Cooking Vocabulary and Notes (Brussels Sprouts)

Here’s how to build some charred- garlicy sprouts:

v  Brussels Sprouts

  • Start by cleaning the sprouts (removing the discolored core end)
  • You could start the (boiling salted) blanching water at this time as well.  Remember to taste the water for salt level.
  • Cut an ‘x’ into the core of each sprout so that the core and the outside will cook /be done at the same time.
  • Blanch the sprouts until they exhibit very little (or no) resistance to a paring knife
  • Drain and set them aside
  • Get a sauté pan hot with a little oil in it (high-heat, little-fat is right to sauté).  Sear the sprouts, getting a nice amount of charred color.
  • Add a little soy sauce to the pan while tossing (or stirring) the sprouts.
  • Remove from the heat and add the (pre-chopped) garlic.
  • Check for seasoning and adjust.
  • Enjoy!

Okay, a few of the key concepts from above:

  1. Blanch –   To blanch is to cook in a large amount of boiling, salted water.  This technique serves two purposes; blanching will set, or fix, the color of vegetables (especially important for the green ones), and blanching will bring the vegetables to the desired texture.  Remember, if the blanching time will be very short, the water should be heavily seasoned.  Less seasoning is needed if the blanch is long.  Also, sometimes it will be appropriate to ‘Shock’ the vegetables in an ice water bath in order to stop the texture from turning to mush.  I’m not a fan, but sometimes it’s handy.
  2. Saute – Literally ‘to jump’ in French.  Use high heat and a small amount of fat to sauté.  This will caramelize and char vegetables and proteins.
  3. Sweat – The kinder, gentler sauté.  Use medium heat with slightly more oil.  To sweat the vegetable is to bring out its sweetness, and often change the appearance to something more translucent.

Go Get It!



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