough of the recipes in it that the earmarks lost their meaning. Every fifth page was earmarked.
I’m not usually into crowd-sourced projects, but just because of the experts they pulled from (Judy Rodgers, Yotam Ottolenghi, Dan Barber, Michael Ruhlman, Marcella Hazan, etc…) I think this book is a great addition to any cookbook shelf.
Let’s give away two copies! Use the widget below to enter or just leave a comment to be entered!
Congrats to Alyson (Facebook) and Carol (comment) for winning!