Ah the Brussel Sprout, so misunderstood. I used to think they were just horrible. Bitter, sometimes even slimy, pale yellowish green heads. Yuck. Then, one day my brother the chef sliced them up into thin strips, sauteed them with bacon & shallots and added some aged balsamic vinegar. They were ridiculously delicious and I became a brussel sprout convert. Now, when they are in season and the giant stalks fill up the produce stands I actually pick some up instead of running past them in horror. My brother showed me that it's all about how they are cooked. Brussel Sprouts just need some extra attention to transform into something yummy.
This past month, in one of the food magazines I subscribe to I swear I saw a recipe for roasted brussel sprouts with maple syrup. Mmm, sounds delicious! Only problem is that now I can't remember where I saw it. It might have been Martha's mag, but I recycled the November issue already and can't find it online at her website. I can't seem to find the recipe in the other foodie magazines I still have laying around the house either. So I was on my own to come up with some roasted brussel sprouts with a maple syrup kicker. I have to say, they came out awesome.
I served them along side my version of chicken schnitzel. I use mustard instead of dredging the cutlets in flour & egg to hold the breadcrumbs on and instead of pan frying them I bake them in the oven. The mustard gives the chicken great flavor and I like to think makes them just a wee bit healthier, as does the baking instead of frying. One thing's for sure though, It is a really quick dinner to prepare, and gives me a chance to whack at something with my meat mallet, which is exactly what is needed after a long day at work.
Maple Roasted Brussel Sprouts
8 to 10 fresh brussel sprouts, ends trimmed off & outer leaves removed, cut into quarters
Salt & pepper
1 Tbsp fresh thyme, stems discarded (leaves from about 4 or 5 sprigs)
1 to 2 tsps Maple Syrup
- Prep the Brussel Sprouts. Pre-heat the oven to 350 F. Trim off the stalk end of the brussel sprouts and remove any of the outer leaves that are discolored. Cut the bulbs into quarters through the root end of each one, so that you have little wedges. In a small bowl toss the brussel sprout wedges with some olive oil, salt, pepper and the leaves from about 4 or 5 thyme sprigs.
- Roast the Brussel Sprouts. Spread the brussel sprouts out in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast the Brussel Sprouts for about 30 minutes, until they have caramelized slightly.
- Add the Maple Syrup. Remove the baking sheet from the over, drizzle the maple syrup over the brussel sprouts and give them a stir. Place the baking sheet back in the oven and continue to roast for another 5 minutes. A little maple syrup goes a long way, and it has a pretty strong flavor. You may not need to use all 2 tsp of the the syrup, it just depends on how many brussel sprouts you chopped up.
- Serve! Tonight I served them along side my honey dijon chicken schnitzel, recipe below.
Honey Dijon Chicken Schnitzel
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin to about 1/3" thickness
2 Tbsps Honey Dijon Mustard
1 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
olive oil (if you go the pan frying method)
- Prepare the chicken cutlets. Place the chicken cutlets between 2 sheets of wax paper and using a meat mallet pound the chicken breasts until they are uniformly flat, about 1/3 to 1/4" thick. Using a silicon pastry brush (or something similar) spread both sides of the flattened chicken breasts with the mustard and then dredge them in the breadcrumbs. Make sure the breadcrumbs completely coat the chicken.
- To Fry or Not to Fry, that is the question. Once the cutlets are ready to be cooked you have 2 options. You can either pan fry them in a little olive oil or put them on a baking sheet and cook them in the oven. They will get a little crispier if you go the pan frying route, but are almost just as good baked in the oven. If you decide to bake them, put them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil and bake for about 30 minutes at 350 F. If you are making the brussel sprouts above everything can just go in the oven together. If you decide to pan fry them, heat up a little olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. When the oil starts to shimmer add in the cutlets and pan fry, about 3 or 4 minutes a side.
- Serve! Serve with the maple roasted brussel sprouts. For tonight's dinner I also threw some quartered yukon gold potatoes, tossed with some olive oil, salt, pepper & garlic powder, onto the corner of the baking sheet that had the brussel sprouts and served those as well. We drank a MacMurray Ranch Sonoma Coat Pinot Noir with dinner. Yum Yum!