blished November 1, 1995.
When buying Brussels sprouts, choose those with small, tight heads, no more than 1 1/2 inches in diameter, for the best flavor. Larger sprouts can often be trimmed of loose leaves along the stem and still be quite good; they cook best when cut in half. To use fresh chestnuts, place the nuts in a saucepan, cover them with boiling water, and simmer them for twenty to thirty minutes. Alternatively, roast them in a 425-degree oven for twenty to twenty-five minutes until tender. Peel both the shell and the thin skin from the meat when they are cool enough to handle. If chestnuts are unavailable, substitute half a cup of toasted chopped hazelnuts.
1 pound Brussels sprouts , small, firm, bright green, rinsed with stem ends and discolored leaves removed (see illustrations below)
1/2 teaspoon table salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 can (16 ounces) peeled chestnuts in water , drained (about 1 1/2 cups)
1. Bring sprouts, 1/2 cup water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to boil in 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Lower heat, cover, and simmer (shaking pan once or twice to redistribute sprouts) until knife tip inserted into a brussels sprout center meets no resistance, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain well, cut into quarters and set aside.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter and sugar in medium skillet over medium-high heat until butter melts and sugar dissolves.
3. Stir in chestnuts. Turn heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until chestnuts are glazed, about 3 minutes.
4. Add remaining butter and sprouts; cook, stirring occasionally, to heat through, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.
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