Thursday, March 3, 2011

Meatless Night: Tagliatelle with Carmelized Brussel Sprouts & Walnuts

My husband and I really enjoyed the new Seattle hot spot, Madison Park Conservatory. We ate at the bar which is our favorite thing to do, and thought the food was great. The best part was the chicken with Israeli cous cous. It was the best chicken I've had at a restaurant in over a year. It was perfection. We also had a great pasta dish - gnocci with Brussels sprouts and walnuts. I couldn't resist myself and had to re-create it at home. Last night I took at stab at it and while it wasn't exactly like MPC's, I have to say it was pretty darn good. Great Meatless Night option too. (I like to say Meatless "Night" because it's less confining. If you don't do it Monday, you still have lots of other days to get it in.)

My recipe is very very rough because as I was trying it for the first time, I didn't measure things out exactly and was a little frazzled. I'm sure there's an easier way to caramelize Brussels sprouts, but this is what I did and I liked the end result a lot. I stole a few hints from GOOP's recipe for Caramelized Brussels Sprouts.


Tagliatelle with Carmelized Brussels Sprouts & Walnuts

3 or 4 handfuls Brussels sprouts
2-4 T olive oil
sprinkle of sugar
splash of red wine vinegar
2 T butter
1 cup(ish) walnuts, large chop and lightly toasted
3 T shallot, minced
3 T garlic, minced
splash of white wine, maybe 2 T
1.5-2 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade*
splash of cream (I had to use whole milk because I didn't have any cream in the fridge)
freshly ground pepper
freshly grated parmesan

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

Prepare the Brussels sprouts by trimming the stem ends a little bit and quartering. You will lose 1-3 of the outer leaves. This is ok. Steam the quartered pieces for 4 or 5 minutes.

Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Place the Brussels sprouts in a single layer, cut-side down (in batches if necessary). Leave them for 3-5 minutes, allowing them to brown thoroughly and evenly – don’t give into the temptation to stir and toss them! Keep an eye on them though – the key is to have the flame high enough to brown them but low enough not to burn them. When they’ve browned, flip each one and let the other side get color, an additional 2-3 minutes or so.

Remove from pan and add some butter and a sprinkle of sugar. Stir to combine, then once sugar starts to melt, add a splash of red wine vinegar and then add Brussels Sprouts back in. Stir to combine and let them caramelize a bit more.

Remove from pan and set aside. Add a splash of olive oil and 1 or 2 T butter to the hot pan. Add shallots and saute for a few minutes. Then add garlic and saute. Add white wine and let boil for a second, then add chicken stock and increase heat to high. Bring to a quick boil, then reduce temperature and reduce sauce.

Once the sauce has reduced by half, add Brussels sprouts and a reduce heat even more. Add a splash of cream, pepper, walnuts and parmesan. Let flavors meld while you cook fresh noodles. Drain noodles and add to pan. Top with lots of parmesan and serve.

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