What's With the Bird, Choosing Sides for Thanksgiving, Browned Brussels Sprouts

Having shared Persimmon, Pomegranate and Pistachio Salad from Choosing Sides (Andrews McMeel- September 10, 2013) by Crumbs on My Keyboard Tara Mataraza Desmond, i thought i should reopen the book in final 'sprint' before Thanksgiving 2013.

Here's a 'what's with the bird' slice of inspiration, good for vegetarians at the table too.

Browned Brussels Sprouts with Maple Butter 

Serves 4 to 6

Some people are evangelical about their favorite foods, determined to sway skeptics to their way of thinking and tasting. I’m this way about Brussels sprouts. If any preparation of these cruciferous bulbs is going to spur converts, it’s this one. The maple butter is reminiscent of caramel, creating a sweet cloak over savory sprouts that become deeply browned and crisp wherever their surfaces meet the hot pan. The maple butter can be made a day ahead, cooled completely, and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature while the sprouts roast and then scrape it into the hot sprouts to melt it.

1 tablespoon plus 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 pounds Brussels sprouts, stem ends trimmed, outer leaves peeled, and halved (quartered if large)
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup


Preheat the oven to 425°F. Brush 1 tablespoon of the olive oil on a baking sheet and transfer it to the hot oven for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, toss the sprouts with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and the salt and pepper. Pour the sprouts out onto the hot baking sheet and spread into a single layer. (Take the time to place each sprout cut side down for especially crisped and browned sprouts.)

Roast the Brussels sprouts for 15 to 20 minutes, until fork-tender and a dark brown crust forms on the sides exposed to the baking sheet.

While the sprouts roast, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, swirling it around as it becomes liquid. Keep a close eye on the butter as it starts to foam. If you look closely at the liquid butter as it cooks, you can see tiny specks of brown appear (which are the browning milk solids). Continue heating it until it starts to smell nutty and turns from off-white to golden to light brown. Immediately remove from the heat and stir in the maple syrup. Stir briskly as the mixture sizzles and spurts. Set aside in the saucepan until the Brussels finish roasting.

Remove the Brussels from the oven and transfer to a serving bowl. Drizzle the maple butter all over, tossing to coat evenly. Serve immediately.

(* Recipe from 'Choosing Sides, From Holidays to Every Day, 130 Delicious Recipes to Make the Meal' by Tara Mataraza DesmondAndrews McMeel, September 10- Photography by Ben Pieper- all rights reserved)

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