Califonia Bountiful

Cülinerdy Crüzer Dirty Balls Brussels sprouts

One of Keith Breedlove's most popular dishes is flash-fried Brussels sprouts served like Mexican street corn—smothered in cotija cheese, crispy onions, crispy jalapeños, garlic chips, cilantro and a citrus aïoli. 

Chef Keith Breedlove
Culinerdy Crüzer, Sacramento

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Citrus aïoli
Zest from 1 orange
Zest from 1 lemon
1 tbsp. orange juice
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 pasteurized egg yolk
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup olive oil
1 1/4 cups vegetable or canola oil
Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Brussels sprouts
Oil, for frying
3 lb. Brussels sprouts, stems trimmed and outer leaves removed
Kosher salt, to taste
1 1/2 cups crispy onions (recipe follows)
1 cup crispy jalapeños (recipe follows)
1 cup dehydrated garlic chips (recipe follows)
1 cup crumbled cotija cheese
2 handfuls cilantro leaves
3/4 to 1 1/2 cups citrus aïoli


For aïoli: In a blender or bowl of a small food processor, place zests, juices, yolk and garlic. Blend until frothy. Slowly add oils in a very thin stream. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Aïoli may be made up to 24 hours in advance and will keep an additional 1 to 2 days under refrigeration. Alternately, add zests, juices, garlic, salt and pepper to 2 cups of purchased mayonnaise.

For crispy onions: You may purchase or make your own. Thinly slice 1/2 of a large onion. In a medium-sized saucepan or deep skillet, heat approximately 2 1/2 inches of frying oil to 350 degrees. Have ready a sheet pan lined with paper towels. Toss sliced onions in all-purpose flour. Place in a strainer and bounce onions around until just a thin layer of flour remains. Fry in batches until crispy. Place on paper towels to drain and salt them immediately. Set them aside.

For crispy jalapeños: You may purchase or make your own. Slice 3 jalapeños very thinly. Repeat process for crispy onions and set aside.

For garlic chips: You may purchase or make your own. Preheat oven to its lowest setting. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper. Peel cloves from 1 large head of garlic. Slice as thinly as possible, 1/8 inch or less. Spread slices on pans and place in oven. After 15 minutes, flip slices over. Repeat every 10 to 15 minutes until slices are dry. This may take 30 minutes to more than an hour, depending on your oven. If these are well dried, they may be kept for months in a resealable plastic bag, jar or plastic container with a tight-fitting lid.

For Brussels sprouts: In a medium-sized saucepan or deep skillet, heat approximately 2 1/2 inches of frying oil to 350 degrees. Fry whole Brussels sprouts in batches. They should be crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, 1 to 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels and lightly salt them immediately. (Allow oil to recover heat between batches.) As soon as all sprouts have been cooked, toss with crispy onions, crispy jalapeños, dehydrated garlic chips, cotija cheese and cilantro. Add just enough aïoli to lightly coat.

Photo: © 2017 Matt Salvo

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