Friday, June 17, 2016

Molasses Braised Brussel Sprouts

I need to be open and honest about something here today: I love brussel sprouts.

Right now, though - this isn't the most outlandish thing I could have said. Brussel sprouts are totally having their moment in the food world. People are learning to cook them in fun and interesting ways that doesn't leave you with a steamy pile of grey-ish green mush. These days are gone. Now, we are roasting, sauteeing, and grilling our sprouts until golden brown and crisp. We are cooking them with bacon and pancetta. We are glazing them in balsamic, fig compote, and honey. Sometimes, we are even having them raw, sliced thin and tossed in flavorful vinaigrettes to make new, unique slaws.

I'm so proud of us!! It's like we saved brussel sprouts from inevitable vegetable extinction.

Enough of all this drama, though. We need to talk about this simple side dish that will elevate any dinner menu to a whole new level. Molasses Braised Brussel Sprouts are easy to make and even easier to eat. Sweet, tangy, salty, crunchy. If your family thinks they don't like brussel sprouts, put these on the menu and watch them fly off the table!

My favorite way to cook brussel sprouts is by cutting them in half and searing in a hot pan until golden brown on the cut side, then covering the pan and allowing them to steam to finish cooking. It's foolproof, and it is the base of our cooking method for this recipe. Rather than steaming with a bit of water, however, we are going to make a delicious pan sauce using butter, apple cider vinegar, and molasses! I very rarely cook with molasses outside of holiday/gingerbread baking, but after one of my Blue Apron recipes used it, I couldn't wait to try it in different ways!

The molasses will thicken slightly while it cooks, leaving us with a wonderful glaze-like sauce. It is a little sweet and a little smokey, and the tang of the apple cider vinegar will add just the zip we need to balance that richness. I can't say enough about this side dish other than it is absolutely a new favorite in our house!

Brussel Sprouts, previously (photos leaving something to be desired): in pastaparmesan crusted

Here's what you need for Molasses Braised Brussel Sprouts* (Print Recipe!)

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound fresh brussel sprouts, stemmed and cut in half lengthwise
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons molasses
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
dash of nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste

Here's what you do

Heat a deep skillet that has a tight fitting lid over medium heat. Add the olive oil. Once shiny, add the brussel sprouts cut side down. Cook without stirring for about 5 minutes until deep golden brown. Toss and flip, cooking for another minute to brown the other side. Season with salt and pepper

Add the butter, vinegar, molasses, red pepper flakes and nutmeg. Stir to coat and release any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Cover the pan and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally until the brussels are coated and the liquid had reduced slightly. Keep warm until ready to serve.

*Adapted from Blue Apron

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