Give me Brussels sprouts boiled to tender perfection, drizzled with olive oil, and showered with coarse sea salt, and I am a happy woman. I love Brussels sprouts prepared that way so much, in fact, that I was planning to serve a dish of those simply prepared beauties on Thanksgiving.

Over the weekend, however, I was flipping through an older issue of Fine Cooking magazine, and I came upon this recipes for Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Wild Mushrooms and Cream. The Brussels sprouts looked too delectable not to make! I decided to play with the recipe a bit- I left out the mushrooms, threw in some some fennel and leeks, decreased the cream, and spiced it up with a few generous pinches of Aleppo pepper- and gave it a test run yesterday.

My family devoured this dish: the crispy on the outside/soft on the inside Brussels sprouts are just wonderful when coated with the just-creamy-enough sauce, and the bright, mild kick of the Aleppo pepper makes them taste even more heavenly. I’m planning to make these again for Thanksgiving, with Brussels sprouts that I grew in my garden.

Recipe for Creamy, Spicy Brussels Sprouts

Yield: serves 4-6

Cayenne or crushed red pepper may be used instead of the Aleppo pepper, but these are hotter, so add with care.

Ingredients:

*about 8 cups of Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half if large
*1 cup chopped fennel
*1 leek, trimmed and sliced (bottom part only)
*4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
*coarse sea salt
*freshly ground black pepper
*1 tablespoon unsalted butter
*2 large shallots, thinly sliced
*1/4 cup cooking Sherry (or other cooking wine)
*1/2 cup heavy cream, preferable raw/organic
*Aleppo, cayenne pepper, or crushed red pepper- optional, and to taste

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Toss vegetables in a bowl with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Spread out in an even layer on a baking sheet and sprinkle with coarse salt and freshly ground pepper. Roast, turning once or twice, until tender and browned (some sprouts will be more browned than others), about 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.

3. Heat a cast-iron or other skillet over high heat. When the pan is hot, add remaining tablespoon of olive oil and the butter. When the butter has melted, reduce heat to medium and add the shallots. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and fragrant, 2-3 minutes. Add the wine and cook, still over medium heat, until the liquid reduces by half, about 1 minute.

4. Turn heat down to low, add the cream, and stir it around. Add the vegetables to the skillet, and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are warmed through and coated with the sauce, 2-3 minutes.

5. Serve warm, seasoned to taste with Aleppo pepper, cayenne pepper, or crushed red pepper, and more coarse sea salt.

adapted from the recipe for Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Wild Mushrooms and Cream which appears in the Oct/Nov 2010 issue of Fine Cooking magazine.

More delicious Brussels sprouts for your viewing pleasure:
Fish Sauce Roasted Brussels Sprouts from Running with Tweezers
Caramelized Brussels Sprouts from Eat, Live, Run
Spicy Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Sriracha and Mint from White on Rice Couple
Shredded and Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Almonds and Parmesan from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pecans from The Parsley Thief