Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Brussel sprouts

Not surprisingly, given my cabbage obsession, I am magnetically attracted to brussel sprouts. Now, maybe it's because there's a 5 year old girl inside me who squeals "awwwww look at the little baby cabbages." I blame many things on my inner 5 year old.

There isn't much love for the b. sprout in the general populace. In spite of their obvious cuteness (at least to me) people tend to avoid them in favour of more pedestrian, accessible veggies. Or maybe they can't bring themselves to eat them BECAUSE of their cuteness, the way some people won't eat lamb but have no problem chowing down on prime rib.

Those who do choose to cook them often seem to prepare them as if the b. sprouts have offended them in some way, such that they must be punished by boiling until they've reached a grayish dark green tint and smell of sulfur.

I like to treat my sprouts with a little more love. I peel off the nasty outermost leaves, slice them in half. Then I melt some bacon grease in a frying pan, saute some onion, throw in some hot pepper flakes, turn the heat up and lay the sprouts in the pan, cut side down, for 2-3 minutes. Then I flip them over, douse them with some white wine (or stock, or water, or whatever else you think might be good as a braising liquid), throw on the lid, and let them steam for a few minutes. Then I poke them with a fork, to see if they're soft, throw on some salt and pepper, and there you go, Lightly charred, bright green sprout deliciousness.

Or you can slice them up (for this endeavour, as well as an other veggie cutting project, let me HEARTILY endorse a ceramic knife. Mine is a Kyocera and one of my favourite things) thinly and saute them--that's even faster.

One word of advice: overcooking is the kiss of death of b. sprouts. Remember: bright green=good, dark grayish green=bad.

8 comments:

amy said...

I might actually eat them this way!

Cave Cooking said...

Amy--that would make my day :)

darwinstable said...

What a great way to cook them I will have to give it a try

livinghealthyintherealworld said...

Brussel sprouts have too strong a flavor for me. But, I have learned to LOVE spinach, so perhaps I shall give this recipe a try and see what happens... :)

- Sagan

cmason said...

I may gave to give these a try - I've tried brussel sprouts before and never really cared for them.

Cave Cooking said...

Darwinstable--I think you'll really enjoy them this way, judging from your other greens recipes :)

LHITRW--you never know, sometimes your tastes can change :)

CMason--I think a lot of people are traumatized in their youths by overcooked b. sprouts, and I can't blame them. But they're worth another shot, I promise...

Chavo said...

I like them halved or quartered, start them steaming (in a steamer!) while heating up the bacon grease, garlic, salt, pepper and whatever else seems good- let them soften a TAD from the steamer, toss them in the saute pan, and when they are almost done add butter. Awesome goodness.

Kat said...

These sound great, I'll give it a try!

I like to trim and halve them, toss with olive oil and salt and cracked black pepper, and just bake at 375 for about 20 mins. They get this really great brown color on them, and taste great!

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