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Braised Brussels Sprouts with Shallots and Parmesan

There’s been a serious and welcome chill in the air the past few days. It’s allowed the kids and me to crawl into our flannel pajamas and pull on our favorite socks (mine are fuzzy!). These things – these garments – are a lot like comfort food: something that’s both calming and familiar. It’s been nice.

All this coolness has me thinking about Fall and winter veggies — the winter squashes, potatoes, apples and of course Brussels sprouts. Oh, Brussels sprouts, they are definitely a comfort food for me.

You all know how much I adore Brussels sprouts. Or, if you didn’t, now you do. I am always on the hunt for new ways to make them. For a while, I was obsessed with Roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon and shallots, then Sauteed Brussels sprouts with lemon vinaigrette became my bff and last year it was Brussels sprouts with bacon and melty blue cheese.

But this year? It’s all about the braising, baby.

This recipe produces tender, toasty, slightly caramelized Brussels sprouts with a killer sweet-savory-sensational flavor. They’re warm, fast and easy … and the shallots, which totally caramelize during cooking, are a nice supporting note. These are easy enough to make on a busy weeknight. And the recipe is so simple that it can easily be doubled or tripled.

What’s also great about these is that the sprouts develop that sweet whisper and shed any bit of bitterness during cooking. So they’re savory … but have that little inkling of sweet too.

Did I mention fast? One thing I have learned over the years is that I like my Brussels sprouts to cook pretty fast and without a lot of hands-on time. This recipe does that with its sear and braise method. And despite cooking them in liquid, the Brussels sprouts don’t end up mushy or flavorless. I can’t tell you how much I detest mushy Brussels sprouts. It’s a waste.

The recipe serves four as a side dish … unless you adore sprouts like me. Then it might feed fewer people. Don’t worry, your secret is safe with me.

Braised Brussels Sprouts with Shallots and Parmesan

serves 4

1 tbsp olive oil
2 shallots
1 clove garlic, minced
1 lb Brussels sprouts, halved
3/4 cup low-sodium chicken stock
salt and pepper
parmigiano reggiano

Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottom pan. While it’s heating, prepare the shallots and garlic. For the shallots, the best method is to trim the ends, cut the shallot in half length-wise and then peel. Then, slice the halves thinly.

Once the oil is hot, add the shallots and garlic to the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally until softened (2-3 minutes). Add the Brussels sprouts and stir well. Let cook until the shallots begin to brown (2-3 minutes). Add the chicken stock, cover and cook for 5 minutes.

Uncover the pan, stir and continue cooking until all the liquid is evaporated. Remove from heat and season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with freshly grated parmigiano reggiano. Stir well.

Serve immediately.

Maris (In Good Taste)

Thursday 22nd of September 2011

I love Brussels sprouts. I bought some yesterday and now I'm thinking maybe I need to make them for lunch...


Tuesday 20th of September 2011

I'm loving this cooler weather!