Ok, here’s my best side dish, best made with The Steak.
- Get a bunch of brussels sprouts. Fresh if you can of course. Rinse ’em.
- Cut off all the stems; they make them a bit too bitter.
- Cut them all in half.
- In a sauté pan, or a frying pan, but not a non-stick pan, warm up some butter over a medium heat.
- No, more butter than that. That’s better.
- Drop your sprouts into the butter and let em sizzle a while. You should move them around a bit somewhat frequently. You want to brown them on all sides and let them start to blacken a little, but not a lot.
- Add salt and pepper. Probably a little more than you think you want.
- Just as they start to get to a point where you can’t keep them from sticking to the pan no matter how franticly you try, take the pan over to the sink and put in enough water to cover the bottom of the pan (this is not a lot of water, but it has to cover the entire bottom of the pan).
- Return to the heat and boil the water off, uncovered. Just as the water starts to clear out, add butter.
- What did I just say? I said add butter. Add butter like this is your last meal on earth.
- Let the butter melt entirely and toss all the sprouts until they are evenly covered.
- Finally, let them warm up again until they start to sizzle. Cook until they brown / char just a tad more over a high heat (you want just a hint of crispiness).
The main objective here is a slightly crispy outside with a soft, buttery inside. The water you add in the middle of the process steams the sprout and loosens it up. The butter and high heat at the end puts on a finishing crisp.
- Garlic, of course. I put this in early with the butter at the beginning and give it a slight head start, but it adds an advanced challenge because you don’t want to burn the garlic while you’re browning the sprouts in the first pass (before the water) or again at the end. It means you’re constantly working the contents of the pan to avoid it.
- A sweet dried fruit. I’ve done currants and I’ve tried dried cherries, both are great.
- Lemon juice, right at the end. Not a lot though. I’ve had mixed results here; if the sprouts aren’t really perfectly ripe, they’re already a little bitter, and the lemon doesn’t work.
- I have been meaning to try some fried prosciutto but haven’t gotten around to it (based on Darwin’s fantastic Kale salad recipe, which also makes a great side dish to The Steak).