Growing up, I was just about as opposed to the consumption of Brussels sprouts as possibly imaginable. If there were a superlative to "loathe," than it could have been applied to my youthful opinion of what I then referred to as "Barbie cabbages." In short, I detested them.
Not to slight my mom's cooking, but I think a good part of what informed my stance on Brussels sprouts could be chalked up to how she prepared them. To truly be delicious, these babies need a bit of coaxing. They need a bit of flavoring tucked in. And they need a nice amount of fat to smooth out their sulfurous bite. The sprouts of my youth left much to be desired because they weren't provided with the right conditions for them to truly shine. Mom typically boiled them, often overdoing it. Any time in the pot over 7-8 minutes releases the glucosinolate sinigrin, which, in turn, unleashes an intensely sulphurous odor. A nasty odor. An "I hope to never have to eat those"-inducing sort of odor.
Well, no more of that. The Brussels sprouts we eat chez English are the stuff of hungry dreams, friends. Imbued with a bit of sorghum syrup, grain mustard, and hard cider and pan-braised, these babies are sweet, sticky, earthy and delicious. Continuing on our sorghum syrup-cooking adventures, we made these sprouts last week and partnered them up with some sorghum & bourbon-glazed salmon. The combination was perfection. Groan-worthy, even. If you're not the fish-eating type, then skip that part and give these sprouts a go. I'll make a Brussels sprouts lover out of you yet!
Brussels Sprouts Braised In Sorghum & Hard Cider
-2 tablespoons butter or cooking oil
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-1 pound brussels sprouts, halved
-2 tablespoons sorghum syrup
-2 tablespoons grain mustard
-1 teaspoon sea salt
-A few grinds black pepper
-12 ounces hard cider
1) Melt the butter in a medium-size pan over medium heat.
2) Place the minced garlic in the pan, stirring to incorporate fully into the butter.
3) Add the Brussels sprouts. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4) Add the sorghum syrup, grain mustard, salt and pepper. Stir well.
5) Add the hard cider. Cook down, stirring occasionally, for about 25-30 minutes, until all but a couple tablespoons of the liquid is gone.
6) Serve and enjoy.
Sorghum & Bourbon Salmon
-1 pound salmon
-2 tablespoons butter
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-1/4 cup bourbon
-3 tablespoons sorghum syrup
-2 tablespoons soy sauce
-A few grinds of black pepper
1) Over medium heat, place the salmon skin-side down onto a dry pan for about 20-30 seconds.
2) Transfer the salmon to a plate, and gently remove the skin, which should peel right off.
3) Scrape any leftover skin off the pan and discard (or feed to any cats and dogs that will have inevitably gathered on account of the heavenly aroma!).
4) Melt the butter in the same pan used to sear off the salmon skin; add the minced garlic.
5) After about 30 seconds, add the bourbon, sorghum syrup, and soy sauce. Gently whisk to combine.
6) Return the fish to the pan with the liquid mixture.
7) Spoon some of the sauce over the fish. Grind a little black pepper over the fish. Cook over medium heat 4-5 minutes.
8) Lift the fish up, giving the sauce a chance to cover the bottom of the pan again, then flip the fish. Spoon some more of the sauce over the top of the fish. Cook 3-4 minutes, then remove the salmon from the pan and plate individual portions.
9) Drizzle the remaining sauce over the fish.
10) Serve and enjoy.