Braised Brussels Sprouts in Mustard Sauce
Through this dish, I’ve discovered that many people who think they don’t like Brussels sprouts turn out to be wrong. The trick is to slice the sprouts thin and cook them until they’re very tender. This makes for a bit more work, but it elevates the sprouts to melt-in-your-mouth status. It’s worthy of becoming your Thanksgiving signature. For a change of pace—and a lovely sweet flavor that goes with the sauce—this recipe uses shallots instead of onions and garlic. They’re easy to find and easy to cut if you use a very sharp paring knife. You can use any kind of prepared mustard in this recipe. I have made it with everything from Dijon to good old French’s yellow.
Yield: Makes 2 to 3 servings
1 pound Brussels sprouts
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup minced shallots (about two 3-ounce shallots)
½ teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons water
¼ cup prepared mustard
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Use a very sharp knife to cut off and discard the base of the Brussels sprouts. (As you do so, the out leaves will fall off. Keep and use any that are not bruised!) Then slice a piece from one side, place the sprout cut side down (for slicing stability), and cut the sprout crosswise into about 5 slices (more or less, depending on its size). Repeat until you have cut up all the sprouts in this way.
2. Place a large (10- to 12- inch) heavy skillet over medium heat. After about a minute, add the olive oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add the shallots, and sauté for 2 minutes. Stir in the Brussels sprouts and salt, pour in 3 tablespoons of the water, and spread everything evenly across the bottom of the pan. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and let cook, undisturbed, for 5 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, combine the mustard, brown sugar and remaining 2 tablespoons water in a small bowl, and stir until blended.
4. Once the Brussels sprouts have cooked for 5 minutes, pour in the mustard mixture, stirring to distribute it well. Turn the heat to low, cover the pan, and cook, undisturbed, for 3 minutes.
5. Stir again, and decide if you like the sprouts cooked to this degree or if you want to cook them a bit more. You can leave the skillet on the stove over low heat for up to 5 minutes longer, in which case the sprouts will brown and become more intensely flavored—it’s your call. Serve hot or warm, topped with a generous amount of black pepper.
-This recipe is vegan.
-Use pure maple syrup in place of the brown sugar.
-Throw in up to ½ cup dried cranberries or golden raisins along with the Brussels sprouts.
-Sprinkle some chopped toasted hazelnuts, walnuts, or almonds over the finished dish.
-Scatter some thinly sliced fresh spinach or arugula (just a handful of leaves) over the finished dish—a beautiful green contrast to the yellow sprouts.
© Mollie Katzen
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