Even the pickiest eaters will love these cheesy Brussels sprouts, caramelized to perfection and topped with spicy chorizo and a whole lot of Manchego cheese. Believe me, those nasty boiled Brussels sprouts that you used to eat as a child have nothing on this unbelievably delicious gourmet side dish!
I confess I was never a Brussels sprouts hater. Not a lover either, but nothing against them. That doesn’t mean I’m not a picky eater, cause there are a whole lot of things that I won’t eat. So I do understand the feeling of despising something. And I think Brussels sprouts is one of those foods that has a really bad reputation out there. Is that the case with you? I mean, probably not, cause you did end up here, reading a post about Brussels sprouts. But maybe you have one (or a few) relatives that won’t get near a Brussels sprouts dish?
If that’s the case, I think it’s time to rock their world and serve them these cheesy Brussels sprouts with chorizo! I guarantee nobody will be able to resist it and you will succeed in converting every single one of them into Brussels sprouts addicts. The first time I had Brussels sprouts with chorizo was at a Peruvian restaurant. My mother-in-law had ordered it and asked if I wanted to try. Why not, I thought, and took a few without much expectations. Holy smokes! It was delicious! The spicy chorizo really complemented the Brussels sprouts and, what was supposed to be just a side dish, became the best thing I ate that day.
I knew I had to recreate it at home, so I played with it for a while, but was always left with a feeling that something was missing. Well, the answer to this quest is usually cheese (or garlic, but I had already added quite a lot of it), and this time was no different. To keep everything Spanish inspired, I opted for Cacique®’s Manchego cheese. Their line of products makes it easy to fill your recipes with the tastes and flavors of Mexican food! Their Manchego cheese melts wonderfully and tastes similar to a tangy Colby, with the aroma of a sharp cheddar.
Once I took the cast iron of nicely brown and bubbly cheesy Brussels sprouts out of the oven, I knew it was the one! And it was love at first bite! You will notice that I used Cacique®’s Beef Chorizo instead of the pork variety. You can use whichever one you prefer, but make sure you buy the Mexican kind (stick with Cacique® and you’re good to go!). Unlike Spanish Chorizo, which is a dried and cured sausage, Mexican Chorizo is spicy ground sausage meat (pork or beef) that is fresh and uncooked. We want this kind because once you cook the chorizo, the oil will get infused with all the aromatics and flavors. You then use that same oil to sauté and caramelize the brussels sprouts. Pure perfection!
I know what you are thinking… Is chorizo the new bacon? You bet! And it can make even the most despicable vegetable out there something out of this world. Gourmet and delectable to be served as a holiday side dish but also simple enough to put on the table during the week!
WHAT YOU NEED
- 2½ pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
- Salt to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 18 ounces Cacique® Mexican beef (or pork) chorizo
- 2 large shallots, peeled and sliced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1½ cups heavy cream
- 8 ounces Cacique® Mexican Manchego cheese, shredded
HOW TO MAKE IT
- Preheat oven to 400F degrees. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the Brussels sprouts and blanch for 3 minutes, until just barely tender. Remove from heat, drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Reserve.
- In a large cast iron pan, over medium high heat, heat the olive oil and sauté the shallots until translucent, about a minute. Add the chorizo and cook, breaking it apart with a wooden spoon, until crumbly and cooked through, about 8-10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook a little longer, just until fragrant.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove the chorizo to a plate and reserve, leaving the infused oil in the pan. Add the Brussels sprouts and cook, stirring occasionally (but not too often, since we want them to caramelize), until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. You might have to work in batches.
- Remove pan from heat and add the reserved chorizo, mixing to combine. Add the heavy cream and top with the shredded cheese. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until brown and bubbly. Remove from oven and let sit for several minutes before serving.