The Best Brussels Sprouts

The Best Brussels Sprouts

The Best Brussels Sprouts

I created this Brussels Sprouts recipe a few years ago, and it has been a hit at family holiday dinners. It’s also a great side dish for any event. Brussels Sprouts have a bitter flavor, and this bitterness is usually what makes them unappealing. You have to do something to them to balance the bitterness out. The worst mistake I see is when they are served whole, with very little seasoning.

To balance out that bitterness and add a great kick, I use the sweetness of shallots and brown sugar with a pinch of crushed red pepper for some heat. Brussels sprouts can handle a lot of seasoning, so I give them a liberal dousing of salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

Adding the fresh garlic and shallots at the end of the cooking time prevents them from burning. Also, I halve the sprouts lengthwise, which makes them easier to eat and gets a nice caramelization on the inner part of the sprouts. The end product is a smoky, sweet, garlicky Brussels sprout dish.

Brussels sprouts are named after Brussels, the capital city of Belgium. The Brussels sprout is in the wild cabbage family.

This recipe will have you adding Brussels sprouts to your grocery cart regularly. I know for a fact that after you try this recipe you will never look at these healthy little gems the same way. Enjoy!!!

Happy cooking and happy eating!

~ Chef Kev

Chef Kevin Warren’s Best Brussels Sprouts Recipe

Ingredients:

1 lb. Brussels sprouts
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 shallot, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp paprika
1 Tbsp crushed red pepper
1/2 cup golden brown sugar
salt and pepper
2 Tbsp water (optional/as needed)

Method:

  1. Using a pairing knife, cut off the knobby tip of each sprout, then cut each sprout lengthwise. Place prepared sprouts in colander; rinse
  2. Pat dry, season liberally with kosher salt and pepper and paprika. Use your hands to toss, coating seasoning throughout all of the sprouts
  3. On medium-high, heat butter in a large non-stick pan until it foams and browns slightly. Add sprouts cut side down.
  4. After a minute or two, check a couple of the sprouts—they should be golden brown and caramelized for the next step: Sprinkle brown sugar and crushed red pepper. Give the pan a good toss to distribute the brown sugar and red pepper.
  5. Reduce heat to medium. Add chopped shallots and garlic, cover and steam about 3-4 minutes or until cooked through. (If the pan is too dry at this point, add 2 Tbsp of water before covering.)
  6. Remove top from pan and toss once more to distribute all of the flavors evenly.

Professional Chef’s Tip: Shallots and garlic both burn easily, so it is very important to reduce the heat before adding them

For a healthier version of this recipe, use olive oil instead of butter and decrease salt

Pan-Seared Salmon

Pan-Seared Salmon

Pan-Seared Salmon

While working the line at Bocanova, a Pan-American restaurant in Oakland, Calif. I cooked dozens of scallops and halibut orders every night. Cooking that much fish, and making sure each piece was cooked to perfection with the Chef yelling “not yet”, or “too long” in my ear until I mastered the technique, made me a pro. This recipe/technique will help you master perfectly moist, mouth-watering, delicious salmon.

To achieve a great sear on any type of fish, begin with a very dry exterior and a very hot pan. (I prefer an All-Clad pan for searing fish.) Moisture from wet/damp fish will prevent the fish from getting that nice golden crust. This tip also applies to other types of protein.

The trick (technique) for achieving a moist, flaky interior, is to pull the fish from the heat at the “right” time, and allow the residual (leftover) heat to finish the cooking for you while the fish rests. People often leave fish in the pan until it appears to be cooked through, and the results are dry, chalky fish. Use residual heat to your advantage for the best texture.

This technique is a keeper; share it with your friends and family. If you follow everything I say, you’ll never make a dry piece of fish again. Try it with my fettuccine, and Brussels sprouts recipes for sides—a great match. Happy cooking, and happy eating!!!

~ Chef Kev

Ingredients:

2 lbs. salmon (skin removed)
3 TBSP unsalted butter
2 TBSP canola or vegetable oil
1 TBSP paprika
Salt & freshly cracked black pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Make sure the fish has sat out at least 10 min, pat dry with paper towel before seasoning.
  2. Season with kosher salt, cracked black pepper, paprika.
  3. Heat 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, and 1 Tbsp canola or vegetable oil, get the pan very hot, butter should brown before the fish is added to the pan.
  4. Reduce the heat to med-high, add fish, flesh- (meaning “presentation”) side down. It should sizzle.
  5. Using a fish spatula, take a quick look to make sure the fish has a good sear. Turn the fish, only after it has a golden brown sear (good color). the salmon should have a white color on the side, about halfway up. This also tells you that it’s time to turn it.
  6. Once it’s turned, lean the pan to gather the fat (butter and oil), and baste 6 times with a spoon
  7. Place in a 400 degree oven for 3 minutes.
  8. Remove pan from the oven, place fish on a wire rack or paper towel to rest, pour hot brown butter over the fish immediately.
  9. Allow the fish to rest 5-10 min.

Note: Always remember residual heat (also called leftover heat) is what cooks the fish the rest of the way while it’s resting. The hot brown butter adds an additional layer of flavor, and also helps in the residual-heat cooking process.