maandag 23 maart 2009

Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts and Double-Smoked Bacon

This is one of our all-time favorites, created by Chef Charlie Palmer. A true scene-stealer!

1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts (about 5 cups), stems trimmed and outer leaves removed
1/4 pound double-smoked slab bacon or other smoked bacon, cut into lardons (1/4-by-3/4-inch rectangles)
2 cups pearl onions, peeled
10 chestnuts, roasted, peeled, and quartered
1 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves

Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add enough salt until the water is salty tasting. Prepare an ice water bath by filling a bowl halfway with ice and water; set aside. Cook Brussels sprouts in boiling water until crisp-tender, about 4 to 5 minutes; they will still have some bite to them. Drain sprouts and place in ice bath.
When cool, remove sprouts from ice water, halve lengthwise, and set aside. Place a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add bacon in a single layer and cook over medium heat until fat is rendered and bacon is golden brown, about 10 minutes. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside; reserve pan drippings.
Add onions to the pan and reduce heat to low. Cook onions, stirring occasionally, until they turn a deep golden color, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add chestnuts and cook, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly heated and well coated with bacon fat, about 2 minutes.
Increase heat to high and add bacon and Brussels sprouts and stir well. Add chicken broth and cover. The contents will quickly come to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook until Brussels sprouts are heated through. Stir in butter and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with thyme and serve.

vrijdag 20 maart 2009

Brussels Sprouts Soup with Tofu Sour Cream

500 grams (1 1/4 lbs) brussels sprouts, trimmed.
1 large onion peeled & chopped.
1 large potato peeled & chopped.
4 cups chicken style (vegetarian) stock.
200 mls (large can) coconut cream.
silken tofu
lemon juice

Blend Silken Tofu with lemon juice to taste.
This is the tofu sour cream.
Put the first four ingredients into a pan and bring to the boil.
Simmer covered for 10 minutes, or till vegetables are tender.
Cool until the temperature is suitable for a processor or blender.
Process till smooth.
Return to pan and add coconut cream, reheat and serve.
Put a dollop of tofu sour cream into each serving.
This is also good served as a chilled soup.

woensdag 18 maart 2009

Oven baked Brussels sprouts

500g Brussels sprouts
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp sugar
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 smaller red chili, finely chopped
~5 thin slices of Pancetta
2 tbsp butter
25g pine nuts
50g coarse breadcrumbs (e.g. from stale baguette)
serve with some grated Parmesan or Pecorino

Preheat the oven to 200°C (~390°F).
Wash the Brussels sprouts, trim the stems and remove dowdy leaves.
Cut in halves, then quarters, each time stem to top, so the quarters don't fall apart.
In a bowl carefully mix together the Brussels sprouts with the olive oil, sugar, salt and pepper, the Dijon mustard and the finely chopped red chili until everything is well distributed and evenly coated.
You could also add the pine nuts now, but in my second batch I browned them in a later step together with the bread crumbs, which I think is even tastier.
Transfer the Brussels sprouts into a baking dish and distribute the Pancetta - cut in small stripes - over it.
Bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, turning them once or twice. (Take samples: when the edges start to turn brown to early and the Brussels sprouts are not done yet, you may cover the baking dish with aluminum foil)
Meanwhile prepare the breadcrumbs.
Heat the butter in a larger pan, add the slightly crushed pine nuts and the coarse breadcrumbs as soon as it starts to sizzle.
Allow to gain a golden brown color, then remove from the stove and put aside for serving.
When done, remove the Brussels sprouts from the oven and sprinkle generously with the breadcrumbs/pine nuts mix and some Parmesan.
Best eaten straight from the oven!

dinsdag 17 maart 2009

Brussel Sprout Casserole

18 oz potatoes, cut into bit-sized pieces
1.5 pounds brussel sprouts
4 tomaotes, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons oregeno
2 tablespoons basil
2 tablespoons thyme
1 pinch chili pepper
1 tablespoon capers
3 tablespoons olive oil
10 ounces mozzeralla
1.5 ounces parmesan
1 tablespoon butter

Preheat oven to 400 F.
Oil large caserole dish.
Cook potatoes in a medium pot in salt water for 15 minutes (until just barely soft).
Cut crosses into the bottom of the brussel sprouts and steam for 10 minutes.
Build the following layers in the caserole dish:
-brussel sprouts
-chili & herbs & capers
-slices of mozzeralla
-dots of butter
Bake for 15 minutes.

donderdag 12 maart 2009

Vegetarian cooking books

Someone asked me yesterday if I knew of any good vegetarian recipe books.

Here are some I love. You can order them direct from Amazon by clicking the link.

The New Moosewood Cookbook (Mollie Katzen's Classic Cooking)
Absolutely fabulous recipies that are extremely simple to prepare. The names of the vegetarian dishes are inventive and somehow make the recipes really come to life.

Quick-Fix Vegetarian: Healthy Home-Cooked Meals in 30 Minutes or Less
Robin's meals are always innovative and delicious, but these recipes have another advantage - they are quick and easy to make. If you love to eat wonderful meals, but don't like to spend hours in the kitchen this book is for you.

If you like Italian food you MUST get
The Complete Italian Vegetarian Cookbook: 350 Essential Recipes for Inspired Everyday Eating
The Complete Italian Vegetarian Cookbook represents a quantum leap forward in vegetarian cooking by marrying the strong, earthy flavors of Italian cooking with short ingredient lists and simplicity of taste. I am happy to say goodbye to the vegetarian's love affair with meat substitutes and culinary complexity when the bright, fresh flavors of Italian cooking fit the bill handsomely. Why didn't someone write this book ten years ago? -- Charles Kimball, Publisher and Editor, Cook's Illustrated

And last but no least, one of my all time favorites
The Chopra Center Cookbook : A Nutritional Guide to Renewal / Nourishing Body and Soul
This cookbook is great, the recipes are absolutely delicious, but the most important part of this book is the spiritual aspect that goes along with cooking and eating food. Eating is important for all the obvious reasons, but really nourishing yourself is an incredibly important part of living a vital, healthy life.

woensdag 11 maart 2009

Cancer Protection from Special Sulfur-Containing Phytonutrients

Plant phytonutrients found in Brussels sprouts enhance the activity of the body's natural defense systems to protect against disease, including cancer. Scientists have found that sulforaphane, one of the powerful glucosinolate phytonutrients found in Brussels sprouts and other cruciferous vegetables, boosts the body's detoxification enzymes, potentially by altering gene expression, thus helping to clear potentially carcinogenic substances more quickly.

Additionally, researchers in the Netherlands investigated the effect of a diet high in Brussels sprouts on DNA damage. They compared two groups of healthy male volunteers. Five men ate a diet that included 300 grams (about 10 ounces) of cooked Brussels sprouts daily, while the other five men at a diet free of cruciferous vegetables. After three weeks, the group that ate Brussels sprouts had 28% decrease in measured DNA damage. Reduced DNA damage may translate to a reduced risk of cancer since mutations in DNA allow cancer cells to develop.

Sulforaphane, which is formed when cruciferous vegetables such as Brussels sprouts are chopped or chewed, is already known to trigger the liver to produce enzymes that detoxify cancer-causing chemicals, inhibit chemically-induced breast cancers in animal studies, and induce colon cancer cells to commit suicide. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition also suggests that sulforaphane may help stop the proliferation of breast cancer cells, even in the later stages of their growth.

Sulforaphane may offer special protection to those with colon cancer-susceptible genes, suggests a study conducted at Rutgers University and published online in the journal Carcinogenesis.

In this study, researchers sought to learn whether sulforaphane could inhibit cancers arising from one's genetic makeup. Rutgers researchers Ernest Mario, Ah-Ng Tony Kong and colleagues used laboratory animals bred with a genetic mutation that switches off the tumor suppressor gene known as APC, the same gene that is inactivated in the majority of human colon cancers. Animals with this mutation spontaneously develop intestinal polyps, the precursors to colon cancer. The study found that animals who were fed sulforaphane had tumors that were smaller, grew more slowly and had higher apoptotic (cell suicide) indices. Additionally, those fed a higher dose of sulforaphane had less risk of developing polyps than those fed a lower dose.

Brussels sprouts' glucosinolates have been shown to help prevent the development of colon cancer in response to exposure to heterocyclic amines, the carcinogenic compounds produced when meat is grilled or otherwise charbroiled. In an animal study published in Carcinogenesis, researchers looked at the effects of drinking water supplemented with Brussels sprouts or red cabbage juices on the liver and colon of laboratory animals that were also given a heterocyclic amine carcinogen.

Brussels sprouts reduced the development of pre-cancerous cells 41-52% in the colon and 27-67% in the liver, and drastically diminished the size (85-91%) of pre-cancerous lesions in the liver. Red cabbage moderately decreased (19-50%) the number of pre-cancerous lesions that developed in the liver and markedly reduced (41-83%) the size of those that did occur. These highly protective effects are due to crucifers' ability to significantly increase the activity of enzymes involved in both Phase I (CYP4501A2) and Phase II (glucuronidation via UDPGT-2) detoxification.

Brussels sprouts' stronger protective effects are thought to be due to the fact that this cruciferous vegetable contains 2-3 times the amount of glucosinolates than are found in red cabbage. Glucosinolates increase Phase II glucuronidation activity, one of the primary pathways through which toxins made even more dangerous by Phase I are rendered water-soluble and ready for elimination from the body.

New research has greatly advanced scientists' understanding of just how cruciferous vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, and kale help prevent cancer. When these vegetables are cut, chewed or digested, a sulfur-containing compound called sinigrin is brought into contact with the enzyme myrosinase, resulting in the release of glucose and breakdown products, including highly reactive compounds called isothiocyanates. Isothiocyanates are not only potent inducers of the liver's Phase II enzymes, which detoxify carcinogens, but research recently conducted at the Institute for Food Research in the U.K. shows one of these compounds, allyl isothicyanate, also inhibits mitosis (cell division) and stimulates apoptosis (programmed cell death) in human tumor cells.

dinsdag 10 maart 2009

Brussels Sprouts and Barley Soup

12 cups chicken broth
1 cup chopped fresh green beans
1 1/4 cups cubed turnips
1/2 cup chopped leeks
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/3 cup barley
1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Measure the chicken broth into a large soup pot.
Bring to a boil.
Add the beans, turnips, leeks, carrots and barley; simmer over medium heat for 30 minutes. Add the Brussels sprouts and green pepper.
Season with salt and pepper.
Simmer until the sprouts are tender, about 30 minutes more.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until it starts to brown. Whisk in the flour until smooth.
Stir this into the soup and simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes.

maandag 9 maart 2009

100 posts!!

This is post 100!!!

Brussels sprouts, or Brassica oleracea gemmifera, are related to other better-known vegetables in the Brassica genus like broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower. They are part of the cruciferae or mustard family, so known because of a four-part flower in the shape of a cross.

HISTORY: Sprouts were believed to have been cultivated in Italy in Roman times, and possibly as early as the 1200s in Belgium. The modern Brussels sprout that we are familiar with was first cultivated in large quantities in Belgium (hence the name "Brussels" sprouts) as early as 1587, with their introduction into the U.S. in the 1800s. They were grown in California in the early 1900s, with the first central coast plantings in the 1920s. With the development of the frozen food industry in the 1940s, Brussels sprouts production in California increased to its highest levels over the next 20 years. As production techniques have improved, and as foreign imports have increased, there are currently less than 3000 acres of the tiny cabbages currently being produced in California. This acreage supplies the majority of the U.S. production from June through January, with nearly all of the acreage located in the central coast region, from San Mateo, Santa Cruz, and Monterey counties. Brussels sprouts are also exported to Canada, as they are more popular there than in the U.S.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Brussels sprouts are a very good source of many essential vitamins, fiber, and folate. They are especially high in Vitamin C. (Click here to see the nutritional label) They, along with their other cruciferous cousins, have been shown to have some very beneficial effects against certain types of cancer, as they contain many different ingredients that are believed to help prevent the disease. Click here to see more health information from Health Notes.

CULTURAL PRACTICES: Brussels sprouts are planted in nursery flats in the late winter, from January through May, and spend the first 50-60 days of their lives at the nursery. During this time, the fields are prepared for transplanting by discing and plowing. Organic material (chicken manure) is spread along with lime to raise soil pH to prevent clubroot, and they are incorporated into the soil. The fields are fumigated prior to transplanting with Vapam or Telone to prevent nematodes from damaging the crop. The sprouts are then transplanted into the fields on 36-inch beds at spacings of 13-16 inches apart. They are cultivated several times to prevent weeds from taking over, and are irrigated every 3-4 weeks during the growing season by overhead sprinkler. They are sprayed with pesticides as necessary to prevent aphid and worm infestation. Several new chemistries have been developed in recent years, allowing growers to reduce the use of organophosphates and replacing them with things like Admire (R), which was delevoped by Bayer Crop Sciences. The active ingredient is Imidacloprid, the same thing found in Advantage (R), the drops you put on your pets back to prevent fleas for a month at a time. Sprout growers can apply a mere 16 oz per acre, which is shank injected into the soil during sidedressing for 90 days +- protection from the cabbage aphid, our biggest pest problem. Several new controls for worms have also been developed using chemistries that effect the physiology of the pest but are fairly innocuous for humans. For an excellent compilation of pests and remedies for Brussels sprouts, including photos, check out the UC Pest Management Guidelines. The sprouts are "topped" 50-60 days prior to harvesting by machine; the terminal bud is pinched out by hand to prevent the plant from growing taller and to send the plant's energy into the development of the Brussels sprouts. The sprouts form at the base of each leaf petiole, in a spiral along the stem, where 80-100 sprouts per plant yield 2-2.5 pounds of sprouts per plant. The plant itself grows from 2.5 to 3.5 feet tall. Just prior to harvest the leaves are cut off by hand with a machete (large knife). The plant is then cut off at the ground and fed through a stripping head, which removes the sprouts from the stalk. The stalks remain in the field and the sprouts go on to a cleaning shed, where they are cleaned and sorted, then sized and sent on to our packing facility. The smaller sprouts, 3/4" to 1.25" in diameter, are sent off to the processors for freezing, and the larger sprouts are cooled, sorted again, and packed for shipment to the fresh market.

VARIETIES: There are several different varieties of hybrid brussels sprouts currently being grown in the US. Hybrid varieties replaced the open-pollinated types produced prior to the 1960's because of the need for more uniform maturation of the plants due to the switch from hand harvesting to machine. Some of the original varieties developed, particularly Jade Cross, had several characteristics that were desirable, though they were fairly bitter tasting. The current varieties have an improved taste, as some are almost sweet. The first variety of the season in California is a hand-picked variety called Oliver. It matures rather rapidly, allowing harvesting to begin approximately 90 days after transplanting. The sprouts mature from the bottom of the plant up and are usually picked 4 to 5 times over 8-10 weeks. Oliver is a medium green color, less dense than the later varieties, and has a fairly mild taste. This variety is harvested from late June through early October. Following the Oliver comes the first of the machine-harvested sprouts. The first variety that matures in 130-150 days from transplanting is Content. They are slightly darker green, denser, with tightly wrapped leaves. These are usually available from October through November. The late season varieties are Genius and Rampart, with Genius a newly developed variety that has replaced Rowena. Genius takes from 180-195 days from transplanting to harvest, and they are available from December through January.

vrijdag 6 maart 2009

Baby Carrots And Brussels Sprouts Glazed With Brown Sugar and Pepper

2 pounds baby carrots
2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and scored
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
6 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground black pepper

Blanch carrots in a large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Transfer carrots to bowl of ice water using slotted spoon.
Return water to boil.
Add sprouts and blanch until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.
Transfer to another bowl of ice water.
Drain vegetables, and refrigerate if making ahead.
Bring stock, butter or margarine, and brown sugar to a boil in a heavy large skillet.
Stir until sugar dissolves.
Boil until reduced by half, about 7 minutes.
Can be prepared 6 hours ahead; return to boil before continuing.
Add carrots.
Cook until almost tender and sauce begins to coat, shaking pan occasionally, about 6 minutes.
Add Brussels sprouts and pepper.
Cook until heated through, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes.

donderdag 5 maart 2009

Brussels Sprout Salad Recipe

Shredding the sprouts on a mandoline gives them a wispiness that is harder to achieve with a knife.

1 1/2 pound brussels sprouts, freshest you can find
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 - 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1/3 cup fresh chives, minced
2-3 big pinches of salt
1 1/3 cups hazelnuts, smashed just a bit and toasted
2 ounces hard, salty, aged cheese, shaved (pecorino, dry aged jack, Parmesan, etc)

Shred the brussels sprouts whisper thin using a mandoline, or alternately, a knife.
Five minutes before serving, place the shredded sprouts in a large mixing bowl and toss gently with the olive oil, lemon juice, thyme, chives, salt, and hazelnuts.
Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more lemon juice if needed, keeping in mind the cheese will bring a salty element to the salad.
Add the cheese and toss once or twice to distribute it evenly throughout the salad.

woensdag 4 maart 2009

Cream of Brussel Sprouts Soup

5 C young, tender Brussels sprouts
3 C fresh or canned chicken broth
6 Tbs butter
4 Tbs flour
3C milk
¼ tsp nutmeg
½ C heavy cream
A few drops of Tabasco sauce
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Trim off the tough ends of the sprouts.
Drop them into boiling chekcen broth and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes.
Remove the sprouts and leave the cooking liquid.
Blend the sprouts in a food processor or blender.
Melt half the butter ina saucepan and stir in the flour, using a wire whisk.
When blended, add the reserved cooking liquid, stirring rapidly with the shisk.
When blended and smooth, simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the milk and nutmeg.
Add the blended sprouts, creams, Tabasco, salt and pepper to taste.
Swirl in the remaining butter and serve piping hot.

maandag 2 maart 2009

Brussel sprouts with bacon & almonds

4 Strips of bacon cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 1/2 lbs of Bussel Sprouts (ends removed, cut in half and then sliced - each half sliced into 1/3rds)
1/2 cup of almonds
1/4 tsp of salt
freshly ground pepper

Saute bacon in a skillet until cooked (slightly crispy) about 6-8 minutes - do not drain the fat.
Add Brussel Sprouts into bacon and saute for another 5-6 minutes.
Add almonds and saute for 1 more minutes.
Season with salt and pepper.

zaterdag 28 februari 2009

Brussels Sprouts with Lemon-Mustard Sauce

1 pound Brussels sprouts
salt (optional)
freshly ground pepper
2/3 cup + 2 tbsp. vegetable broth
juice of half a lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
1 tsp. prepared mustard
1 tsp. agave nectar, or other liquid sweetener

The trick to great Brussels sprouts is in the pre-cooking stage.
Trimming off about 1/8-1/4-inch of the stem end and removing any discolored or shriveled leaves will make them much more tender.
Then cut the sprouts in half, from top to bottom (through the stem end), to make them cook more quickly.
Spray a non-stick skillet lightly with oil and heat it over medium-high.
When it's hot, toss in the sprouts and sprinkle them lightly with salt (optional).
Stir and cook for about 1 to 2 minutes, just until they brown slightly on the cut side.
Add the pepper and vegetable broth and cover.
Cook, stirring every minute or so, for about 3-5 minutes, just until they are barely tender but still bright green. (I always grab one and taste it to check.)
They should taste cooked, but not over-cooked, and the broth may have mostly evaporated.
Mix the remaining tablespoons of broth, lemon juice, mustard, and agave nectar, pour it over the sprouts, and heat just until warm throughout.
Serve immediately for best color and taste.

vrijdag 27 februari 2009

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

1 pound Brussels sprouts
olive oil spray
2-3 tsp. garlic
balsamic vinegar
vegan Parmesan (optional)

Begin by preparing the sprouts: cut about 1/8-1/4-inch off the stem end, and remove any discolored or dried leaves.
Cut the sprout in half, from top to bottom (through the stem end).
Spray a glass baking dish lightly with olive oil.
Add the sprouts and toss them with the garlic and a couple of teaspoons of balsamic vinegar. Give them one quick spritz of olive oil, and put them in the oven.
Roast at 375 F for 10 minutes, stir, and roast for 10 more minutes.
Remove from the oven, pour them into a serving bowl, and toss them with another teaspoon of balsamic vinegar.
Serve sprinkled with soy Parmesan, if you like.

We had these last night with corn on the cob, barbequed beans, and a salad, and they were a real treat.

dinsdag 24 februari 2009

Braised Brussels Sprouts

With sweet shallots and crisp pancetta, Brussels become an instant hit.

By Adela Jung
Braised Brussels Sprouts

With a dash of sweetness from the shallots, a touch of vegetal flavor from the Brussels, and some porkiness from the pancetta, this side dish couldn’t be better balanced. It holds its own on the Thanksgiving table but wouldn’t be out of place on any fall or winter dinner table.

This recipe was featured as part of our Thanksgiving for Six menu.

3 ounces pancetta, small dice (about 1/2 cup)
3 medium shallots, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
2 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth

Line a plate with paper towels and set aside.
Place the pancetta in a large frying pan with a tightfitting lid and cook over medium heat until browned and crispy, about 10 minutes.
Transfer with a slotted spoon to the prepared plate, leaving the fat in the pan.
Add shallots and garlic to the pan, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened and edges begin to brown, about 3 minutes.
Add Brussels sprouts, season with salt and pepper, stir to coat, and cook until just browned, about 3 minutes.
Pour in wine, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, and cook until wine reduces by half, about 5 minutes.
Pour in broth, cover, and reduce heat to low.
Cook until Brussels sprouts are knife tender, about 20 minutes.
Taste, adjust seasoning as desired, transfer to a serving dish, and sprinkle with reserved pancetta.

See more recipes at:

maandag 23 februari 2009

Seasonal Brussel Sprouts with Bacon

8 Slices bacon, cut up into 1-inch slices
¼ Cup Dijon mustard
1 Pound Brussel sprouts, cleaned, trimmed & cut in half
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon cider vinegar
Salt & pepper to taste
Sprinkle of lemon juice

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
Cook bacon over low heat until crisp. Rmove bacon from pan; set aside to cool, then crumble.
Measure ¼ cup of bacon fat and mix with Dijon mustard.
Meanwhile, in a roasting pan combine Brussel sprouts and oil.
Sprinkle with salt & pepper.
Place in oven and cook, stirring occasionally until tender.
Remove from oven and sprinkle with lemon juice, Dijon mixture and crumbled bacon.
Serve immediately.

zondag 22 februari 2009

Winter Stir-fry

Tofu, Leeks, Beans & Brussels Sprouts.
Brussels Sprouts
1-2 tablespoons Rice-bran oil
3 tablespoons Chinese Rice Wine
1 dessert spoon Sesame oil
A splash or two of mild Green Tabasco sauce
zest of 1/2 a lime
juice of 1/2 a lime

Prepare the Brussels Sprouts by removing the tough outer leaves and slicing them in half. Add a little rice-bran oil to a hot frying pan and start frying the Brussels Sprouts, cut-surfaces down and with the lid on the pan to steam them in their own moisture.
Let the Brussels Sprouts cook the longest as they are denser than the other vegies.
After about 5 minutes, add the sliced leeks and tofu pieces and continue to stir-fry until the tofu is golden, the leeks silky and the Brussels Sprouts bright green and tender.
Add the sliced beans about 2 minutes before serving, to keep them fresh and green.
When almost done, add the sesame oil and rice wine, frying off the alcohol.
Then finish with a few splashes of Green Tabasco sauce, lime zest and lime juice, stirring through before serving.

zaterdag 21 februari 2009

Brussels Sprouts Go Asian

1 pound Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and halved
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
4 green onions, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced
3-4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
1 15-ounce can baby corn, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup water
1 tbsp. mirin (sweetened rice wine)
1-2 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tbsp. seasoned rice wine vinegar (or regular rice wine vinegar plus 1/2 tsp. sugar)

Spray or brush a non-stick wok or large skillet with a light coating of canola oil.
Heat over medium-high heat, and add the garlic and green onions; stir and cook for one minute.
Add the Brussels sprouts, turning them cut-side down.
Cook until lightly browned, about 3 minutes.
Add the red bell pepper, mushrooms, and baby corn, and stir well.
Add the water and mirin and cover tightly.
Reduce the heat and cook until the Brussels sprouts are tender but not overdone, about 5 minutes. (Add a little more water if necessary.)
Remove the cover and add the soy sauce and rice wine vinegar.
Cook and stir for about one minute.
Add more soy sauce or rice wine vinegar to taste and serve hot.

vrijdag 20 februari 2009

Smoky Brussel Sprout Pasta Bake

Brussel sprouts
Penne pasta
Sun dried marinated roasted red bell pepper
Soy cream
2 cloves of garlic
1 tsp paprika or smoked dried chillies

Pre-heat the oven to around 275C.
Cook the pasta according to packet instructions.
Finely chop the peppers.
Fry the garlic with the paprika.
Steam the sprouts.
Combine all the ingredients together and pour into a baking dish.
Bake for about 15 or until heated through and some of the pasta is crisped at the ends.

donderdag 19 februari 2009

Brussels Sprouts Soup

1 lb. Brussels sprouts
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 sm. onion, chopped
2 tbsp. medium-dry sherry (optional)
3 c. chicken broth
Freshly grated nutmeg
Salt & pepper

Preheat the oil in a saucepan, add the onion and cook gently for 5 minutes, until soft and lightly colored, but not brown.
Stir in sherry, if using, then add broth.
Bring to a boil, add the sprouts, a pinch of nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste.
Lower the heat slightly, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes.
Pass the soup through a strainer, or leave to cool slightly, then puree in a food processor. Return the soup to the rinsed-out pan and warm through.
Taste and adjust seasoning.
Sprinkle nutmeg or croutons on each serving.
Alternately, swirl a little light cream in the soup before serving.

dinsdag 17 februari 2009

Pasta with Brussels sprouts

6 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
10 0z pack frozen brussel sprouts
1 cup uncooked spiral pasta
1/4 cup butter melted
2 tablespoons whipping cream
2 tablespoons grated onion
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

In large saucepan: bring water and salt to a boil.
Add brussel sprouts and pasta.
Return to a boil: then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 6- 8 minutes or until pasta and brussel sprouts are tender.
Combine the remaining ingredients: pour over pasta mixture and toss to coat.

maandag 16 februari 2009

Irish Cheddar and Stout Fondue

2 cups 1- to 1 1/2-inch-diameter red-skinned potatoes, halved
2 cups cauliflower florets
2 cups very small brussels sprouts
2 apples, cored, cut into wedges
1 pound Irish cheddar cheese, grated
2 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour
3/4 cup (or more) Irish stout (such as Guinness)
6 tablespoons frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Steam all vegetables until tender, about 15 minutes.
Arrange vegetables and apples around edge of large platter.
Meanwhile, toss cheese with flour in large bowl.
Bring 3/4 cup stout, juice concentrate, and mustard to simmer in large saucepan over medium heat.
Gradually add cheese mixture, stirring constantly, until cheese is melted and smooth, thinning with more stout, if desired.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Transfer fondue to bowl.
Place in center of platter with vegetables.

donderdag 12 februari 2009

Grilled Lamb with Curried Vegetables and Grape Pine Nut Gremolata

You will need some time for this one!


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small red onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups dry red wine
1/2 pound stemmed seedless red grapes
2 1/2 cups low-salt chicken broth
2 1/2 cups beef broth

Curried vegetables:
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, divided
1 tablespoon minced onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
8 ounces fingerling potatoes (about 8)
7 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1/2 head of cauliflower, cored, cut into bite-size florets
8 brussels sprouts, halved

Gremolata and lamb:
1/2 cup verjus* or 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar and 1/4 cup white grape juice
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 pound stemmed seedless red grapes
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 1/2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh mint
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced

2 racks of lamb, meat cut from bones
Curry powder for sprinkling


For sauce:
Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat.
Add onion and garlic and cook until soft, stirring often, about 5 minutes.
Add wine and grapes.
Simmer over medium heat until almost all liquid is evaporated, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes.
Add broths.
Boil over medium-high heat until reduced to 2 scant cups, about 40 minutes.
Strain into measuring cup, pressing on solids to release liquid; discard solids in strainer. Season with salt and pepper.
DO AHEAD:Can be made 3 days ahead. Cover; chill.

For curried vegetables:
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in medium skillet over medium-high heat.
Add onion, garlic, and ginger; sauté until soft, about 3 minutes.
Add curry powder and 3 tablespoons butter.
Stir until melted and bubbling. Remove from heat.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Place potatoes on small baking sheet.
Drizzle with 3 teaspoons oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss to coat.
Roast until tender, about 25 minutes.
Cool slightly.
Cut potatoes crosswise into 3/4inch pieces; transfer to medium bowl.

Heat 2 teaspoons oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.
Add cauliflower and sauté until brown in spots, about 3 minutes.
Add 1/4 cup water, cover, and cook until tender, adding more water by tablespoonfuls as needed, about 3 minutes longer.
Transfer cauliflower to bowl with potatoes.
Wipe skillet clean.
Add remaining 2 teaspoons oil to same skillet.
Add brussels sprouts and sauté until brown in spots, about 3 minutes.
Add 1/4 cup water, cover, and simmer until tender, adding more water by tablespoonfuls as needed, about 3 minutes longer.
Transfer to bowl with cauliflower and potatoes.
DO AHEAD:Curry butter and vegetables can be made 2 hours ahead.
Let stand separately at room temperature.

For gremolata and lamb:
Bring verjus and sugar to boil in small saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves.
Reduce heat to medium-high and boil until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 5 minutes. Cool.

Preheat oven to 250°F.
Place grapes on rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment or foil.
Roast until reduced in size by half, about 1 1/2 hours. Cool.

Mix syrup, grapes, pine nuts, and next 5 ingredients in medium bowl.
DO AHEAD: Gremolata can be made 1 hour ahead. Let stand at room temperature.

Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat).
Sprinkle lamb all over with salt, pepper, and curry powder.
Grill lamb until thermometer inserted lengthwise into lamb registers 130°F for mediumrare, about 15 minutes.

Transfer to work surface and let rest 10 minutes. Slice lamb crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices.

Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons curry butter in heavy large skillet over medium heat; add vegetables and cook until heated through, stirring frequently, about 4 minutes.
Season to taste with salt and pepper and additional curry butter, if desired.
Rewarm sauce.

Divide vegetables among 4 plates.
Divide lamb slices among plates.
Drizzle sauce over lamb.
Spoon gremolata over.

*Tart juice made from unripened fruit, usually wine grapes; available at specialty foods stores and from

dinsdag 10 februari 2009

Brussels Sprouts with White Beans and Pecorino

8 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 pounds brussels sprouts, trimmed, cut in half lengthwise
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup low-salt chicken broth
1 15-ounce can cannellini (white kidney beans), drained
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
1 cup (about 4 ounces) coarsely grated young pecorino (such as a young Pecorino Toscano)

Heat 3 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over high heat.
When just about to smoke, add half of brussels sprouts.
Cook until brown, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
Transfer to large bowl.
Heat 3 tablespoons oil in same skillet.
Add remaining brussels sprouts, reduce heat to medium-high, and cook until brown, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
Transfer brussels sprouts to same bowl.

Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to skillet; increase heat to high.
Add garlic; sauté until brown, stirring constantly, about 1 minute.
Add broth and brussels sprouts.
Cook until brussels sprouts are crisp-tender, stirring frequently, about 3 minutes.
Add beans and butter; stir until butter melts and broth is reduced to glaze, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in cheese.

Bulgur Stuffing with Brussels Sprouts and Dried Mushrooms

2 1/2 cups boiling water
2 ounces dried porcini mushrooms (about 2 cups)
1 ounce dried morel mushrooms (about 1 cup)
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
5 cups chicken broth
2 1/2 cups bulgur (preferably coarse)
1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts
1 cup packed fresh flat-leafed parsley leaves

In a bowl pour boiling water over mushrooms and soak 30 minutes.
In a 4-quart saucepan sauté onion in 2 tablespoons butter over moderately high heat, stirring, until softened.
Add broth and bring to a simmer.
Stir in bulgur and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 8 minutes.
Trim and quarter Brussels sprouts.
In a large non-stick skillet heat remaining 6 tablespoons butter over moderately high heat until foam subsides and sauté Brussels sprouts, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 10 minutes.
Remove mushrooms from water, squeezing out excess liquid, and reserve soaking liquid. Rinse mushrooms to remove any grit and coarsely chop.
Line a sieve set over a bowl with a dampened paper towel or coffee filter and strain reserved soaking liquid into bowl.
Chop parsley.
In a large bowl toss together bulgur mixture, Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, 1/2 cup strained soaking liquid, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste and cool completely.
Stuffing may be made up to this point 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.
Bring stuffing to room temperature before proceeding.

For cooking stuffing inside poultry:
Any frozen poultry destined for stuffing should be completely thawed, and the stuffing itself brought to room temperature before it's put into the turkey. Do not stuff your bird the night before you cook it; such a seeming time-saver can have dangerous results. Instead, it is best to loosely fill the bird's neck and body cavities immediately before roasting. And always use a meat or instant-read thermometer: The meat is done when the temperature of the thickest part of the thigh (be careful not to touch the bones) reaches 180°F.; the stuffing baked inside the bird is done at 160°F.-165°F. After roasting, let your stuffed poultry stand 15 to 20 minutes, a double assurance that the requisite temperatures for food safety have been reached.

For cooking all or part of stuffing outside poultry:
In a shallow baking dish bake stuffing, covered, in a 325° F. oven 40 minutes (do not uncover during baking).