Thursday, November 03, 2005

Fresh Brussel Sprouts - Who Knew?

In our farm share last week and this, we got big stalks of brussel sprouts. Yuck, you may say, and that's what I said too. But I couldn't hide from them forever (plus they were taking up way too much room in the fridge), so I pulled out my vegetable cookbook to see what to do with them.

With a sharp paring knife, I sliced them off the stalk, then I trimmed the ends and got rid of any yucky leaves. It's amazing how much they look like little cabbage heads. Then I rinsed them a couple of times in salt water (to kill any hidden critters) then a couple of times in fresh water (to get rid of the salt). I set some water to boil and once it was at a boil, I added the brussel sprouts. After six minutes, I turned off the heat and drained them.

While they were cooking, I melted two ounces of blue cheese in about a 1/4 cup of heavy cream with a splash of vermouth, and whisked it until it was blended and a little bubbly and reduced a bit.

I read in my cookbook that halving the sprouts would be a good thing if you were going to serve them with a sauce, so my good husband took knife and tongs in hand to cut the little hot sprouts in half. There has to be any easier way, but it seemed to me that if I cut them in half first then cooked them they'd cook really fast and probably lose their shape.

The end result was great! They were sweet and crunchy and just yummy. I know, I know, they had a cheese sauce on them but they weren't swimming in it. I served them with broiled boneless chicken breast (I spooned some of the sauce over them too) and twice baked potatoes with blue cheese in them. Another successful dinner. And quick too. Who knew?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, cuz! This is great! Not a wholesale endorsement of brussel sprouts, but that you are doing a foodie/farm share blog...
Well, I did want to let you know about a magazine brussels sprout recipe that converted me from a life-long brusselsprout hater, no matter how many times mom said "they are just little cabbages!". I did try, on occasion, to like them, because I thought I should - you know very grown-up and all that - and failed repeatedly until this recipe crossed my coffee table courtesy of Readymade magazine. Cut the brussel sprouts in half along the core (yes, before cooking, they don't fall apart too much if they aren't cooked overlong). Pan-sear or broil them (oil of your choice, olive was fine with me on this, but maybe some fancy foodie oil like walnut or hazelnut would be nice, too). Toss with butter and toasted pecans, umm, maybe a little parmesan, also. If sprouts are too crunchy for your taste from the pan-sear, finish in the oven for a few more minutes - gives the sauce and pecan flavors a chance to meld anyway. The blue cheese version sounds great and I'll try that, too. This was touted as a good party food that could be prepared in advance (probably same day though) and warmed up to serve.

10:54 AM  
Blogger Valyn said...

Well thanks! I won't be afraid of cutting up the sprouts before I cook them next time, and serving them with pecans sounds great (although I have to mail order pecans from Georgia because they don't do pecans up here in Boston).

6:33 AM  

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