If you’re into food or if you’ve been to Boca and you have a pulse, you have been forever changed by David Falk’s signature dish. It is, to the casual observer, just a day boat scallop, Brussels sprouts and brown butter vinaigrette.
But the Brussels sprouts are caramelized in a “3 hour” process that transforms them from bitter, cabbage-like creatures into unbelievably sweet flavor explosions. To anyone who has plunged a forkful into their mouth, to anyone who has experienced the surprising gush of flavor, this post is for you.
At a recent dinner party, fate placed me near a lovely guy — a professional chef who once cooked at the legendary Boca. Apparently, Falk’s recipe for the sprouts came from Spiaggia in Chicago and the secret ingredient is butter. This guy not only used to make the sprouts, he was willing to share the recipe with me. And now friends, I will share it with you. Just remember, with great power comes great responsibility.
Brussels Sprouts from Boca Restaurant
(as written and detailed by a former Boca chef)
Trim brussel sprouts (remove bottom core section and cut in half).
Bring a salted pot of water to a rolling boil and blanch the sprouts, making sure not to overcrowd the pot. They should still retain some bite when you take them out. Drain the sprouts and place them on a sheet tray and cool. Picked them over, removing any loose leaves.
Brown butter in a large saute pan. Pan should be extremely hot and a considerable amount of butter should be added — about 30% of weight of the sprouts. Butter should sizzle, then foam, and at the point when the foam has disappeared, the sprouts should be added and tossed in order until covered with the butter. Be careful not to overcrowd the skillet — there should be enough room for the sprouts to make contact with the surface of the pan without being piled on top of each other. Turn flame down to about the lowest flame possible 2-3 on a scale of 10.
Walk away and forget about them for about thirty minutes, return and toss periodically. The idea here is to give the sprouts sufficient enough time to be in contact with the skillet in order to properly brown. If the pan appears to be too dry, extra brown butter can be added.
After approximately 2-3 hours the sprouts should be mostly caramelized. Place them on a towel lined tray to absorb excess butter. Season to taste with kosher salt.
“Enjoy,” my dinner companion tells me. “Then contact your cardiologist for a cholesterol evaluation.” [/print_this]