Unbelievably there was once a time when the whole world hated Brussels sprouts. That is no longer the case though now as they can be used to enhance so many recipes. These lovely little green and succulent orbs of goodness are related to the cabbage family and have a versatile texture. They can be relished in salads or used as caramelized bites of healthiness when they are cooked to go alongside your main meal. Before you begin cooking your sprouts, you will have to know how to clean and cut them. Every so often, you look at a sprout and wonder just how you must cut it up properly for cooking. So, if you require a refresher on how to clean and cut brussels sprouts, below is all you need to know on how to prepare them.
The Fundamentals For Preparing Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts can be bought in two distinct types, either loose by the pound, or you can also purchase them still on the stalk. Brussels sprouts by the pound are the most common type sold at the local store. They require trimming of any dry ends and the removal of any withered or yellowed leaves before you go ahead and cook them.
Search for loose sprouts that seem to feel relatively firm to the touch if you squeeze them gently.
For the best outcome you need the best preparation tool for your brussels sprouts. A good quality paring knife is the ultimate tool for preparing sprouts as it will have a relatively small blade which will let you manoeuvre around a sprout’s rounded base. Ensure that you use a paring knife to halve the sprouts and at the same time keep the sprouts leaves whole at their central point.
How To Clean And Cut Brussels Sprouts
There are a few ways to cut Brussels sprouts which one you choose is dependent on how you are going to be cooking them. Every cutting method has something in common in that you will always need to break up the thick central core of the sprout because:
- Brussels sprouts need to be evenly cooked and more heat spreads throughout this core if it has not been broken down enough.
- Brussels sprouts will taste less bitter, particularly to the people who classically say they do not like to eat them, when you have not broken down some of the chemicals that are naturally residing in your brussels sprouts as they leach out better.
Cut And Clean Steps
Step 1: Eliminate The Sprouts Stem
From time to time, you will buy your brussels sprouts when they are still attached on to their stalk. When they are bought like this, they will be more likely to be tremendously fresh. Buying them like this allows you to be more choosy and you can take away any of the more objectionable sprouts. What you are really looking for is for your brussels sprouts to be juicy, big, round examples. Ensure that you take away all the fragments of the stalk, as these will be too tough to eat even if you have cooked some of it.
It is also true that stems will often contrast between a thicker or thinner stalk, so you need to make sure that you get it all out. You will need to cut the stem and place it into your compost bin. You most likely will lose out on some good quality leaves as you totally remove the stem, but then again these are commonly the leaves you can afford to lose. Leaves more closely attached to the stem are frequently wilted and consequently will lack the rich flavor of the sprout.
Step 2: Clean Your Sprouts
However, you purchase your sprouts, you will also have to cut away the remaining stem at the base of each sprout. Then you will need to take away a few more of the outer leafy layers of your sprout as they will be the muddiest part of the sprout. Then you must rinse the brussels sprouts under cool running water ensuring that you get water right into the remaining layers of leaves to make sure that they are totally clean all the way through.
It is important to do this before you attempt to cut your sprouts, since any nasty bacteria on the external layers of your veg is bad. If you are not careful when you are ensuring you sprouts are clean, bacteria will make it onto your kitchen chopping board and potentially contaminate it. So clearly, as with any other vegetable, it is very significant to meticulously clean each and every brussels sprout. You will want to stay safe, so you ought to try to rinse your sprouts and then scrub every brussels sprout individually. Attention to detail like this will guarantee that you have removed the majority of the lingering dirt which sticks on to the sprout’s outer leaves.
Step 3: Cutting Up Your Sprouts
Prior to taking your knife to your fresh bowl of sprouts, you have to first think about how you eventually will end up serving them. Reliant on your strategy for using them, you have a few of choices on how you exactly want to cut and clean your brussels sprouts. So, for example, you will want to leave them completely whole if you intend to boil them or put them in the oven for roasting, or you may wish to peel away the individual leaves of the sprout to serve in salads.
You still need to know how to make a cut in a whole sprout if you wish to cook it through completely. For a whole sprout, you have to cut an X into the bottom of the sprout before you put it into the pan. The larger the brussels sprout, then then much deeper the cut of the X needs to be. Making this cut at the base of the sprout permits for the heat from cooking to make its way up to the central core of the sprout and cook it satisfactorily all over.
However, when your brussels sprouts are smaller, you are able to leave them completely whole as you cook them. Larger sprouts will usually need to be halved, or possibly quartered, to make certain that an even cooking time is given to each and every sprout. As they are a layered plant, there are an ample supply of leaves so you need to cook it all the way through. This is likewise how to prepare sprouts when you wish to roast them. All you have to do is make the cut at the base of the sprouts and sprinkle them with some oil and a dash of salt, then place them in your oven to caramelize.
When making sprouts ready for salads and slaws there is more of a peeling than a cutting technique that needs to take place. You will need to remove the stem and begin by peeling off the individual leaves from the outside of every sprout. Put separate leaves in a colander and to make ready for your salad rinse them in cool water. Dry off the brussels sprouts leaves and then combine them with other types of salad ingredients like lettuce, onion, tomatoes, carrots, and anything else you feel makes a classic family salad or slaw recipe.
If you going to be frying off or searing your sprouts in a pan, then you need to cut off the brussels stems and then cut them lengthwise into two pieces. If you are going to be sautéing your sprouts, you should slice them all up and pull off the leaves from the sprouts heart. Heat up oil in a large pan and add your brussels sprouts once hot with any variety of seasonings, cook for several minutes or until they are nice and tender.
Tips For Cooking Perfect Brussels Sprouts
- You can use Brussels sprouts in a variety of dishes, and they can be cut in half, sliced, or made into strips for a diverse range of textures. You are able to add them to so many winter and summer recipes such as roasted vegetables or simply serve them traditionally with roasted meats.
- Fry thin cuts of brussels sprouts in some oil until they become deliciously caramelized for a nutty and sweet flavor comparable to cooked cabbage.
- You can season brussels sprouts with lots of things like butter, salt, pepper, garlic or citrus juice to fully bring out their crunchiness and flavor. Experiment with all kinds of spices and seasonings and you can even add cheese to discover the best way for you to serve them.
- A word of warning do not overdo the cooking of your brussels sprouts as they will go bitter, dull and mushy.
Brussels sprouts are tasty vegetables that when well prepared and cooked correctly, have a sweet, subtle flavor that matches up well with most meat dishes. Simple ensure that you clean them carefully before cooking with them. With the right cleaning, cutting and cooking approaches, you can make delightful, healthy brussels sprouts anytime.
- How to Cook Brussels Sprouts – HowStuffWorks