The time has finally come for the Vegan Month of Food 2009. To start things off I wanted to share a fairly easy recipe for something undeniably delicious: Deep fried brussel sprouts. Oh yes, deep fried. Brussel sprouts are one of the most tasty vegetables in existence and there are so many great and easy ways to prepare them. This is one way that is a little unusual but absolutely worth trying.
Now let me preface this by saying that I’m no expert when it comes to frying things, especially in hot oil. So if I can do it, so can you. Please, oh please, be careful though, because this isn’t just hot oil, it’s burn off your flesh in an instant hot. Ok, if I haven’t scared you off yet, here is how to prepare these guys.
1. Fill a medium sauce pan half full with a high heat oil. I used a combination of safflower oil and vegetable shortening. Put the oil on the stove on high heat. It is best to continue using a frying/candy thermometer.
2. Wash your brussels and pat dry, removing as much water as possible. Cut the bottoms off and then cut each sprout in half. Remove any wilted or brown leaves.
3. When your oil has reached approximately 350° very carefully put the sprouts into the oil. I recommend pushing them off your cutting board with a knife or other implement so that your hands are nowhere near the oil. It will bubble and splatter!
4. Let the brussel sprouts fry, checking the larger pieces at the bottom occasionally with a spoon, to see when they start to brown on the outside. Once they do, remove them with a slotted spoon and place on a towel or paper bag.
5. Once you have taken all the sprouts out of the oil, place in a medium bowl. Season with salt, fresh ground pepper and a sprinkle of cayenne.
Frying these sprouts makes them tender, crunchy and slightly caramelized. The flavors are gently enhanced by the spices and the heat of the cayenne is cut back by the residual oil. This is a great way to convince those who have misconceptions about brussel sprouts that they have an amazing flavor and are not a bland boring vegetable.