How to Make Buffalo Brussels Sprouts
If you don’t like this alien-looking veggie, you’re not alone. Scientists have actually isolated the gene that causes some people to find Brussels sprouts unpleasantly bitter (darn you, gene TAS2R38). A relative of broccoli, collard greens and kale, it’s no wonder that people are divided on their appreciation. But for those of us who love them, the harvesting season can’t come soon enough.
Given that Brussels sprouts are ready to harvest just about the same time football season begins, I’m excited to serve this controversial vegetable as an alternative to the same old chicken wings. I didn’t originate the idea, but I wish I had. Lightly dredged in cornstarch and cornmeal, fried to a crispy golden brown and coated with hot sauce, this is football food as you didn’t know it was supposed to be.
Cornstarch may strike some as an unusual coating, but the goal here isn’t to batter the sprouts. Lightly dredging in a blend of cornstarch and cornmeal creates a crispy coating that echoes what we like best about buffalo chicken wings. The coating soaks up the hot sauce just so and still manages to make the vegetable the star of the show.
It's a halftime snack so good you can skip the game altogether.
Buffalo Brussels Sprouts
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 cup cornmeal
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts
- Vegetable oil for frying
- 1/2 cup hot sauce (we used Frank's)
- 3 tablespoons butter
Combine cornstarch, cornmeal, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl and set aside.
Whisk egg and buttermilk together in a large bowl.
Trim brussels sprouts lengthwise and toss with egg/buttermilk to coat.
Pour vegetable oil into a heavy skillet to a depth of at least an inch and heat to 375 degrees over medium-high heat.
Working in batches, lightly dredge brussels sprouts in cornstarch, shake off excess and add to hot oil (keep an eye on the temperature to maintain around 375 degrees).
Cook 4-5 minutes until deeply browned.
Transfer Brussels sprouts to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
Combine hot sauce and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and stir until butter melts.
In a large bowl, lightly toss brussels sprouts with hot sauce and butter to fully coat.
Serve warm with a side of blue cheese dressing for dipping.