Caramelized Brussels Sprouts _lowres

Photo courtesy of Emeril's Delmonico -- Serve Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with pork chops or roasted chicken. Unlike in past centuries, today's cooks don't need to first grind blocks of salt to season the dish.

Caramelized Brussels Sprouts

Serves 4 to 6 as a side dish. Recipe by chef Anthony Scanio, courtesy Emeril Lagasse and Emeril’s Delmonico. Serve as an accompaniment to pork chops or roasted chicken.

3 tbls. olive oil

½ lb. Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and quartered

6 Peppadew peppers, julienned

2 tbls. Peppadew pickle liquid

2 tbls. unsalted butter

5 fresh basil leaves, divided

Salt and pepper to taste

¼ cup toasted sliced almonds

Aged provolone cheese, shaved with a vegetable peeler (any semifirm cheese, such as Asiago, Gruyère or Manchego would be a lovely variation.)

1. Add olive oil to a large sauté pan over medium heat. Place Brussels sprouts in a single layer into pan. (Remember we want to caramelize our sprouts to develop their sweetness so they must be in contact with the pan. If they are multiple layers — crowding the pan in kitchen speak — then you are simply steaming the sprouts. Not at all what we desire.)

2. When Brussels begin to brown (approximately 3-4 minutes), add julienned Peppadew peppers and Peppadew pickle liquid. Stir in unsalted butter and tear four of the basil leaves into the pan. While it is possible to cut the basil beforehand, nothing beats the aroma of basil freshly torn into small pieces at the very last moment. Finally, season gently with salt and pepper and taste. Adjust accordingly.

3. Transfer Brussels to a beautiful serving bowl, garnish with toasted almonds, shaved curls of aged provolone cheese, and tear the last basil leaf with a theatrical flourish for your guests’ entertainment.