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Brussell Sprouts..Which is better? Roast vs Saute

I have been trying to decide how to serve this vege on Thanksgiving Day. I will have a big 20 lb'er in the oven...so maybe roasting is not the way to go. Or, can they be roasted *ahead of time*, early in the day...and then quickly reheated somehow? Which method do you prefer? Preping early...store in a zip loc in the fridge, and saute just before serving? What do you all think?

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  1. I vote for roasting. You can prep ahead of time (slice in half, toss with olive oil; salt & pepper right b/4 they go in the oven). They will roast for about 20 minutes while your turkey is resting on the counter. I find sauteeing them too tedious b/c I'd rather be watching football.

    1. Several posts to the board about thanksgiving sides suggest that roasting wins.

      However, you might be able to saute if you consider slicing them chiffonade style, or perhaps using the very tiny ones, and cook in something flavorful like rendered bacon fat...

      try searching the recent thanksgivng posts for brussels spouts recipes/suggestions.

      1 Reply
      1. re: MaspethMaven

        I love tossed in olive oil and roasted, but sliced up (get out that mandoline) and tossed with garlic, butter, s+p, in a frying pan is a great turkey side.
        Or with pancetta/bacon, 2 min parboil, cut in half and carmelized on stove top in frying pan.

      2. My sister and I did it on the stove one, year, not sauteed but pan fried. It was great but a lot of effort, a little smoke, and 4 pans to get them all done for a large crowd. Baked is much easier but not nearly as tasty. But...what if it were baked on a hot stone? Then you might get that crustiness of doing it on the stove but it would be easier. If you did it in the stove, you could do it in the time after you took the turkey out and had it sit and carved. I think sauteeing after cooking, as you suggested, would work. The only thing is the outer edges might come off--but no biggie.

        1. One thing that really helps them cook (if you want them whole), regardless of method, is to cut off the stem end, peel the outer leaves off, and make an "X" cut in the middle of the stem, thus allowing heat and moisture penetration throughout. I actually prefer them boiled in salt water and drained. Not as exciting flavorwise but easier to snack on, munching like popcorn!

          1. i vote for braised. easy and, as a cook's illustrated article pointed out one year, perhaps the most delicious way to serve them. They become tender and almost sweet. if you want to be decadent, they are particularly delish braised in cream or half and half.

            1. Roasted all the way... converted several brussel sprouts haters this way!

              1. Roasting is much tastier.

                1. I love roasted brussels sprouts, but for T'giving I usually saute them in an obscene amount of butter. I don't even cut them in half or quarters, just trim off bad leaves and cut an X in the bottom. For 6 cups BS, I melt 1-1/2 sticks of butter, add sprouts, S&P, and a pinch of sugar, toss to coat, and cover and simmer over low heat for maybe 15 minutes. I then add about 2 cups coarsely chopped chestnuts and cook for another 5 minutes or so. I've made these an hour or so before serving and just reheated (sometimes even nuked--Gasp!--when my stovetop was crying foul) and served in a warmed bowl.

                  1. Here's my do-ahead trick - steam, using the x-cutting trick mentioned above. Cut in half. Now you can hold them in the fridge or at room temp if you are using them soon.

                    Saute in a hot pan with lots of butter or bacon grease or whatever you like, and the seasonings you like (garlic yum! Hot red pepper flakes yum - but maybe not at T-day) if any. Then saute until the edges are nice and brown and lovely.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Snackish

                      Mmmm.... just like I like them... yeah the red pepper flakes (or really any hot spices) tend not to go over well on T-day recipes...at least in my "traditional" family.

                    2. Well, roasting certainly seems to be the way to go! Question: can it be done ahead of time? And then micowaved before being set on the table?
                      How much olive oil? What other seasoning makes it taste so fantastic? What is the oven temp? How long to roast?
                      I know it's a lot of questions (sorry) but this board is just so helpful!!!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: RenoRed

                        This is what I've done in the past: http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip... Simple, easy, good! I wouldn't microwave because I think it wouldn't be quite as crispy, which is what I like about roasting them.

                      2. For roasting, I usually cut them in half and put them in a glass dish along with sliced shallots and sliced garlic. Then toss with salt, pepper, and olive oil and roast at 400 F for about 25 min, stirring once.

                        I probably wouldn't nuke because part of what makes it so good is that the outer leaves get all browned and carmelized. Nuking might just make everything soggy. The above suggestion of prepping everything beforehand and then roasting while the turkey rests seems like a good one.

                        1. I love Roasting them... but first, I coat them in a mixture of port and balsamic... then the flavor just CONCENTRATES as it roasts... :)


                          3 Replies
                          1. re: Dommy

                            Do you use just port and balsamic? No oil or salt?

                            1. re: SLO

                              Nope, I cut them in half, put them in a roasting pan face down n a little pool of the mixture. I bake at 350 and just let them roast while sucking up all the juice. :) Salt can be added afterwards, but usually they are SO sweet, they don't need any! :)


                              1. re: Dommy

                                One more question ... what are the measurements port to balsamic (or vice versa). This is an absolute for Thanksgiving

                          2. I definitely agree with everyone that roasting is the most tasty. But if you're still considering an alternative, then the person who mentioned steaming is right. It's easy, uses your stove top, and is probably healthier because no oil is used. To add flavor, I drizzle my steamed brussel sprouts with Chinese oyster sauce. See how they look: http://singleguychef.blogspot.com/200... (Almost like chocolate! Hey, I said almost! :)

                            1. I support the minority opinion. X them, boil them briefly in chicken stock, then cut in half and slow-sautee (hop?) with butter, shallots, and thyme. That way they taste less like tiny burnt cabbages.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: hotandsour

                                Problem is I love them roasted or sauted, but in my experience w/Brussel Sprout "virgins" a light boil, then saute in butter and/or olive oil seems the least harsh to them. However, a well roasted sprout will also not be overly "cabbagy, pungent, etc."... either way you have to live with the "after effects" sorry... couldn't resist ..

                              2. Could you roast asparagus and sprouts together? Since only 3 of us will eat the brussel sprouts, i was thinking of cutting them in hafl using maybe a pound and roasting at the same time as the asparagus.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Kari

                                  I think yes! Just watch that your asparagus is not too skinny so it doesn't burn up. The seasonings (as long as you keep them simple) should work for both.. evoo, S&P.

                                2. I vote roasting too. I never liked them until I discovered how good they were in the oven. Totally won me over.

                                  1. Missmasala and Cook's Illustrated get my vote here! Braising is incredible. The flavor is astonishingly sweet.
                                    I know roasting is trendy right now but if there's any chance that the sprouts are bitter, they'll be really bitter that way. And sauteeing for a crowd is difficult without crowding the pan.
                                    Braise the sprouts in chicken stock (veggie is OK)and when they're tender, add a knob of butter to richen the reduced stock and glaze them. Salt and pepper.
                                    I've added other things: water chestnuts, shreds of red cabbage, minced red bell pepper, walnuts, apple, scallion, parsley, lemon, bacon, ham, duck, sausage, etc. depending on the rest of the menu.
                                    This is an easy make-ahead way to brussel sprouts for a crowd. Doesn't need the oven on a busy Thansgiving or even a stovetop if you can reheat in the micro in the serving dish.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: MakingSense

                                      thanks, making sense. it's hard to convert people, but once they taste the braised brussels sprouts, they rarely go back.

                                      don't know where the OP lives, but there's a tasty-looking sauteed brussel sprouts recipe in the NY times today. don't know how to link, or i would link to it.

                                      1. re: missmasala

                                        Even confirmed brussels sprouts haters like them. I grew up loathing them and tried to make myself like them. Never could until I ate them braised. Still find them erratically bitter other ways.

                                        I also braise celery as a winter side dish. Completely changes it in flavor and texture. Diagonal cuts. Sometimes with fennel seed. Or just with butter, salt and pepper. People are skeptical until they taste it...

                                    2. Reverend Andy, are you listening?? I happen to know you have a WONDERFUL Brussel sprouts recipe....carmelized with balsamic vinegar....I've been hoping you'd chime in here.

                                      Actually, I was thinking of making my husband's recipe for curried brussel sprouts.....(they are sauteed, btw...)

                                      1. Saute! A little olive oil, salt, pepper, and chopped garlic near the end. Add some nice, smoky, chopped, (pre-cooked) bacon...yummy.

                                        1. I love brussels sprouts any way: boiled, roasted, sauteed,... BUT my husband made some grilled ones over the weekend that were awesome. First, they were halved, blanched and drained. Then salted and peppered and put on the grill cut side down. When tender, toss with olive oil. AWESOME!! We will be serving these at our Thankgiving feast.

                                          1. Ever watch Everyday Italian, she just did a Italian Thanksgiving and did some Brussel Sprouts!


                                            there's the link to the recipe! Glad I looked it up for you found one I needed too.

                                            1. Roasted with sliced Meyer lemons.

                                              1. If not separated into leaves, roasted. If you separate the leaves, sauteed or braised.

                                                1. This brussel sprout recipe was in the NY Times food section
                                                  yesterday. Different and interesting.

                                                  Recipe: Hashed Brussels Sprouts With Lemon Zest

                                                  Adapted from “The Union Square Cafe Cookbook,” by Michael Romano and Danny Meyer
                                                  Time: 25 minutes

                                                  2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus grated zest of 1 lemon
                                                  2 pounds brussels sprouts
                                                  2 tablespoons olive oil
                                                  2 tablespoons butter
                                                  3 garlic cloves, minced
                                                  2 tablespoons black mustard seeds or poppy seeds
                                                  1⁄4 cup dry white wine or vermouth
                                                  Salt and pepper to taste.

                                                  1. Place lemon juice in a large bowl. Cut bottoms off sprouts, and discard. Halve sprouts lengthwise, and thinly slice them crosswise. The slices toward the stem end should be thinner, to help pieces cook evenly. As you work, transfer slices into bowl with lemon juice. When all sprouts are sliced toss them in juice and separate leaves. (Recipe can be prepared to this point and refrigerated, covered, for up to 3 hours.)

                                                  2. When ready to serve, heat oil and butter over high heat in a skillet large enough to hold all sprouts. When very hot add sprouts, garlic and seeds, and cook, stirring often, until sprouts are wilted and lightly cooked, but still bright green and crisp, about 4 minutes. Some leaves might brown slightly.

                                                  3. Add wine, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, 1 minute more. Turn off heat, add salt and pepper to taste and stir in the lemon zest, reserving a little for top of dish. Transfer to a serving bowl, sprinkle with remaining zest and serve.

                                                  Yield: 10 servings.

                                                  1. a quick steam then toss with garlic and butter, salt and pepper ( red pepper flakes too, then place them on my cast iron grill, they get a great color and taste!

                                                    1. Here's a recipe I just found online for ....
                                                      Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Maple Hickory Nuts


                                                      Here's another for Cider Braised Brussel Sprouts w/ Bacon from the SF Chron website

                                                      Cider-Braised Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
                                                      Serves 6-8

                                                      Bacon and hard cider help balance the cruciferous flavor of Brussels sprouts. It's important to have a pan large enough to cook the sprouts in a single layer. You can blanch the sprouts up to one day ahead: Wrap in a clean kitchen towel or paper towels and place in a plastic bag.


                                                      1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, stem ends trirmmed, halved through the core

                                                      4 to 6 strips bacon, cut into 1/2-inch strips (optional


                                                      1 tablespoon olive oil

                                                      3 tablespoons butter

                                                      1/2 cup minced shallots

                                                      1 garlic clove, minced

                                                      1 cup hard cider or beer

                                                      1 teaspoon kosher salt + salt to taste

                                                      Freshly ground black pepper

                                                      Pinch nutmeg


                                                      Instructions: Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a rolling boil. Prepare an ice bath. Blanch the sprouts until crisp-tender but no longer crunchy, 5-7 minutes. Drain and immediately plunge into the ice water. When cool, drain well.

                                                      Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bacon, if using, and brown until crisp. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon, drain on paper towels. Discard the bacon fat or save for another use.

                                                      Add the olive oil to the pan. When it's hot, add 2 tablespoons of the butter. When the butter is frothy, add the sprouts and saute for about 5 minutes, shaking the pan gently from time to time rather than stirring. Stir in the shallots and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes, until all of the vegetables are lightly browned, stirring often.

                                                      Add the cider, 1 teaspoon kosher salt and lots of black pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a lively simmer and cover. Cook until the sprouts are cooked through at the core, 3-5 minutes.

                                                      Uncover, increase heat to high and cook until the liquid is almost completely evaporated, about 2 minutes. If the sprouts are done to your liking before that, it's OK to have a little extra liquid.

                                                      Season lightly with nutmeg, and salt and pepper if needed. Toss with the bacon, if using, and the extra tablespoon of butter. Transfer to a warmed bowl.

                                                      1. I saute cut-side down in applewood smoked bacon fat (with garlic & shallots, IIRC) in a cast iron pan, then set aside... Then I roast them on high heat about 10 minutes before serving. Bacon fat has converted many a brussel sprout hater--even me.

                                                        1. I totally agree with others here about roasting (When I steam them, I always end up adding butter anyway, so I don't think the oil for roasting ends up making it any more unhealthy) I use the 'X' tip too, and if I'm in a hurry, I "par-nuke" them a little first to get them started while the oven's pre-heating, then let them roast the rest of the way. (Good for potatoes and things, too)