Yeah, I know, still not one of the more popular veggies. Unlike our still preferred, roasted version, I simmered these in boiling salted water before the final sauté, but not TOO long, and dousing the sprouts in an ice water bath immediately after their simmer stopped them over cooking, AND helped them keep that lovely, green color – BONUS!
The original recipe from epicurious.com called for roasted, peeled chestnuts, but, I was fresh out (AND, ermmm, after one particular Thanksgiving eve spent wrangling, roasting, and peeling the little cusses – I rather doubt I’ll be IN stock again during this, particular, life span) – so I took the recommendation of an epicurious commenter and used some cashew pieces.
I also added a dash of crushed red pepper flakes at the end, for a little touch of heat to go with the sweet, which I thought a nice addition; but you do what you like…
Bring about 2 quarts of salted water to a boil.
Trim the woody bottom of each sprout, remove any loose outer leaves, and cut an ‘X’ about 1/4 inch deep into the base. Drop into the boiling water and cook until bright green and crisp-tender – about six minutes.
Drain and plunge the sprouts into a bowl of ice water to stop them from cooking more. Remove the cooled sprouts from the ice water, and cut in half. I should note that you can do all of this fussy stuff well in advance (even the day before), and get on with other, presumably non-sprout, stuff; from this point on you’ll only need about ten minutes to finish.
Warm a 10 inch sauté pan over medium heat (the edge o’ the pan will be warm to a quick touch) and add the maple syrup. Add the sprouts, increase the heat, and bring quickly to a boil. Add the butter and the cashews and stir. If the whole thing soon thickens and nicely glazes the sprouts, Mazel Tov! If it doesn’t (which, according to the reviews I read, it won’t about half the time – didn’t for me) – not to worry – it’ll still be quite tasty. Either way; season with salt, pepper, and, if you’re using it, the crushed red pepper, and serve – we had ours with apple-brined grilled pork chops and baked potato to make for a fine Wednesday evening dinner.