From San Francisco to New York, Brussels sprouts are making a special appearance on the menus of trendy restaurants everywhere. The new way to serve the miniature cabbages is... fried!
I've never been one to follow trends, but after sampling them a few times, my husband, Marc, begged me to make them at home. It took a few weeks for me to consent, but I finally gave in and came up with my own version of deep fried Brussels sprouts.
The reason I was hesitant is simple: the succulent morsels are fattier than the foods I usually like to eat at home, or for that matter, than those I like to publish. But as Marc says, a little oil doesn't hurt anyone now and then! Who can argue with that?
Here, the Brussels sprouts are flash-fried and then tossed with lime juice, garlic and cayenne. The lime cuts through the richness of the oil while the garlic and cayenne add a wonderful kick to the otherwise sweet-as-candy Brussels.
You may not want to make this recipe every day, and you may want to consume it in moderation. But I can promise you that after tasting these fried jewels, you'll understand why the petits cabbages have managed to seduce so many chefs and foodies alike!
Flash-Fried Brussels Sprouts with Garlic and Lime
Active time: 20 min
1 large garlic clove - skinned and crushed (use a microplane grater)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne
1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 lbs (680 g) Brussels sprouts - rinsed, patted dry, trimmed and cut in half lengthwise
canola or peanut oil for deep frying
Step 1: Place the garlic, salt, cayenne, lime juice and olive oil in a small bowl. Whisk until well blended and set aside.
Step 2: Heat a deep fryer to 375°F (190°C). Place the Brussels sprouts in a wire basket and dip them in the oil. Immediately cover the pan to prevent the hot oil from splattering on you or your counter top (the Brussels have a very high moisture content and intense splattering will occur during the first minute of cooking). Fry the Brussels sprouts for 5 to 6 minutes, until golden-brown. Drain on paper towels and quickly blot them with more paper towels. Place the Brussels in a large bowl. Drizzle with the garlic-lime dressing and toss until well coated. Serve piping hot!
Cook's note: If you don't have a deep fryer, you can fry the Brussels sprouts in a large skillet on your stove. Pour enough oil to reach 1 1/2" up the sides of the pan. Heat the oil until it reaches 375°F (190°C) and proceed with step 2.
Have you ever had Brussels spouts raw? They are also superb prepared that way, as in this Shaved Brussels sprouts and Yukon Gold potato blinis with balsamic reduction.