Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Brussels Sprouts - Yes, They Are Good (I Can Hear You)

Okay, here is the rule we had with our children when they were at home.  No one can say yuck, gross or make noises about the food on the table.  I can hear you if you are doing that right now!  Have you ever tried Brussels sprouts?  You say you don't like them?  Perhaps you would if you prepared them this way.

Last week we made a trip across town to Trader Joe's.  If you don't have a Trader Joe's in your town, I am truly sorry.  It is a great store with reasonable prices and a wonderful food selection.  As I passed the produce aisle, I noticed a huge display of fresh Brussels sprouts.  If you have never seen how they grow, they look like this.
  Normally, you will see them in a container like strawberries come in, or you can buy them frozen. As soon as I saw these beautiful stalks of tiny little cabbage-like sprouts, I knew I would be talking one home with me!  All I had to do was pick them off the stalk and discard the stalk.  One stalk can produce up to 2/3 pounds of sprouts.

Brussels sprouts were one of those vegetables that moms boiled to death back in the day and put them on your plate and expected you to eat them.  Fortunately, I always liked them, boiled to death or not.  Most kids did not feel that way.  Here is what Wikipedia says about Brussels sprouts.

Brussels sprouts are a cultivar of the same species that includes cabbagecollard greensbroccolikale, and kohlrabi; they are cruciferous. They contain good amounts of vitamin Avitamin Cfolic acid and dietary fibre. Moreover, they are believed to protect against colon cancer, because they contain sinigrin.

Now, you know that Brussels sprouts are not only good, but good for you!  If you like cabbage and/or broccoli, you should like Brussels sprouts - especially if you use this recipe.

Here is what you need:

2 containers, 1 large stalk or 2 bags frozen Brussels sprouts (cut larger sprouts in half)
4/5 slices bacon
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 box chicken stock
salt  (if needed) and fresh cracked black pepper

Fry bacon in large saute pan until crisp.  Remove bacon from pan and drain most of the bacon fat leaving a couple tablespoons in the pan.  Place pan back on stove and add onion and garlic to the remaining bacon fat and cook until onion is translucent.  Add Brussels sprouts and enough chicken stock to almost cover sprouts.  Cook until most of the chicken stock has reduced and largest sprouts are fork tender.  If they are not quite tender at this point, add some more stock and continue to cook until done.  (about 30/40 minutes).  Taste and add salt if needed.  Also add fresh cracked black pepper.   Place sprouts in a serving dish and crumble crisp bacon over them.  Serve.  Delicious!

This recipe is a combination of several that I found some time ago on the Food Network web page.  There is a little Bobby Flay, Rachel Ray and Paula Deen here so you know it's good!  This is not my mother's way of cooking Brussels sprouts and probably not the way your mom fixed them either!

We had this dish last week with meat loaf and mashed potatoes.  They were soooo good.  This is my suggestion, step outside your comfort zone and give this recipe a try.  You might really like it - we certainly do.  With the upcoming holidays, this would be a terrific side to serve with all the other dishes that will grace your table.  It's also a really pretty and healthy dish to sit on the table.  Give it a try, you might just like it and remember - no saying yuck, gross or  "those" sounds allowed.

Everyday Donna

Things to Remember:

“We kids feared many things in those days - werewolves, dentists, North Koreans, Sunday School - but they all paled in comparison with Brussels sprouts.”
Dave Barry

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