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The Side Dish: Barcelona Wine Bar's Crispy Brussels Sprouts

One of Barcelona's most popular tapas plates is also one of its simplest. The sprouts are halved and deep-fried for just a few minutes to get a perfect crunchy exterior, then seasoned with salt and paprika and topped with quick-pickled onions. Barcelona uses imported Spanish pimentón to enhance its sprouts, but Eric Stagl, executive chef at the West Hartford location, says that any smoked paprika will work.

PICKLED ONIONS

>>1 red onion, julienned

>>2 cups red wine vinegar

>>1/2 cup sugar

>>1/2 cup kosher salt

Bring red wine vinegar, sugar and salt to a boil; pour over julienned red onions and cover. Let onions sit in the mixture for at least 30 minutes to pickle. (This can also be done the day before, Stagl says.)

BRUSSELS SPROUTS

>>2-1/2 pounds of Brussels sprouts, halved (or quartered if they're large)

>>3 quarts soybean oil

>>2 tbsp kosher salt

>>1 tsp pimentón or smoked paprika

Heat oil to 350 degrees in a pot that holds at least 6 quarts. (Check using a high-temperature thermometer.) Slowly and carefully put Brussels sprouts into hot oil. Cook until sprouts are golden brown. Remove from oil with a spider strainer and lay on paper towels. Mix kosher salt and paprika together and season sprouts, then top with pickled red onion.

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