These are one of our favorite sides at Villa Blanca – they’re decadent, slightly sweet and have a touch of smokiness that is perfect for the holidays. I love adding a very flavorful spirit to vegetables – when the alcohol boils away, you are left with a delicious, rich base that perfectly complements the nuttiness of the Brussels sprouts. Enjoy!

If you want to add a little something extra and make a more intense side dish, you can toss in some shaved almonds and some crispy bacon!

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2 lb bag Brussels sprouts

1/3 cup Cognac

1/3 cup honey

1 tsp smoked paprika

Small pinch cayenne pepper

Salt and Pepper

1 tbsp butter or olive oil 


1.     Cut the very tip of the Brussels sprouts base off. In the larger ones, cut a small X into the base of the sprout – this will encourage all the sizes to cook at the same time!

2.     Bring a large pot of water to boil, and blanch the Brussels very quickly (about 2 minutes) until slightly softened but still very crisp to the bite. You’re going to keep cooking them in a sauté pan, so don’t cook them too much!

3.     Drain and place in a bowl of iced water, so that the sprouts stop cooking.

4.     Drain from the ice water once they’re cool.

5.     In a large sauté pan, heat the butter over medium-high heat.

6.     When warm, add the Brussels and sauté them slightly until they start to become golden brown, but not too soft.

7.     Combine the Cognac, Honey, Paprika, Cayenne and a pinch of Salt and Pepper to a bowl and combine. Add this mixture to the Brussels Sprouts.

8.     Sauté over a medium heat until the Cognac mixture reduces by half and begins to thicken and coat the Brussels. You’ll have to play this by ear time-wise and just watch it until the sauce reaches a nice consistency.

9.     Season with salt and pepper.

10. Enjoy!

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