Cooking On A Budget: Brussel Sprouts

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Brussel Sprouts

Until this past summer when my husband tried to grow brussel sprouts I did not realize that they shoot off from fairly long and thick stalks. Dozens of them per stalk can be harvested.
Brussel sprouts are either one of those vegetables that you either love them or you don't. These Le Petite Chou (tiny cabbage) are either a big hit or a flop depending on how they are cooked.
There's a little prep work involved in making this vegetable really flavorful. First, the outer leaves get peeled off and the stem end cut off. You can leave them whole or cut them in half depending on your recipe.
Since brussel sprouts can be on the bitter side (which is why some folks don't like them) we decided to treat ours in this manner: we split the brussel sprouts in half lengthwise from stem end to the top. Then we place them in cold water with a tablespoon of white sugar and bring them up to a boil. When they are just about half to three quarters of the way cooked, we drain them.
Next, to a saute pan with a little bit of butter and olive oil (over medium low heat), we add in some finely chopped red onion or shallot and finely minced garlic. That cooks down for a few minutes and the brussel sprouts get added in the pan. A touch of white wine or chicken broth and the sprouts simmer on a low heat until they are fork tender.
To top them off we use either a sprinkling of crushed nuts or some crush Ritz crackers to add texture and flavor.
Another way to impart flavor is to use some crumbled cooked bacon bits. Basically they are a blank canvas and you can jazz them up however you like.
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