Aka: The perfect holiday vegetable.
For those who still don’t know, I’m currently working for a catering and event planning company. While I’m more involved with the planning end of events than the culinary side (shocking, I know), I have the good fortune to work around some very talented chefs. These guys can make anything. One of my favorites from the fall season is a sautéed brussels sprouts dish. John and I are huge fans of these lil’ guys already, and I happen to think we can make them delicious on our own, but after trying the brussels from work, I knew I needed some help.
I consulted with our chef and compared notes between how I make mine and how he makes his. They were strikingly similar with the exception of one ingredient: fresh orange juice. This, apparently, is what I’ve been missing my whole life.
Start by heating a large pot over high heat. Add oil and let it get screaming hot. Right before the oil is about to begin smoking, add the quartered brussels.
The chef at work told me that by adding the brussels to an extremely hot pan, you’re able to shock the vegetable and cook off some of the bitterness.
Season with salt and pepper, then let ’em cook for maybe 5-7 minutes. They should start to brown up a bit.
In this instance, brown = flavor.
Next — and this is important — squeeze the juice from half of an orange into the pan.
I don’t know why, but when you add the orange juice something magical happens.
Cook until they’ve reached your desired doneness (for me, the more burnt they look the better!), then scoop ’em out and place in a bowl. Serve immediately.
True story: I have made this exact dish at least three or four times in the last two weeks.
If you think you don’t like brussels sprouts, you’ve probably never tried them like this. They’re prepared simply, but they pack tons of delicious flavor. You could add other things to the brussels (bacon, shallots, chestnuts, etc.), but honestly, they don’t need it. And if you’re worried about them being too bitter, don’t be. Cooking them over high heat, as well as adding fresh orange juice, really cuts the bitterness.
These are hands down my favorite vegetable side dish. And hello, they’d be perfect on your Thanksgiving table. Come on, give ’em a try. All the cool kids are doing it.
Sautéed Brussels Sprouts
Yields: 6 servings
Time: 20 minutes
- 1-2 lbs brussels sprouts, peeled and quartered
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tbsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
- Juice of 1/2 a fresh orange
- To clean the brussels sprouts, cut off the root end of the sprout. Peel the outermost layers (they’ll be a darker green than the other layers) and discard. Slice the remaining sprout in half twice to create quarters.
- Heat the olive oil over high heat in a large pot. When the oil is extremely hot, add the brussels sprouts. Season with salt and pepper, then sauté for 5-7 minutes.
- Squeeze the juice from half of a fresh orange over the brussels, then continue to cook for another 5 minutes, or until they have reached your desired doneness. Serve immediately.