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Brussel Sprout Recipes
Look for dark green, firm shiny specimens. Get an Entire Stalk of sprouts; pick off the teeny tiny baby sprouts at the top to entice Those Who Fear The Sprout (see pic; on this one Stalk we got baby sprouts at the top, normal sprouts at the bottom, and a great big thing like a cabbage at the top. Something for everyone, we think)
Watson, the cognitive-cookery supercomputer, says the closest friends of sprouts are lemon, Cheddar and potato. Well, it could be worth a try . . . What The Taster is sure of is: never boil sprouts — that’s just asking for hideous boiled cabbage aromas — always roast or fry them, and always in lashings of butter and, ideally, bacon fat. Nothing could be better for you. (This is also true for all other brassicas: cabbage, cauliflower, greens etc.) See further options below:
§ Cranberries, Redcurrant Jelly & Herbs
Roast the sprouts in butter and oil. Then, deglaze the pan or tray with red wine, add chicken stock, and simmer the sprouts for 2 mins with redcurrant jelly, dried cranberries, chives & tarragon
§ Au Gratin
Having roasted your sprouts, cover them with melted butter & grated Cheddar, and bake 240ºC, 10 mins
§ Advanced Au Gratin
Sauté boiled sprouts with pancetta; pour on Béchamel sauce & grated Gruyère; add more Gruyère and bake 180ºC, 20 mins.
(To make Béchamel: put 420ml milk in a pan with a little fresh parsley, bay leaf, 10 peppercorns and one slice of onion. Simmer 5 mins, sieve out the solids. Melt 40g butter over a low heat, then mix with 20g plain flour into a paste. Mix in the milk a little at a time, stirring or whisking continuously. Turn the heat right down and simmer, 5 mins, stirring occasionally)
§ Go Nuts
Clearly, chestnuts are the big one, but other nuts also go with sprouts. The Italians like almonds, along with lemon & breadcrumbs — mmm, we can see that working, all sautéd roughly together — or, for a daring 1970s vibe, try brazil nuts
We can thank the Victorians, with their exquisite knack for destroying pleasant dining experiences, for Christmas sprouts. They first appeared in cookbooks around the 1850s, served with butter and veal gravy, and have successfully turned Christmas into an ordeal for brassica-haters ever since.
If you would like to play a strangely addictive game featuring sprouts and farting, click on the below. (The Taster has an embarrassingly high score.) WARNING: not for the fainthearted
FAREWELL AND GOOD LUCK!
We hope the above ideas might provide some inspiration. We do update entries, so check back any time. See more seasonal ingredients by The Taster here
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