Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Roasted Brussels

Brussels, Brussels, and more Brussels. We are a Brussel Sprout family. In order to satiate all of our brussel craving, it takes at least four bags of brussel sprouts per meal. And even then, someone (usually me, since everyone else has no shame in stealing them off my plate, while I'm up getting something for someone else) is never feeling like they had enough...

I do a version of them like this quite often, but today I'm going to talk about simply roasting them. It's a lot easier than you might think... the hardest thing about brussel sprouts is the time it takes to prep them. First off, the smaller the sprout, the more tender and sweet it is. To make cleaning/prepping a little easier, what I do is cut of the very bottom of the stem (this removes a little of their bitterness), and then slice them in half from top to bottom. When you do it like this, you will see that their outer leaves will just fall off, saving you the hassle of peeling the outer layer. It also allows some of the inner leaves to fall off, and/or separate from the base of the sprout-- which you want, if like me you are partial to the crispy leaves created by roasting. The crispy leaves are my favorite part about roasting brussels... it's almost like a kale chip in consistency.

A big mistake that people make when cooking brussel sprouts, is not salting them a lot. The salt helps counter the bitterness and, just like the sprout's cousin the cabbage, salt really brings out the flavor.

To roast, preheat your oven to 425. You want a higher oven temp to help crisp them up. But don't worry, they won't get too crispy, the insides will be nice and tender-- and, if you don't want them crispy, you can follow the same steps, just lower your oven to 400.

After you've prepped your brussels, toss them in extra virgin oil, salt (use a heavy hand like mentioned above), and pepper. pour them out on a parchment lined baking sheet, and roast for 20 minutes. That's it. That's all there is to it. Don't be afraid to play around with the length of cooking time, to get the level of crispy/tenderness you desire. And most of all, enjoy them!

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