Friday, November 28, 2008

Friday Food for Thought—Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts. People either love them or hate them. These tiny little cabbages that grow on stalks surely have to be one of the oddest looking vegetables.

I’ve occasionally bought Brussels sprouts still on the stalk, but by the time they reach most supermarkets, they’re trimmed and ready to go.

When I buy them, I pick through the bin to find small sprouts that are all about the same size. Otherwise the small ones go mushy before the large ones are fully cooked.

After trimming off the stem end and strip off the surface leaves, some cooks cut a shallow cross into the bottom of each sprout. This is supposed to help the sprouts cook more evenly. I’m not convinced it makes that much difference, but I do it anyway.

Here's an easy cheesy recipe for Brussels sprouts that might even tempt your picky eaters!

Brussels Sprouts with Cheese Sauce

2 pounds Brussels sprouts
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
3 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (or to taste)
salt and pepper (to taste)
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
Cook the sprouts in a large pot of boiling water for 7 to 9 minutes or until they’re tender-crisp. Drain them well. You can even put them between two clean kitchen towels and press out any excess water. Set them aside to cool, then slice each sprout in half.

To make the cheese sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan (medium heat will do) and stir in the flour, nutmeg and S&P. Gradually add the milk, stirring constantly, and cook till thickened. Stir in the Dijon mustard. Add half the cheese and stir till melted. Add the Brussels sprouts and gently mix them till they’re coated with the cheese sauce.

Put the mixture in a lightly greased, two-quart baking dish. Cover with the remaining cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. To get a nice golden finish, slip it under the broiler for 2 minutes. Makes 8 servings.


Until next time,


Anonymous said...

This recipe might even tempt my stepson, who loathes Brussels sprouts and adores cheese sauce!

I, on the other hand, love Brussels sprouts and need no sauce to enjoy them.

I have a recipe that calls for potatoes, turnips, carrots and parsnips roasted together with some olive oil and white wine (which I always forget to add). When they're done, add steamed Brussels sprouts and toss the whole works with a dressing of olive oil, wine vinegar and grainy mustard. It's fabulous!

Now I'm hungry.


Lee McKenzie said...

Rachel, thanks for sharing the roasted veggie recipe. It sounds deliciously gourmet - I'll definitely give it a try!