Brussels sprouts lovers, you are in for a treat: a side dish that will threaten to steal center stage.
Spanish chorizo, a wonderfully spiced smoked pork sausage, gets sauteed just enough to brown a bit and release its oils. Then fresh bread crumbs are sauteed in the same pan and set aside to become a flavorful and delightfully textured topping for sauteed and flash-braised Brussels sprouts, combined with the browned chorizo.
This is delicious served hot, warm or even at room temperature — a boon to busy cooks getting a big holiday meal on the table. Try this bread crumb technique with other vegetables as well — it would be great atop roasted broccoli, cauliflower or asparagus.
Uncooked Mexican chorizo, while delicious, is not what you want in this recipe. Spanish chorizo is available at well-stocked markets, usually with the salamis and other cured or smoked meats. The casing is edible.
PAN-ROASTED BRUSSELS SPROUTS WITH CHORIZO AND TOASTED BREAD CRUMBS
Start to finish: 25 minutes
2 ounces Spanish chorizo sausage, diced (about 1/2 cup)
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
2/3 cup coarse fresh breadcrumbs
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 teaspoon minced garlic, divided
2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
3 tablespoons chicken broth
Heat a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add the chorizo and saute for 2 minutes over medium-high heat, until it starts to brown and release some of its oils. Remove the chorizo with a slotted spoon to a plate. Add 3 tablespoons of the oil to the pan, leaving any oil left from sauteeing the chorizo, and heat over medium heat. Add the breadcrumbs, season with salt and pepper, and toast, stirring frequently, until the breadcrumbs are a light golden brown, about 4 minutes. Add half of the garlic and cook and stir for one more minute, until you can small the garlic. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the toasted crumbs to a paper towel-lined plate. Wipe out the skillet and return to the heat.
Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the pan, and heat over medium high heat. Add the Brussels sprouts and cook, stirring only occasionally, until they begin to become tender and lightly browned in spots, about 6 minutes. Add the remaining half of the garlic and saute for another 30 seconds, until you can smell the garlic. Add the broth, cover the pan, and cook for another 4 minutes until the Brussels sprouts are tender (but not soft!). Uncover the pan, saute for one more minute until most of the liquid is evaporated, stir in the chorizo, then turn it all into a serving dish.
Sprinkle the bread crumbs on top and serve hot or warm.
Nutrition information per serving: 188 calories; 102 calories from fat; 11 g fat (2 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 8 mg cholesterol; 261 mg sodium; 16 g carbohydrate; 6 g fiber; 4 g sugar; 8 g protein.
Katie Workman has written two cookbooks focused on easy, family-friendly cooking, "Dinner Solved!" and "The Mom 100 Cookbook." She blogs at http://www.themom100.com/about-katie-workman. She can be reached at Katie@themom100.com.