I feel sorry for brussel sprouts. These little green cabbage-like vegetables get such a bum rap. But, if you've ever had them cooked just right, you know what I know: these little green orbs are divine.
Tonight, when I had a bag of brussel sprouts but none of the ingredients I usually cook with them(like potatoes, bacon, heavy cream), I looked to my Joy of Cooking cookbook. This is where I turn when I forget at what temp to best bake a potato or when I need a quick recipe to help me utilize a boatload of zucchini from the garden. When in doubt, I always gravitate to it, the old standby, the cookbook that's been with me longer than my husband has, longer than the Paula Deens and Rachel Rays that sit shiny on the bookshelf.
This recipe (which I came across on page 353 to be exact) was really quick and easy, producing brussel sprouts that were caramelized and brown on the cut side, yet soft and tender at the same time. Since I grew up fearing brussel sprouts with all my might, I'm still amazed when I find myself popping these nutty little cabbages into my mouth like candy. Tonight I was even more amazed when my four year old was doing the same thing.
Brussel Sprouts Cockaigne
12 brussel sprouts (I used a 1 pound bag)
3 TBL butter
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Rinse the brussel sprouts, pat them dry, and slice in half lengthwise. Warm butter in a medium sized skillet over medium-low heat. Add garlic, stir, and cook until starting to brown. Remove garlic from skillet and discard. Place sprouts cut side down in the garlic butter. Cover and cook over low heat until tender, 15-20 minutes. Arrange on a platter or in a bowl and drizzle with any remaining butter.
Note: Since I didn't have any remaining butter, I finished mine with a drizzle of walnut oil (but you could use olive oil), salt, pepper, and grated parmesan. A squeeze of lemon juice would also be a nice touch.