Brussels sprouts were a new crush for us this year. Those delicious little green balls are in season through most of the winter, and we're looking forward to trying some of your recommendations for good recipes.
There's one thing, though, that we're not looking forward to, and that's the seemingly inordinate amount of handling required by these miniature cabbage. Here's one tip we found to help speed that up.
Big cabbage are easy: halve, quarter, and wham-bam, take out the core with a big knife. Brussels sprouts have that same tough core; if you don't at least pierce it they will still be tough and hard to chew in the center. Nearly all recipes call for piercing Brussels sprouts through their core, and many recipes tell you to cut off the very end and then use a knife to hollow out the core entirely! And this is after you've already sorted, washed, and trimmed off any loose leaves.
We think that coring Brussels sprouts is a bit fussy, but we also don't want tough sprouts. So we use this shortcut. Instead of using a paring knife to make multiple cuts, we just pierce the core with an old-fashioned vegetable peeler, giving it a swift twist. This creates a half-moon cut all the way up into the core, leaving plenty of passageway for steam or boiling water to cook the sprout all the way through.
Do you have other tips for preparing Brussels sprouts quickly and easily?
(Image: Faith Durand)