I know what you’re thinking: “No post for a week, and then you give us brussels sprouts?” But I promise, this recipe is a winner. I’m not trying to compare it to a gianduia mousse cake, but don’t be discouraged by the main ingredient.
Children are taught to hate brussels sprouts before ever seeing what these mini cabbages even look like. I’m sure this stems from the days when we used to cook our vegetables for ungodly lengths of time, yielding green beans and asparagus so overcooked that you could turn them into bow ties.
This sort of merciless overcooking preordains a particularly dire fate for the brussels sprout. Brussels sprouts contain high levels of glucosinolates, which contain both sulfur and nitrogen. Brussels sprouts contain several types of these compounds, which makes cooking the sprouts properly a little tricky — one of the major glucosinolates is bitter, but produces a non-bitter product when heated…the other is non-bitter, but produces bitter products when cooked for a long time.
So if you cook them too quickly, or too long, they’re still bitter — you always end up killing one bitter thing but producing another. The sulfur compounds end up forming trisulfides, which are stinky. So basically you feel like you’re eating a forkfull of rotten eggs. Ew.
So needless to say, after decades of cooking brussels sprouts to death, their reputation has been duly tarnished.
But come on folks. It’s almost 2008. We’re not wearing beehive hairstyles anymore either.
Cooked properly, brussels sprouts are wonderful. I’m hardly the first blogger to make this claim. But somehow, despite an abundance of praise throughout the blogosphere, the vegetable’s reputation is still in the dumps.
If they haven’t already won you over, maybe this brussels sprout hash will change your mind. I hope so. The poor vegetable has certainly paid its dues.