I think we all started to like brussels sprouts A LOT more when once we discovered we could hard sear them in butter with bacon… or add so much cheese to them that you’re not sure if your vegetable is vegetable or nacho.
Once you’re confusing your vegetables for cheese, we know we’re onto something delicious (if not ridiculous).
Consider this as an addition to your Thanksgiving table.
Here’s where we start with the layering of flavors:
Onions are garlic are sautéed to soft and brown.
Brussels Sprouts are trimmed, and the large sprouts are halved.
Milk and cheese (lots of cheese that’s not pictured here), to make a creamy sauce.
Panko breadcrumbs and fresh parsley for a crispy top!
Some halved. Some whole. All blanched.
Blanching means that we’ll boil the raw sprouts in salted water for just a few minutes. We’re not cooking them through but we’re taking the major crunch out of the vegetable. It means that they’ll take less time to soften in the oven. A head start and a seasoning.
The key to blanching is to boil the vegetables to juuuust soft, then drain from the hot water and shock under cold water and ice to stop the cooking.
Essentially we’re making a rich and creamy bechamel sauce to coat our sprouts in.
That means cheese, lots of cheese. Smoked gouda: soft and smokey and salt and sharp. And aged gouda, soft and salty and rich!
To start the bechamel we’ll melt butter and add flour. The idea is to let the flour absorb the butter and warm… cooking off the flour taste.
Next we’ll slowly stream in the milk, heat over medium, and whisk over the flame until the mixture thickens slightly.
Spices too! Add what feels special to you.
I chose dried mustard and ground cayenne pepper.
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste.
Not too much salt… we’re adding a lot of cheese and we can always add more later.
Smoked gouda to the sauce to melt to creamy and help thicken the sauce.
One great trick to is to lightly toss the grated cheese in cornstarch. Once added to the bechamel, it will help thicken the sauce as it comes to a simmer.
Sauteed onion and sauteed whole garlic cloves. You know… add to the delicious.
Into a casserole dish with the blanched sprouts and shredded aged gouda.
That’s right, two goudas: one melted into the cheese sauce, the other tossed with brussels.
Two Goudas. Good or great band name?
Cheese sauce to top, AMEN.
Into the oven, go with God.
While the sprouts bake to soft (it takes about 30 minutes)… I saute panko bread crumbs with butter and fresh parsley, adding a crunchy bite to the creamy sprouts.
Baked and browned, and now crumbed.
Slide that turkey over… make room.
Cheesy brussels sprouts ALL UP IN THE AREA!
- 1 ½ pounds brussels sprouts, stems trimmed and most of the sprouts sliced in half
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon ground mustard powder
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 cups whole milk
- sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup diced yellow onion (from one small onion)
- 8 cloves of garlic, smashed and peeled but left whole
- 1 cup coarsely grated smoked Gouda cheese
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 cup coarsely grated aged Gouda cheese
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ cup panko bread crumbs
- 3 tablespoons fresh parsley
- sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper
- Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. When boiling, add the brussels sprouts and simmer for 7 minutes, until they just begin to tenderize. Drain into a colander, cover with ice and rinse with cool water to stop the cooking process. Allow to rest while you assemble the rest of the ingredients.
- In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour, and whisk until the mixture is combined and starts to bubble slightly. Don’t let the mixture brown too much, but it’s ok if it browns a bit.
- Whisk in the spices and then slowly stream the milk into the butter and flour mixture, whisking as you stir. Whisk nearly constantly and as the milk comes to a light simmer it will begin to thicken slightly. Add a good pinch of both salt and pepper.
- Lower heat to low.
- In a small skillet heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and whole garlic cloves and saute until the onions are transluscent and beginning to brown and the cloves are browned.
- In a small bowl toss together smoked gouda cheese and cornstarch. Add the cheese to the thickening milk mixture and stir to combine. The cheese will begin to melt and the cornstarch will further thicken the sauce as it begins to simmer.
- Stir in the cooked onions and garlic.
- Cook until mixture is silky smooth and thickened.
- Melt remaining 1 tablespoon of butter in the medium skillet. Add the breadcrumbs and parsley and toss until coated in butter and browned slightly, about 4 minutes. Add a good pinch of salt and fresh cracked black pepper and place in a small bowl until it’s time to layer everything.
- Transfer drained brussels sprouts to a 2-quart baking disk. Add the aged gouda and toss to combine.
- Pour the smoked Gruyere cheese sauce over the vegetable mixture.
- Bake, uncovered, until bubbling and golden brown and the brussels sprouts are completely tender, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and top generously with breadcrumbs
- Brussels sprouts can be made ahead of time by blanching the vegetables, making the cheese sauce, assembling it all (except for the bread crumbs!) in the baking dish, covered and refrigerated. Before ready to serve, remove the cover from the dish, add the sauted bread crumbs and bake as usual. Enjoy!