Sauteed Brussels Sprouts w/ Garlic and Chilies

We have to admit, growing up, the thought of brussels sprouts conjured an aroma and texture so horrid, you wouldn’t wish on your father’s sister’s aunt’s neice’s cousin’s foreign exchange student’s neighbor’s gardener’s cat. But, here we are, years from that experience willing to give them another shot … and when we did … we were hooked. No longer do brussels sprouts have to be the nasty smelling mushy mouth feeling cabbage balls! We’ve turned them into amazing, crispy, toasty, spicy cabbage jewels of goodness. There are lots of variations we’ve tried with these little guys, but this is our tried and true favorite.

Here’s what you’re gonna need:

  • Brussels Sprouts – cleaned, trimmed and halved (or quartered)
  • 4 garlic cloves – sliced thin (not quite Goodfellas thin, but close)
  • Red pepper flakes or dried red chilies
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 10″ or 12″ saute pan

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Get your pan on the stove and get it over medium to medium-high-ish heat (I say “-ish” b/c all our stoves differ). You want it hot enough to cook and crisp the garlic and pepper flakes, but not burn. Burnt garlic is bad. The pan shouldn’t be so hot that the olive oil shoots to all sides of the pan … if so … it’s too hot.
  2. Add the olive oil, chili flakes and thinly sliced garlic pieces
  3. Just as the garlic starts to lightly brown, add the halved (or quartered) sprouts to the pan with the cut side down, and leave them alone for 2 minutes. The sprouts may start dancing around in the pan, but that’s normal. Just flip them back over and get them searing on the cut side again.
  4. After 2 minutes, give the pan a little shake and stir, and toss the sprouts around in the pan coating the rest of the sprout body with the garlic and chili oil goodness. Then, reduce the heat by half and half cover the pan to trap a little steam for 2 minutes.
  5. Next, carefully remove the lid (open away from you – always a good idea) and toss the sprouts around.

At this point, the sprouts should be a little al dente to just tender. Remove from the heat and transfer to a serving dish. Top and toss with salt and pepper to taste, and serve with a great side dish … like a Coffee Rubbed Cowboy Ribeye!