Make Crispy Buffalo Brussels Sprouts for Your Superbowl Food Party
Crispy Buffalo Brussels Sprouts is the perfect Superbowl or or other food party dish. Why? For starters, crispy foods in general are seductive, delicious and texturally rich and brussels sprouts are not only a healthy food choice but also in and of themselves texturally deep. All those folds of leaves stuffed compactly together into one little mini-cabbage head. Add a spicy kick to the mix and you’ve got a new favorite veggie side dish or food bowl foundation.
If you’re out and about to eat or you read food blogs, you may have tired of seeing and eating everything buffalo these days and may want to branch out of your cauliflower rut. It seems these days every gastropub, sports bar or restaurant is offering a version of buffalo cauliflower. Whole Foods here in Vancouver offers a version in their hot food station that is so good it has made a recent heavy presence in your grocery bill. But guess what? You can make the buffalo treatment for cheap and easy. Here’s the breakdown:
Ingredients and General Instructions
The Buffalo Breading – Secret Ingredient
For this crispy buffalo brussels sprouts recipe you’ll need flour, cornmeal, smoked paprika and cayenne pepper. The game changer ingredient is the smoked paprika. It’s a tiny but powerful spice that has a hauntingly smoky and umami flavor. It disperses a magical aroma throughout any dish. I’ve used it with meat such as burgers and chicken but my favorite way to use it is in collard greens or kale braising. Dang. The other ingredients such as oil and salt and eggs you’ll likely have in your food prep arsenal already.
The Pre-Roast – Blanch your Brussels Sprouts
Nothing is worse than biting into a par-cooked brussels sprout. It has that horrible aluminum or sulphuric taste and smell and its not good for your teeth. The way to get a fully cooked sprout that’s crispy but not overbrowned is to simply blanch them first, but only briefly.
The Final Act – A Quick and Hot Bake
After your brussels have cooled to be touchable, toss them with the egg, the seasoning, then with olive oil. My preferred method with the oil is to pour it into a plastic spritzer and spray the oil over the sprouts. Over oiling them is not good and oil is hard to impart to the already coated sprouts without making them too soggy. Plus you’ll save your hands. Nasty wetted breading is a pain to get off your hands.
How Healthy is this recipe, really?
A serving will cost you less than 100 calories and that’s for a whole cup of these crispy and delicious sprouts. The fats are healthy; the flour used is minimal; and you’ve got lots of fiber and potassium. Being a green vegetable, your carbs will be slow.
How Should I use this recipe?
The best way to use these crispy buffalo brussels sprouts is up to you. If you like food bowls, make it a foundation underneath a grain or a bed of greens, or as a composed bowl alongside some other roasted or sauteed or raw vegetables, and top with nuts or seeds and your favorite herbs and a nice dressing. A good pairing would be a bleu cheese themed sauce or enhanced vinaigrette; a goddess or balsamic dressing, or for ease just squeeze a lemon and some olive oil and chopped chives or shallots on top. Obviously you can also serve these Crispy Brussels Sprouts as an appetizer, maybe at your Super Bowl party, even if it’s just you at the party. Or serve alongside your main or protein dish on a “normal” balanced meal plate.
Thoughts on Variations and Substitutions
For these crispy buffalo brussels sprouts, acceptable substitutions for the flour are almond and coconut flour but to be honest, they don’t taste as good or perform as well. A great substitution for flour, however, is breadcrumbs or ground up nuts. It will still taste good with these variations, just not as good as when you use standard all-purpose flour. If you don’t have smoked paprika and are time or effort challenged, you can substitute regular paprika. But my advice is to buy the smoked and just keep it in your pantry. It’s a great investment and a little goes a very long way.
Quick and Easy Buffalo Brussels Sprouts
2 lbs brussels sprouts, halved
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup olive oil
Cover brussels sprouts in water, in a large saucepan and bring water to a boil.
Blanch brussels sprouts for 3 minutes. Off heat, drain and cool for a few minutes
Pat sprouts dry with a paper towel and toss into a large bowl. Add the beaten egg and toss to coat. Let sit for a few minutes.
Toss dry ingredients together and pour over brussels sprouts. Mix with hands or a large wooden spoon.
Carefully pour olive oil over sprouts and lightly toss with tongs or your hands. Alternatively, pour oil into a spray bottle and spray over the sprouts after you have placed the breaded sprouts onto parchment paper or foil on a baking sheet.
Bake at 400 degrees for approximately 7 – 10 minutes, depending on how soft you like the insides of your vegetables.