Servings: 8 Prep: 10 min Cook: 10 min Total: 20 min
This dish is about as basic and simple as can be, but with what may be an unclear twist. I’m unsure. It’s a very technical approach to cooking these things, and probably only ever really done like this in restaurants. However, it’s a fantastic way to do it. You’ll get a sweet and properly cooked brussels sprout, but it’ll also be buttery and bright vibrant green.
So often, “roasted” brussels sprouts are these soft, brown mushy balls of mini-cabbage. These are boiled in a salty boiling water, until JUST cooked (still slightly crunchy). This will season them all the way through. Then, they are plunged into ice water, where the cooking process is completely stopped, but the bright vibrant color is preserved. Here, you can cut them in half. One of the benefits of doing it this way is … it’ll only take a few moments to cook them, from here. With very little fuss, you can throw these in a sauté pan with some butter and toast ’em up! You’ll get a hot, bright, sweet and buttery brussel sprout.
Just pure simple perfection.
Note: This is cooked in two halves to keep the pan hot enough to fry the brussels sprouts. If all the brussels sprouts were added at once, the pan would cool down and the brussel sprouts would just steam and simmer, rather than fry in the butter and caramelize. You could also toss the cooked and chilled brussels sprouts, with some melted butter, salt and pepper, then quickly place onto a scalding hot pre-heated baking tray, with the cut faces down and placed back into a 450 F oven for about 8 minutes. This would also work.
Simple Buttery Brussels SproutsPrint Rate
- 2 lb brussels sprouts
- 1/4 cup fresh whole butter cut into cubes, divided
- salt and pepper to taste
- Place a pot of salted water on the stove to boil. The water should be fairly salty.
- Once the water boils, throw your brussel sprouts into the water to boil.
- Let them boil for about 4 to 6 minutes. Remove the smaller ones first, and plunge them into a big bowl of ice water. Keep removing them from the water and adding to the ice water, from smallest to largest. They should be firm, but cooked. NOT soft. You will continue cooking them, later.
- Once they are all in the ice water, let them stay in the ice water for about 10 minutes, until they are completely chilled, all the way through. Remove them and drain them, so they are dry.
- Cut them in half, so that the stem stays intact on both halves. You can also trim any loose leaves and any brown or fibrous stem ends, at the point. These can be tough.
- Set aside to be cooked later ... or just cook them.
- To cook, place a large non-stick sauté pan on the stove. Get it hot over medium-high heat.
- Add half of your butter to the pan and swirl it around, so the bottom is coated. It may start immediately browning. This is ok, but do not let it burn.
- Even if the butter is not fully melted, add half of your dry brussel sprout halves. Turn them all so they are all facing down in the pan and are only one layer deep. They should not be stacked, or else they will steam. They should be frying in the hot butter.
- Let them fry for a few minutes, so the faces get nice and caramelized. Move them around the pan, so they cook evenly. Keep the pan hot.
- Once they are nice and cooked, season with a little salt and pepper. Toss and set aside.
- Cook the other half of the brussel sprouts in the remaining butter, with the steps above. Season and mix with the first batch and serve!
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11 thoughts on “Simple Buttery Brussels Sprouts”
This is not roasting , this is frying in butter. Try tossing trimmed Brussel sprouts with olive oil and kosher salt with cracked black pepper on a cookie sheet in a 400* oven for about 15-20 minutes. THIS IS ROASTING.
That’s how I do them; roasted in a hot oven until carmelized; I love them!
Unknown … all due respect, it’s pretty obvious you didn’t read the notes at the top of the recipe. Thank you for the cooking lesson, though! 🙂
I read the top and this didn’t say it was a roasted recipe…it says OFTEN they are roasted, but this isn’t, it is boiled then fried…..
Toast pecan pieces and toss in with brussel sprouts – yummy!!
—Reply posted by Debbie on 4/12/2015
Toast or Roast Pecans? 😉 LOL
I love pecans! 😀
People are so snarky – I have been to high-end restaurants out here in the Napa Valley and many chefs prepare Brussell Sprouts much like this….and they are called ROASTED on the menu! Things can be pan roasted, thus the caramelization. Thank you for the recipe – I am going to try it tonight 🙂
—Reply posted by DJ on 2/3/2015
In a lot of ways, it doesn’t much matter. Heat is heat … a hot surface is a hot surface. Granted, in an oven heat is coming from all directions, but … at the same time, it doesn’t have the force of a burner coming from directly below. Both methods will yield a hot and tasty sprout, but by using the direct heat from a burner, there’s a little more control over the colors at play. Plus, I find that blanching in salt water helps the seasoning permeate the sprout giving a deeper flavor throughout. Some people get so stuck on the particulars, without ever fully considering all the factors that go into something like this. Oh well… :/
Sounds so good. Question, why the process of boiling and putting in cold water? I’m wondering is it easier form them roast in the pan?
—Reply posted by DJ on 6/16/2015
Hi Olivia, ultimately, it’s a restaurant trick that allows restaurants to cook large batches all at once, and then quickly re-heat them to perfection, as people order them. So, it’s a bit of a time saving device for restaurants. That said, there are some additional perks. The shocking and reheating process tends to really do a great job at holding on to the bright brilliant green color of the vegetables. Because the water is seasoned, it permeates the little leaves and seasons the sprouts from the inside out, rather than the seasoning being just on the outside. It’s also a more delicate heat and cooks them more evenly, than a high heat in the oven which would cook the outside, before the inside. So, while simply roasting them will make a nice tasty Brussels sprout, in my opinion, doing it this way will give you a more evenly cooked and seasoned Brussels sprout, with a better color. One is very probably easier, but the other will taste better and be more appealing to the eye (in my opinion, of course). I hope this helps! 🙂
This is the perfect recipe for Brussels Sprouts. I love them and I have cooked them for ummm 20 years. My experience is steaming and roasting them. Neither one works well bc it seems they are soggy or greasy. When I saw this recipe, I had to try it to see if the hot/cold was my answer. IT WAS !! WOO HOO!! Now that I know how it’s done, I will prepare the sprouts ahead of time and finish them when it’s time. Love this!! Thank you.
I love the idea of this technique and can’t wait to try it! I tend to use frozen veggies a lot because I live alone and am on Social Security and have to bus to the store on my one payday a month and buy most of my groceries then. But I love Brussel sprouts and it would be worth getting fresh ones to do this way! I’ve missed your emails and posts too. Didn’t remember you were right there in Seattle, I’m in Port Angeles! I’m low income so it’s a stretch to eat Keto but so worth it! Hang in there, DJ!
My husband was “very impressed.” Thanks again and looking forward to making more of your recipes 🙂