You guys! Can you believe Thanksgiving is only a week away?
And I’ve been whiling away the last week with meals I’ve thrown together from random things in the fridge, rather than setting out purposefully to share some delicious Thanksgiving ideas with you. Oops. Sorry!
So. I have a question.
What is the one side dish that makes your Thanksgiving table complete?
I am not sure I have a true answer to this question. Honestly, the only thing I need to have a happy Thanksgiving is pecan pie. But as I have grown up and my tastebuds have grown up with me, I have learned that brussels sprouts are basically the most delicious fall vegetables on Earth.
I am basically going to insist that you make these. Set aside your casseroles and roasted root veggies. Brussels sprouts are the showstopping side dish this Thanksgiving!
All right. True confession. I have very bad/slow knife skills. Maybe I’ve already told you that…
If you are in a similar quandary, just square your shoulders and get ready for some chopping. The pre-cooking prep took me about 45 minutes. Eep! But luckily, the actual cook time is only about 15 minutes, so you can still make this amazing dish in about 1 hour!
Slice each sprout into 4 or 5 thin pieces. The thinner, the better, really. I made mine a little thick, because…well, it was naptime, and I was visiting with my mom, and I didn’t want to spend an entire kid-free conversation time elbow deep in brussels sprouts shavings.
Peel and thinly slice the shallots. I didn’t quite have enough this time (I had about 4 medium), but the dish still turned out delicious! But let me just say, it’s the tangy-sweet caramelized shallots that really make this side dish shine, so go for broke and use 5 or 6 large ones! You won’t regret it.
When the shallots are soft and turn light brown, add in the cider vinegar and sugar. Oh my gosh. Smells aMAzing!
At this point, it’s time to cook the sprouts. I find that there is a fine line to walk here: you want them to become soft and tender, while still remaining bright green. And, ideally, to have a few crispier, browned bits hanging around. You know. Because your husband likes it when things are crispy and browned.
Anyway. The only way to accomplish this is using medium-low heat and stirring regularly. However, I often end up finishing my sprouts a little earlier (meaning that they still have a little bite) because I would rather they be a pretty green than be completely soft and mushy.
Sauté your chopped sprouts in a very large pan, turning regularly, until they soften. Season with sea salt and black pepper. Toss a splash of water and a few tbsp. butter into the pan and cook until the liquid evaporates. The sprouts should be tender, but still green.
Brussels Sprouts with Caramelized Shallots
lightly adapted from Epicurious
4 tbsp. butter, divided
½ lb. shallots (about 5 large), thinly sliced
coarse kosher salt and black pepper
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
4 tsp. sugar
2 lbs. brussels sprouts, trimmed
2 tbsp. olive oil
¼ cup water
Melt 1 tbsp. butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add shallots; sprinkle with coarse kosher salt and black pepper. Sauté until soft and golden, about 10 minutes. Add vinegar and sugar. Stir until brown and glazed, about 3 minutes.
Cut brussels sprouts into thin slices. Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sprouts; sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Sauté until brown at edges, about 6 minutes. Add water and remaining 3 tbsp. butter. Sauté until most of the water evaporates and sprouts are tender but still bright green, 3–5 minutes.
Stir together caramelized shallots and cooked sprouts in a medium serving bowl. Serve warm.