If everyone flees when you pull Brussels sprouts from the freezer, consider going beyond the boil-and-butter routine. Braise the sprouts to bring out their nutty, sweet side. Start with the first step of caramelizing them slightly in the pan. The round vegetables are then infused with additional flavor by simmering them in a covered pot with a small amount of broth, wine or other flavorful liquid. You can thaw the frozen vegetables overnight, but they'll taste fresher if you quickly cook the sprouts and begin the braising process.
Things You'll Need
- 10-inch skillet
- Butter or oil
- Onions and garlic, optional
- Wooden spoon
- Wine, broth or other liquid
Boil a small amount of water in a saucepan and place the frozen Brussels sprouts in the pan. Once the water comes to a boil, cover the pan and let the sprouts cook until they are no longer frozen, yet not quite tender.
Rinse the cooked Brussels sprouts in cold water and drain them.
Heat a small amount of oil in a skillet turned to medium high. If you wish, brown onions and garlic in the oil first. Add Brussels sprouts and stir them for about 1 minute or until they brown.
Pour cooking liquid and optional seasonings into the pan. For every 1 to 2 pounds of Brussels sprouts, use about 1 cup of liquid. Turn the heat to medium-low to achieve a simmer, then cover and cook the sprouts for about 7 minutes.
Remove the lid and check the sprouts. They will likely need about 5 more minutes of simmering, uncovered, before the liquid is mostly gone.
Stir the Brussels sprouts gently to coat them with the flavorful glaze left in the pan. Remove herb sprigs, if used, and spoon the braised vegetables into a serving bowl. Drizzle the sprouts with remaining liquid from the pan.
Tips & Warnings
- To make the spherical veggies even more bite sized, cut the Brussels sprouts in half after they have been briefly cooked and rinsed.
- If you wish, you can finish the braising process by adding a dollop of cream and simmering 4 to 5 additional minutes. Mix the sprouts well with the remaining creamy glaze before serving.
- When serving Brussels sprouts with meat, consider browning the meat in the skillet before continuing to cook it elsewhere. Use the resulting drippings instead of oil or butter as the fat in which you brown the sprouts.
- Potential ingredients to stir into the braised Brussels sprouts just before serving include pine nuts, chestnuts, shaved Parmesan cheese or crumbled bacon.
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