Dinner Rush! Serrano-Wrapped Cod + Chili-Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Outta the way, kale! There’s a new hit vegetable in town and, not unlike the potato chip, eating just one is all but impossible (partly because they’re delicious and mostly because it’s silly to buy just a single Brussels sprout).
In the days before the great revelation of Brussels, we’d scour the dark corners of the grocery store for sprouts both overpriced and under-loved. Now all of that has changed, and it’s a very good thing. With demand up and prices down, markets are flush with these tiny cabbages, and they’re fresher than ever. A little oven-roasted caramelization and a quick spin in some sweet and spicy chili jam, and your thoughts of a green vegetable that tastes like feet will be but a distant memory.
As for the rest of the meal, I went for cod because I like it. As chili jam is to Brussels sprouts, Serrano ham is to whatever protein you want to serve. It’s a salty, savory jacket of flavor that perfectly accompanies a side dish that will have the whole family begging for more Brussels sprouts (bet you never thought you’d hear that one at the table).
Serrano-Wrapped Cod + Chili-Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F. Scatter the Brussels sprouts on a baking sheet, and toss them with the olive oil and some salt and pepper. Roast the sprouts, turning occasionally, until they're golden brown and tender, about 20 minutes.
While the sprouts are roasting, prepare the cod. Season the fillets with salt, pepper and smoked paprika. Wrap each fillet with Serrano ham. Place a large saute pan over medium-high heat with the oil and butter. Sear the wrapped fish seam side up until the ham is crisp and golden brown, about 3 minutes. Gently flip each fillet and sear until the fish is cooked through, about 3 minutes more.
When the sprouts are nearly ready, add the lemon juice and jam to a small pot. Place the pot over medium-high heat just long enough to melt the jam, about 1 minute. Toss the jam with the cooked sprouts and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
Serve the sprouts warm with the fish.
Patrick W. Decker’s life revolves around food. Always has, probably always will. As a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America and past member of the culinary teams for Food Network stars Rachael Ray, Sandra Lee, Marc Forgione and Bobby Deen, he now works on digital production for FoodNetwork.com, CookingChannelTV.com and Food.com in NYC by day and develops recipes at his home in New York’s Hudson Valley by night. You can see what he’s up to by following him on Twitter & Instagram at @patrickwdecker or visiting his website at patrickwdecker.com.