Brussels Go Black

Become a sprouts master with this recipe from Maude's

There are pan-roasted Brussels sprouts and then there are pan-roasted Brussels sprouts as cooked by a highly pedigreed chef

As you'd expect from the former chef de cuisine of Alinea, Jeff Pikus of Maude's Liquor Bar takes an analytical approach to a dish of blackened sprouts with lemon, herbs, shallots and Parmigiano-Reggiano, offered as a side dish ($9) at the Randolph Street restaurant.

He begins with only the firmest specimens, which are cut, steamed and dried to remove moisture and aid deep caramelization. They're cooked cut side down until nearly blackened. The finished dish fires with all cannons: nutty, sweet, savory, bitter, herbaceous and acidicĀ (click here to see the recipe).

At the restaurant, a splash of deeply flavorful, long-simmered chicken jus adds a hit of richness to the dish, and a shower of pork-fat-fried Brussels sprouts leaves is a crisp, savory garnish. At home, substitute chicken broth for the jus and fry the leaves in canola oil.

The moisture in the leaves will splatter the oil, but the bigger challenge, we found, is not eating the crisp, nutty garnish before it lands on the plate.

Maude's Liquor Bar, 840 W. Randolph St.; 312-243-9712 orĀ maudesliquorbar.com