zaterdag 27 december 2008

Soupe Flamande with Creme Fraiche and Frizzled Sprouts

Like parsnips and celery, sprouts also heighten considerably in flavour after a hard frost. I like to cut them on the whole stalk and leave them attached outside the kitchen door so I can just pick off a few as and when I need them. Tiny, hard, tight button sprouts are best of all, needing only brief cooking to retain their full flavour and vibrant green colour. Before the joys of the kitchen garden, by far the hardest task at Christmas was to trek around, battling with the rest of the Christmas shopping, to try to find enough small sprouts to last over the holiday. Not so now. But higher up on the stalk there will always be a few large, fat, open-textured golf balls which, though not suitable for long cooking, are just perfect for making this classic Flemish soup from Brussels. So creamy and subtle is it that even determined sprout haters have been known to succumb to its charms.

12 oz (350 g) potatoes
2 large leeks
12 oz (350 g) Brussels sprouts
2 oz (50 g) butter
15 fl oz (425 ml) hot stock made with Marigold Swiss vegetable bouillon powder
1 pint (570 ml) milk
2 rounded tablespoons crème fraîche
squeeze of lemon juice
salt and freshly milled black pepper
4 level tablespoons crème fraîche
8 large sprouts, trimmed and shredded
2 tablespoons olive oil

Start by peeling and thickly slicing the potatoes. When the leeks are trimmed and washed, cut them all the way through, vertically; then chop them into 2.5 cm (1 in) pieces. Then trim the base of the sprouts, discard any damaged outer leaves and quarter the larger sprouts and halve any smaller ones. Next, melt the butter in a good large saucepan, add the potatoes, leeks and sprouts, and stir well to coat them nicely in the butter. Add some salt and freshly milled black pepper, turn the heat to low, put a lid on and allow the vegetables to sweat gently for 5 minutes. Then add the stock and milk bring everything up to simmering point and cook very gently for 20-25 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft. Because of the milk, it is best to put the lid only three quarters on, to prevent everything boiling over, and to keep the heat really low.

After that, liquidise the soup and then return it to the pan; add the 2 rounded tablespoons of creme fraiche, then reheat the soup gently, taste and add a good squeeze of lemon juice, and more seasoning if it needs it.

Make the garnish while the soup is reheating. To do this, heat the olive oil in a medium frying pan over a high heat, and when the oil is really hot and shimmering, add the shredded sprouts and fry them, stirring occasionally so they don't catch on the base of the pan. When they are crisp and golden brown, which should take 2-3 minutes, lift them, using a draining spoon, on to crumpled kitchen paper to drain. If you want to make the garnish in advance, you can re-frizzle the sprouts in a hot frying pan just before serving. Serve the soup in hot bowls with a little crème fraîche spooned on top of each one and garnished with the frizzled sprouts.

vrijdag 26 december 2008


Love 'em or hate 'em - you just can't have Christmas dinner without having Brussels sprouts! The problem is they do tend to have unpleasant side effects on the digestive system... read on to find out how to cook your spouts without gassing your gran!

Sprouts have an unfortunate reputation for causing flatulence.

This is because of their high content of carbohydrates, which are difficult for the body to digest. Microbes in our large intestine take advantage of the undigested carbohydrate and ferment it, producing large quantities of methane that escapes in the natural manner.

But you can make them easier on the system by blanching them first.

Before cooking, plunge them into boiling water for sixty seconds, then plunge them into freezing cold water (seriously - put ice cubes in it!) for sixty seconds. This will stop the cooking process immediately. You can leave them in the cold water until you're ready to cook them. Then cook as usual.

donderdag 25 december 2008

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.

woensdag 24 december 2008

Pan-Fried Brussels Sprouts with Red Onion, Chilli and Cumin Seeds

500g Brussels sprouts, trimmed and sliced in half lengthwise
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 red onion, sliced
1 red Thai (or any) chilli, sliced - with the seeds included
2 tbs olive oil
fresh ginger - about a cubic inch, grated
1 level tbs cumin seeds
1 tbs balsamic vinegar

In a large frying-pan, lightly fry the red onion, garlic and chilli just long enough for the onion to become translucent.
Add in the ginger, the cumin seeds and the sprouts, and cook over a medium heat for a few more minutes.
Turn the heat down to the absolute minimum, cover the pan and cook for 10 minutes.
Stir the sprouts occasionally so that as many as possible get that wonderful charred effect.
The sprouts should now be tender, with just a little bit of crunch left in them.
Pour over the vinegar, sprinkle on some salt, stir well.
Let the vinegar begin to bubble.
You can sprinkle with some chopped chives or other herb if you have any to hand.
But basically (and how long can this realistically take, 20 minutes?) you’re done.

dinsdag 23 december 2008

Sprout Soup

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 large potato, diced
1 clove garlic
200-300g left over, cooked brussels sprouts and/or any other left over veg (boiled potatoes, carrots, broccoli etc)
1L chicken or vegetable stock
1 tsp chopped fresh sage
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil and cook the onion and garlic until soft.

Add the potato to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally for a few minutes.

Add the stock, bring to the boil, the reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until the potato is soft.

Add the sprouts/other cooked veg, salt, pepper and herbs.

Simmer for a further 5 minutes.

Let the soup cool slightly and blend until smooth.

Reheat until piping hot and serve with crusty bread.

vrijdag 19 december 2008

Brussels Sprouts in Riesling with Bacon

In Alsace cabbage is often braised in Riesling, a wine that also has an affinity with Brussels sprouts. If you can get tiny button sprouts for this so much the better, but in any event they should be tight and firm and not too large.

1½ lb (700 g) Brussels sprouts, prepared
6 fl oz (175 ml) Riesling
4 oz (110 g) smoked bacon rashers with rinds
1 level dessertspoon butter
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
salt and freshly milled black pepper

Cut the rinds off the bacon rashers and, in your very largest frying pan, melt the butter over a gentle heat.
Keeping the heat to a minimum, add the bacon rinds to the pan and let them gently cook and release their fat, which will permeate the butter.
Meanwhile snip the bacon rashers into small pieces, then add them to the pan along with the shallots and garlic to begin cooking.
While that's happening, place the sprouts in a steamer, sprinkle them with salt, and steam them over boiling water for 4 minutes or so which should be enough just to half-cook them.
After that turn the heat up under the frying pan, add the sprouts and toss them around for 2 or 3 minutes or until they begin to take on a little colour.
Now turn the heat up high, pour in the wine and let it bubble and reduce while you constantly turn the sprouts over and over to soak up the flavour of the wine.
As soon as the sprouts are tender and the wine has reduced to about 2 tablespoons, transfer them to a serving dish, add a little freshly milled pepper and serve straightaway.

This recipe is taken from Delia Smith’s Christmas.

woensdag 17 december 2008

Brussels Sprouts, Apple and Juniper Berry Recipe

1 lb/ 250g Brussels sprouts, cleaned and trimmed
1 eating apple, Cox's are best
8 fl oz/ 250ml apple juice
1 tbsp juniper berries
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Prepare the brussels sprouts by cutting a cross in the bottom of each each.
Cut the apple into quarters, remove the core and slice thinly.
Pour the apple juice into a pan and bring to the boil.
Add the sprouts and the sliced apple.
Crush the juniper berries, add to the pan and season.
Simmer gently, uncovered for 5-6 minutes, or until the sprouts are tender.
Serve straight away.

dinsdag 16 december 2008

Brussels Sprouts with Pistachios

1 pound Brussels sprouts
3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
3 shallots
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar, divided
1 tsp. sugar
kosher salt, to taste
1/4 cup chopped pistachios

Trim Brussels sprouts and cut an X in the bottom, at the stem.
This will ensure even cooking.
Put in a large pot and cover with water.
Bring to a boil, then turn heat down to low.
Let Brussels sprouts simmer for 6 minutes or until tender.
Be careful not to overcook. Drain.
Heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a large, deep frying pan over medium heat.
Add shallots and saute a minute or two.
Add 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar and continue cooking until shallots brown.
Stir in the Brussels sprouts, making sure to coat with shallots and olive oil.
Sprinkle sugar on top of sprouts, then add remaining olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Continue cooking until Brussels sprouts are tender and browned.
Season with kosher salt and top with pistachios.

maandag 15 december 2008

Brussels sprouts with chestnuts and orange herb butter

40g unsalted butter, softened
Finely grated zest of ½ orange
Small handful of fresh flatleaf parsley, finely chopped
1kg fresh Brussels sprouts
200g pack cooked and peeled whole chestnuts, roughly chopped

Make the orange butter:

Put the butter, zest and parsley in a bowl, season, and beat until smooth.
Wrap in greaseproof paper and chill for 15 minutes.

Wash the sprouts in salted water.
Drain, rinse, and discard any damaged leaves.
Bring a large pan of water to the boil, add the sprouts and blanch for 3-4 minutes.
Drain and plunge into cold water.
Repeat, until cool, then drain and set aside.

Just before serving, melt half the orange butter in a frying pan over a medium-high heat.
Add the sprouts and chestnuts and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes, until tender.
Season and put in a serving dish.
Dot the rest of the butter over the top to serve.

Recipe with thanks to Mitzie Wilson

World’s first brussel sprout ice cream

Stuart Ferguson, head chef of restaurant group Vivat Bacchus, has created the world’s first brussel sprout ice cream in time for Christmas.
The new festive menu, which costs £35 per head and will be available at Vivat Bacchus' London Bridge restaurant, will start with a mincemeat & gruyere pie and rocket salad, followed by a duck & orange Christmas pudding, brandy crème for mains. This will be polished off with the first ever turkey jelly, brussel sprout ice cream and cranberry foam for dessert.

Ferguson said his Christmas menu was designed to bring a much-needed update to a traditional meal eaten by millions.

He commented: "I have tried to retain the spirit of Christmas but doing things in a way no-one will ever have seen before. It's taken weeks to develop, but I'm delighted with the results."

The restaurant group also runs an establishment in Farringdon, London.

zaterdag 13 december 2008

Festive Christmas Brussels Sprouts

2 10 ounce packages of frozen Brussels sprouts, thawed
1/4 cup butter or margarine (It's Christmas...use the butter!)
Salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper, and plenty of it
A pinch of allspice (optional)
The seeds on one large, fresh pomegranate
Add butter to a large sauté or frying pan and heat over high heat until the butter is melted.
Add the Brussels sprouts, giving the pan a good shake to coat the Brussels sprouts with butter. Season with salt and lots of freshly ground pepper.
Continue to shake the pan over high heat until the Brussels sprouts are just heated to the touch but still a nice,bright green in color.
Remove the pan for heat and add the pomegranate seeds and allspice to the pan.
Stir gently to mix in the pomegranate seeds without breaking them.
Transfer to a bowl and serve immediately.

vrijdag 12 december 2008

Festive sprouts Recipe

This is an ideal accompaniment to Christmas dinner, but can be used with other strong meats such as game.

900g fresh baby sprouts washed and halved
200g streaky bacon (smoked or unsmoked depending on taste)
300g fresh chestnuts shelled (or use canned)
Soy sauce
25g butter
salt and pepper to season

Chop the bacon crosswise into 0.5cm strips then fry in a little oil for 2–3 minutes, or until opaque then add the sprouts and stir-fry for about 4 minutes.
Add the chestnuts and stir-fry for 2 minutes (for a richer flavour 1 tablespoon of dark soya sauce can be added at this point).
Then add the butter and allow to melt and coat the sprout mixture.

donderdag 11 december 2008

Diabetes of Health?

No sprouts recipe today, but some 'healthy advice', from me to you, because I care...

Last October I was in London to attend a workshop as I am doing a specialisation in the Prevention of Diabetes.

One of the group members was Andrew Bridgewater, a Chartered Psychologist, who works as a Management Consultant.

Five months ago Andrew was told the verdict: you are hovering on the line between Health and Diabetes. Lose weight now!! Which ofcourse is always easier said than done.

Weight gain (and weight loss) is actually controlled by the pH level in your blood stream.
The pH scale goes from 0 (highly acidic) to 14 (highly alkaline). You see, your body’s ‘inner terrain’ (your bloodstream) needs to maintain a slightly alkaline pH balance of 7.365 in order to function optimally.
If your pH level is too acidic, then one of the consequences is that your body will create fat, to isolate the extra acidity and toxicity. But…
When you get it right… The fat literally melts away!!
People were beginning to notice Andrew's weight loss and his increased Vitality and started hassling him for tips. Good news! Andrew has put his experiences in an e-book.
I have ordered it immediately! And if you are wise and need to loose weight you will order it too!
Good luck and keep me updated of your progress!

woensdag 10 december 2008

Penne with Bacon and Brussel Sprouts

8 oz. penne, cooked al dente
4 pieces of bacon, chopped and cooked until crispy
1/2 red onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 red pepper, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup-ish brussel sprouts, quartered
mozzarella cheese, to taste
While the bacon is cooking, start your pasta boiling and chop up the veggies.
Add the onion, garlic and red pepper to the bacon pan, salt and pepper to taste.
Turn the bacon down low to caramelize the onion and pepper and steam the brussel sprouts until they are softened, about 5 minutes or so, drain.
Layer pasta, brussel sprouts and top with the bacon-onion-pepper mixture and a handful of mozzarella cheese.

dinsdag 9 december 2008

Roasted brussel sprouts in a pool of butternut squash puree

1 large butternut squash, halved lengthwise and pulp/seeds scooped out
1 tablespoon margarine
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup maple syrup
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 pounds of brussel sprouts
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper
To make the squash puree:
Place the squash, cut side facing down, on a greased baking sheet and place in preheated oven at 375 degrees F for 35 to 45 minutes, until the skin can be quite easily pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven.
While the squash is roasting, saute the onion in the margarine.
When squash is cooled, scoop out the flesh and place it in the food processor along with the sauted onions, nutmeg, maple syrup, and salt and pepper to taste.
Puree until smooth.
Place in a microwave-safe container and refrigerate until ready to use.

To roast the brussel sprouts:
Wash and cut off the stalk ends of the sprouts, and place in a large bowl.
Toss with the oil, salt, and pepper.
Spread in a single layer on a baking pan, and roast in a preheated 375 degree F oven for about 35 to 45 minutes.
The outside will be crisp and the inside tender.

Choose a decorative serving dish.
Re-heat the squash puree in your microwave oven, and carefully spoon the puree onto the serving dish.
Gently and decoratively place the roasted brussel sprouts on top of this.
Serve immediately.
Makes 6 - 8 side servings, depending upon your eaters’ appetites.

Recipe with thanks to "Got No Milk"

zondag 7 december 2008

Brussels Sprouts a la Grecque

4 cups water
3 pounds Brussel Sprouts
3 tsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp lemon zest
juice of one lemon
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 C chopped fresh parsley
1/4 C pimiento (optional)

In a large pot, bring the water to a boil and add the Brussel Sprouts.
Cover and cook until just barely tender, about 7 minutes.
While the Brussel Sprouts are cooking, whisk together the vinegar, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, pepper, parsely, and pimiento in a small bowl.
Drain the Brussel Sprouts and transfer them to a serving bowl.
Toss with the lemon mixture.

Brussel 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.

zaterdag 6 december 2008

Cauliflower and Brussels Sprout Gratin with Pine Nut-Breadcrumb Topping

1 1/2 pounds brussels sprouts, trimmed, quartered lengthwise through core
1 1 1/2-to 1 3/4-pound head of cauliflower, trimmed, cut into small florets
2 3/4 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup chopped shallots
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
11/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup plain dry breadcrumbs
1/2 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
3 cups grated Parmesan cheese, divided

Fill large bowl with ice and cold water.
Cook brussels sprouts in large pot of generously salted boiling water 2 minutes.
Add cauliflower to same pot; cook until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 3 minutes longer. Drain. Transfer vegetables to bowl of ice water to cool. Drain well.
Combine cream, shallots, and sage in large saucepan.
Bring to boil.
Reduce heat; simmer until mixture is reduced to 21/2 cups, about 10 minutes.
Season with salt. Remove from heat. Cool slightly.
Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat.
Add breadcrumbs; stir until beginning to brown, about 2 minutes.
Transfer to bowl; cool.
Stir in pine nuts and parsley. Season with salt and pepper.
Butter 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish; arrange half of vegetables in dish.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then 1 1/2 cups Parmesan.
Arrange remaining vegetables evenly over, then sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 cups Parmesan. Pour cream mixture evenly over.
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Cover gratin with foil. Bake covered 40 minutes.
Uncover; sprinkle breadcrumb topping over and bake uncovered 15 minutes longer.

vrijdag 5 december 2008

Creamy Brussels Sprouts Gratin

2 pounds fresh Brussels sprouts, stem ends sliced off, outer layer of leaves removed, sprouts halved lengthwise through the core
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted in the microwave in 10-second increments
1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup panko
1/4 ounce fresh Parmesan, grated
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 425F.
Toss the Brussels sprouts with the butter, salt and pepper.
Arrange in a shallow baking dish just large enough for a generous single layer. (The sprouts do shrink while roasting so some overlap is good.)
Roast for about 35 minutes (stirring well after 15, 25 and 35 minutes) until the sprouts are very nearly cooked through and brown in spots.
Pour the cream over top and return to the oven for 5 - 10 minutes (stirring after 5 and 10 minutes) until cream thickens, coats the Brussels sprouts and darkens slightly.
Remove from oven, switch oven to the broiler.
Mix topping ingredients and spread evenly over top.
Place under broiler for 5 - 10 minutes until topping turns crisp and golden.

donderdag 4 december 2008

Are you as passionate about healthy food as I am?

One of my absolute favorite shopping places is Food Fullstop. To me they simply are the best specialist food and drink producers who deliver straight to your door.

At Food Fullstop you get Heritage potatoes from Lucy and Anthony Carroll in Northumberland, Colin Boswell's juicy garlic from the Isle of Wight and organic fruit and vegetable boxes from Rod & Ben's in Devon.

Last time I bought a small Organic Vegatable Box from Rod & Ben it had Potatoes, Onions, Carrots, Winter Squash, Cauliflower, Spinach, Runner Beans, Fennel and the most delicious Brussel Sprouts!

Click on the banner to get to their website

woensdag 3 december 2008

Beer Braised Beef Stew with Brussels Sprouts

A thick and hearty German-inspired stew made with savory beef and winter vegetables. Slowly simmering in a dark beer broth, it promises to bring warmth and comfort on even the coldest of winter nights. Serve over your choice of mashed potatoes, spaetzel or egg noodles.

2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
Sea salt and ground pepper
1/4 cup flour
6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 cup dark beer
1 1/2 cups chopped white onion
1 1/2 cups chopped celery
1 1/2 cups chopped carrots
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
2 cups beef broth
1 1/2 cups chopped white creamer potatoes (omit if serving over potatoes or noodles)
1 1/2 cups Brussels sprouts, small or mini
2 tablespoons thyme leaves, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 400°F.
Season beef cubes with salt and pepper and dust with flour.
Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to a Dutch oven, add beef cubes and sear until browned on each side (you may need to sear meat in batches to prevent crowding the pan). Transfer beef to a bowl.
Add beer to the pan and scrape up brown caramelized bits from the bottom.
Simmer to reduce beer by half. Pour beer over meat.
Add 2 more tablespoons of olive oil to the pan.
Over high heat, add onions, celery and carrots. Season with salt and pepper.
After about 3 or 4 minutes, add garlic and allow vegetables to soften slightly.
Add beef mixture back to pan along with beef broth and return to a boil.
Cover with a lid and transfer to preheated oven.
After about 10 minutes, check stew to make sure it is slowly simmering in your oven (don't boil the stew or it will toughen meat).
Reduce oven temperature if needed to obtain a slow simmer.
After an additional 20 minutes, add potatoes, Brussels sprouts and thyme.
Return to the oven for another 40 minutes.
If stew still has a lot of liquid, return the pan to the stove top and simmer with the lid off (this will help to reduce and thicken stew, as well as intensify flavor).
Stir stew occasionally to prevent it from scorching on the bottom.
After a total of 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours cooking time, stew meat should be fork tender.
Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper if necessary and serve immediately.

Recipe with thanks to Whole Food Market

dinsdag 2 december 2008

Brussel Sprouts Pasta

3 cups brussel sprouts
1 cup leeks chopped
1/2 cup sweet red bell peppers
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons safflower oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 cup parsley leaves
1 cup cheddar cheese grated
Trim the ends off the brussel sprouts and steam the sprouts in boiling water until just tender.
Drain. Heat butter and oil and sauté leeks.
Add peppers and brussel sprouts, stirring until just golden on the edges.
Add soy sauce and let stand covered while you cook the pasta.
In a bowl, toss pasta with parsley and grated cheese.
Add the cooked vegetables and serve immediately while hot.

maandag 1 december 2008

Brussels Sprouts with Toasted breadcrumbs and Lemon

Recipe by Susan from Food Blogga

3 cups Brussels sprouts,halved
1 small garlic clove, minced
2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp lemon juice
Pinch of lemon zest
¼ cup breadcrumbs, toasted
Salt & pepper, to taste

Peel off any marked outer leaves of the sprouts and trim the bottoms; slice in half.
Boil for 3-4 minutes.
Drain and plunge into a bowl of ice water; this will stop the cooking and maintain the sprouts' vibrant color.
To toast the breadcrumbs, place in a dry skillet over medium-low heat.
Cook for 2-3 minutes, while giving the pan handle a few shakes to toast the breadcrumbs evenly. Once they begin to turn golden, remove them from the heat and place in a bowl, as the heat from the pan will continue to toast them.
Meanwhile in a skillet over medium heat, sauté the garlic in the butter.
Once the butter begins to bubble up and the garlic starts to jump a little, add the sprouts.
Cook about 5 minutes, turning occasionally, until brown spots start to appear on the sprouts. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, and pepper.
Add the toasted breadcrumbs into the skillet and toss gently.
Add more breadcrumbs on top before serving; sprinkle with lemon zest if desired.

zondag 30 november 2008

Brussels sprout and caramelised onion soup

450g/1 lb onions, sliced
30g/1oz butter
1 tbsp caster sugar
450g/1 lb brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
1 generous sprig of thyme
1.15 litres/2 pints chicken or vegetable stock
freshly ground black pepper

To serve:
soured cream, créme fraiche or Greek yoghurt
paprika or cayenne pepper

Put the onions into a pan with the butter, cover and sweat over a gentle heat for about 30-40 minutes until the onions are very tender and soft.
Sprinkle over the sugar and cook, uncovered, for another 10-15 minutes until the onions are lightly coloured and look a little like jam.
Add the sprouts and thyme and stir around.
Pour in the stock and season with salt and pepper.
Bring to the boil and simmer for about ten minutes until the sprouts are just tender.
Cool slightly, remove the thyme sprig, then liquidise in two batches.
Reheat gently if necessary and adjust seasoning.
Serve piping hot with a spoonful of créme fraiche or yoghurt in each bowl and a light dusting of paprika or cayenne.

zaterdag 29 november 2008

Fried Brussel Sprouts

1 lb Brussels sprouts
4-6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
lemon juice (optional)
white pepper

Remove brown outer leaves of brussel sprouts.

Cut the brussel sprouts in half.

In sauce pan, heat olive oil over medium heat.

Add the brussel sprouts and fry, stirring occasionally, until very dark brown, almost charred, but NOT burnt.
The last minute of cooking, add the garlic and stir in to combine. Be careful not to burn the garlic! Season to taste with salt, white pepper and lemon juice if using. Serve warm.

vrijdag 28 november 2008

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Baked Brussel Sprouts and Chestnuts

Today I've gor a really simple recipe for you

2 cups of Brussels sprouts, cooked
1/2 pound chestnuts
chicken stock
bread crumbs

Fill baking dish with chestnuts and sprouts. Layering them.
Dot each layer with butter.
Moisten lightly with the stock.
Cover and top with the bread crumbs and butter.
Bake uncovered at 350°F (190°C or gas mark 5) for 20 - 30 minutes.

woensdag 26 november 2008

Brussel Sprouts Stew

I know, not such a "good looker" this time, but soooooo tasty!!

Brussel Sprouts 10 to 12
Onion Finely chopped 1/2 cup
Tomato Puree 1/4 cup
Salt to Taste
Coconut Milk 1/2 cup
Sambar Powder 1 tsp
Oil 1 table spoon

Ingredients for Paste:

Coconut (grated) or Desicated- 2 tablespoons
Green Chillies 3
Ginger One Small Piece
Garlic 2 cloves
Cumin Seeds 1/2 tsp
Fresh Coriander Leaves handful
Little Salt.
Sugar 1/2 tsp
Little Tamarind
Few Cashew Nuts
Grind the above finely into paste and keep aside.

Wash and Clean Brussel Sprouts and make slits and Steam Cook.
Apply the Grinded Paste inside the slit and out side and keep for 20 minutes.
In another vessel, pour the Coconut Milk,sambar Powder,remaining grinded paste, salt and keep
it aside.
Heat Oil in a Kadai and fry chopped onions till golden brown.
Add Tomato Puree and cook well till oil separates.
Add stuffed Brussel sprouts and fry for a minute.
Now add coconut milk mixture, check for salt and cook till gravy thickens

dinsdag 25 november 2008

Brussel Sprouts Salad

Did you know that you can eat Brussel sprouts raw?
It might not be something you've considered, but it works really well, especially with early-season, small sprouts.
And it means there's no chance of the sulphurous sprout cooking smell so many of us hate!
So why not give it a go?!

Up to 30 Brussel sprouts
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
Handful of toasted pine nuts or pumpkin seeds

If the sprouts are still on their stem, gently snap them off.
Wash the sprouts and remove any yellowing leaves.
If you think there might be bugs in your sprouts, soak them in warm, salted water for 10 minutes. This brings the bugs out... Rinse well.
Cut the sprouts into 3 or 4 slices, depending on the size.
Mix the olive oil and balsamic vinegar in a bowl.
Add the sprouts and stir well until they are all coated with the dressing.
Toast the pine nuts or pumpkin seeds under a grill for about 3 minutes, until lightly toasted. Keep an eye on them so they don't burn!
Serve the sprouts sprinkled with the pine nuts / pumpkin seeds.

Food Hampers

As I was surfing the internet I came accross

Visit their website, click on the Food and drink tab and then on the left go to: Latest Promotions and click on Hampers.

They have the most amazing selection of Christmas Hampers you can imagine! Prices starting from £ 9.99.

My absolute favorite is
Belissimo Luxury Gift Hamper - for the ladies.
Contains Prosecco Italian Champagne
Tuscan rose wine
Penne organic premium pasta
Soft Amaretti biscuits
Lajeu L'eli, Piemontese extra virgin olive oil
Sugo alle Ligure (tomato sauce with basil and garlic)
Ragu di mare (tomato sauce with seafood)
Giant green olives
Selezione 4 year aged balsamic vinegar
Pere e moscato (Italian pears poached in sweet Moscato wine)
All items are presented in a high quality wicker hampers with leather straps, packed with shredded gift packing paper.

So guys ... anyone out there wanting to buy me a nice gift this christmas??

They also have a really nice 'Fair Trade and Organic food' section.

maandag 24 november 2008

FREE: different ways to prepare Brussel Sprouts

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Brussels sprouts with chanterelles, tarragon and cream.

Today I want to share a wonderful recipe I found on the Cook Think website.

1 pound Brussels sprouts, thinly sliced
1/2 pound chanterelle mushrooms, halved
1/2 shallot, minced
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup heavy cream

Cut off and discard the tough stem ends of the Brussels sprouts.
Peel off and discard their outer leaves.
Slice them lengthwise.
Remove and discard any tough parts from the chanterelles' stems.
Cut the large ones in half lengthwise.
Prep the shallot.
Melt the butter over medium-high heat.
When it's hot, add the shallots and thyme, and cook 2 minutes.
Add the chanterelles and Brussels sprouts, and season with a sprinkling of salt and pepper.
Cook until the mushrooms begin to give up their liquid, 2-4 minutes.
Add the wine and partially cover the pan.
Cook, stirring often, until the Brussels sprouts are almost tender, 10-15 minutes.
Stir in the cream and simmer 2 minutes.
Add more salt and pepper to taste.

zondag 23 november 2008

Chinese Brussel Sprouts with Szechuan Pepper and Garlic

1 lb. brussel sprouts
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp salt
1 or two large white crushed scallion parts
2 large crushed garlic cloves
2 tbsp+ scallion oil and/or peanut oil
1 1/2 tbsp. coarsely chopped garlic

1/4 cup water
1 1/2 tbsp. gluten free teriyaki sauce (Edward and sons)
1 tbsp GF soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp szechuan pepper
1/4 tsp pepper
1 1/2 tbsp water and 1 tsp cornstarch, combined separately

Cut off the stem of the brussel sprouts and cut them in half.
Put 1/2 cup water in a pan with salt and the prepared brussel sprouts, and bring everythnig to a boil, then lower it to a simmer and cover for 8 minutes. Take off burner and drain.
Whisk sauce ingredients together.
Heat your wok and add oil with scallions and garlic until oil is seasoned and brown.
Remove the whole scallions and garlic from the pan and leave the oil.
Add the garlic and let brown for thirty seconds, and then add the brussel sprouts, stirring for another 45 seconds or so.
When sprouts are glossy, pour in sauce.
When sauce is heated add your water and cornstarch, whisked together before adding.
Let thicken and then immediately remove from wok and serve.

zaterdag 22 november 2008

Brussel Sprouts

Ofcourse I had to give you one more recipe I came across ...

2-3 lbs Brussels sprouts
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1 cup chopped onion
2 cups warm homogenized milk
1 1/2 cups shredded old sharp white cheddar cheese (divide in half)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon nutmeg

Parboil the brussel sprouts for 7 minutes and drain.
Place into a 2-3 quart oven proof dish.
Saute the onion in butter until clear and then add the flour and stir.
Add the warm milk, salt, pepper, nutmeg, 3/4 cup cheese and stir.
Pour filling over brussel sprouts.
Top with remaining 3/4 cup cheese and bake at 375 for 40 minutes.

I love my garden

I have just returned home from a few days in the UK. Whilst I was in London I came across an add for log cabins. Now I have always wanted my own private garden retreat. A place just for myself, where I can banish all distraction. A 'no go' area for partner and daughter. Just me, a good cuppa, a new recipe book and a purring cat on my lap.

And yes, I have fallen absolutely in love with Nancy :-)

You can visit Nency at

woensdag 19 november 2008

Corn Bread Dressing With Brussel Sprouts

1 prepared cornbread (use your favorite recipe or Jiffy Cornbread Mix)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (plus more for greasing the pans)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 celery ribs, finely diced
1 carrot, finely diced
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 lb thinly sliced prosciutto, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped sage
2 cups dry white wine
3 large eggs
2 cups chicken broth or turkey broth
fresh ground black pepper
2 lbs Brussels sprouts, halved

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Generously butter two 9X13" metal baking pans.
In a large skillet, melt 2 tbsp of the butter in 1 tablespoons of the olive oil.
Add the celery, carrot, and onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 10 minutes.
Add the prociutto and sage and cook until the prociutto starts to crisp, about 8 minutes.
Stir in 1/2 cup of the white wine, let cool slightly.
Crumble the corn bread into a bowl in small chunks.
In another bowl, whisk the eggs with the broth, then pour over the corn bread.
Add the prociutto mixture, season with salt and pepper and toss. Spread the dressing in the prepared pans.
Wipe out the skillet and melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the brussel sprouts and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until they begin to brown, about 10 minutes.
Add the remaining 1/2 cup of white wine and cook for 5 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper.
Tuck the brussel sprouts into the dressing.
Cover and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for 10 minutes longer, or until crisp on top. Serve hot.

dinsdag 18 november 2008

The Top 100 Recipes From Ready Steady Cook

The Top 100 Recipes From Ready Steady Cook

What does Ready Steady Cook mean to you? For some it means red tomatoes and green peppers, for others frenzied cooking and lively banter. Above all it stands for delicious, mouthwatering food that can be created in twenty minutes. Introduced by the chef and presenter, Ainsley Harriott, this book contains 100 of the show's best recipes, tried and tested by its regular contenders - Ross Burden, James Martin, Nick Nairn, Paul Rankin, Tony Tobin, Brian Turner, Phil Vickery, Lesley Waters, Kevin Woodford, Antony Worrall Thompson - and, of course, Ainsley himself.

Packed with healthy, delicious recipes, this easy-to-follow book reflects the energy and freshness of the show. It is divided into nine sections: Starters, Soups, Snack and Light Bites, Accompaniments, Vegetarian, Fish and Shellfish, Poultry and Game, Meat and Desserts. The chefs are also highly successful in their own right and many have published their own titles. All appear regularly in Good Food Magazine.

maandag 17 november 2008

Free E-book

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How to Choose Brussels Sprouts

While some fear the strong taste of brussels sprouts, others embrace it. The peak season for brussels sprouts is from fall to early spring. Follow these steps to find the best of the bunch.

  • 1. Use color as an indicator of freshness. Brussels sprouts should be bright green with leaves that look fresh.
  • 2. Avoid sprouts with a strong smell or leaves with holes or blemishes.
  • 3. Feel sprouts to make sure they are firm, tight and compact rather than puffy.
  • 4. Make sure the stems are clean and not discolored.
  • 5. Try to choose individual rather than prepackaged sprouts.
  • 6. Store brussels sprouts in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for three to four days.
Buy sprouts of equal size to ensure uniform cooking.

zondag 16 november 2008

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Hazelnuts

A Brussels sprouts recipe the kids will actually like? Yes, it's true. That's partly because the Brussels sprouts in this recipe are shredded, then tossed with some very flavorful ingredients like bacon, maple syrup, nuts and cheese. If the kids can't stand the thought of Brussels sprouts, just call this recipe, "Warm Shredded Salad with Maple Syrup and Bacon." Either way, it's delicious.

1 pound fresh Brussels sprouts
4 slices bacon or pancetta
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup hazelnuts
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 cup shredded or thinly-sliced Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Trim Brussels sprouts by cutting the root ends off. Place the shredding blade in your food processor. Shred Brussels sprouts.
Cook bacon in a large (12 or 14-inch) skillet. Remove, drain and crumble.
Add Brussels sprouts to bacon drippings. Saute 4-5 minutes. Do not overcook!
Add maple syrup, hazelnuts and salt to the Brussels sprouts. Stir in bacon.
Remove from heat. Stir in cheese, saving a little for garnish. Serve, topped with cheese.

Copyright Recipe: Stephanie Gallagher

zaterdag 15 november 2008

Risotto Covent Garden

Today I have a rather elaborate recipe for you. Covent Garden is one of my TOP favorite places in London. Therefore I could simply not resist adding this recipe.

The recipe is by Anton Mosimann from VegTalk.

15g/½oz butter
1 medium shallot, finely chopped
200g/7oz arborio rice, washed
1 small sprig of thyme
½ bay leaf
200-300ml/7/10fl oz vegetable stock
50ml/1¼fl oz white wine

For the mushroom sauce
200g/7oz forest mushrooms, finely sliced
15g/½oz butter
1 medium shallot, finely chopped
3 tbsp Maderia
½ tbsp lemon juice
100ml/3fl oz double cream
freshly ground black pepper
pinch of nutmeg
1 tbsp vegetable stock

For the vegetables
30g/1oz blanched lozenge cut mange tout
30g/1oz blanched lozenge cut turnips
30g/1oz blanched lozenge cut parsnips
30g/1oz blanched lozenge cut Swiss Chard
30g/1oz blanched thinly sliced Brussel Sprouts
30g/1oz blanched lozenge cut carrots
30g/1oz or halved cooked baby artichoke
40g/1½oz grated parmesan cheese
10g/¾oz whipped cream
50ml/1¾fl oz of champagne
2 tbsp chopped chives

1. Melt the butter in a heavy bottomed pan.
2. Add the shallots and sweat to soften without colour. Add the rice and stir constantly until well coated and translucent.
3. Add the herbs and the wine. Allow the wine to evaporate. Gradually add 200ml/7fl oz of vegetable stock stirring gently. (Add more stock as needed whilst allowing stock to be absorbed each time.)
4. Cook the rice for about 7-10 minutes. Spread the rice on a clean tray and allow to cool. Reserve.
5. For the forest mushroom sauce - melt the butter in a saucepan and gently sauté the shallots until transparent.
6. Add the mushrooms and cook until softened. Dust with the flour, then stir.
7. Add the white wine, lemon juice and one tablespoon of the veal stock, simmer for a few minutes. Remove the mushrooms and the shallots with a slotted spoon. Keep warm.
8. Reduce the stock to a glaze. Add the cream and reduce again by half. Return the mushrooms and shallots to the pan and warm through. Season with salt, pepper and pinch of nutmeg. Add when reheating rice.
9. Garnish with chopped chives.
10. To serve - reheat the rice adding stock accordingly. Add the mushroom sauce and the vegetables and bring to the boil. Add the whipped cream and the champagne. Season with cheese, salt and freshly ground pepper. Sprinkle with chives and serve.

Copyright Anton Mosimann

Whilst you visit Covent Garden make sure to book a table at

On June the 19th 1979 I opened 'Porters English Restaurant' in Covent Garden aiming to fill a gap in the market, and said, "The few specialist English Restaurants in London tend to serve food at rather high prices; Porters English Restaurant will give a lot of people good, simple, traditional English dishes in comfortable surroundings, at very reasonable prices!"

As I was surfing the internet today I came across the Mark&Spenser website.

Goodness, they do have a mouth watering selection of snacks and nibbles. Good thing is, you even don't have to leave your house to go to the shop yourself as everything will be delivered at your doorstep.

Their description is soooooo mouthwatering ...
What do you think of:
A whole side of lightly poached lochmuir™ salmon, decorated with the finest lochmuir™ smoked salmon, Honduran prawns, cream cheese with chives and asparagus, makes a luxurious fish dish.

Pieces of Wiltshire cured ham and fresh asparagus spears set in a creamy egg filling, blind-baked in a shortcrust, Parmesan-enriched pastry, and Hand-garnished.

A blind-baked, butter-rich pastry case packed with a tangy goat's cheese cream and juicy slow-roasted tomatoes
Perhaps working on a blog whilst I am hungry is NOT such a good idea ;-)

Pampered, styled and captured for ever

OK, I know, this has little to do with sprouts (and I will post a new recipe later on today) but surfing the internet I came across this super wonderful website!
Gosh, at times like this I wished I lived in the UK!

New ID Experiences Online offer the perfect gift experience for anyone! You will get professionally pampered, styled, made over, and then the look will all be captured on camera!

Have a look at their website:
They have studios in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Cardiff and Newcastle.

So ... if you have your photo taken, please post it here!

Enjoy your Saturday ...

donderdag 13 november 2008


Today I give you the recipe of a wonderful 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. Serves 4.

dinsdag 11 november 2008

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A Celebration Of The Humble Brussels Sprout

I came across this wonderful little book today: The Sprout Book, A Celebration Of The Humble Brussels Sprout

You can order it from
Asda (use product search code 9986157)
Waterstones (use product search code 6217981)

maandag 10 november 2008

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Garlic and Pancetta


1 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved (quartered if large)
2 oz pancetta, visible fat discarded and pancetta minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup water


Preheat oven to 450°F.

Toss together Brussels sprouts, pancetta, garlic, oil, and salt and pepper to taste in an 11- by 7-inch baking pan and spread in 1 layer.

Roast in upper third of oven, stirring once halfway through roasting, until sprouts are brown on edges and tender, about 25 minutes total. Stir in water, scraping up brown bits. Serve warm.

OK. 3 Recipes so far; I really hope you enjoyed cooking them. Keep sending your own favorites so I can add them to the blog.

vrijdag 7 november 2008

Brussels Sprouts Stir-fry

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
1 large potato, peeled and cubed
1 bay leaf
1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved lengthwise
1 red pepper, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup chicken broth
ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons chopped green onions

Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onion, potato, and bay leaf. Cook and stir until the onion is transparent, about 5 minutes. Add the Brussels sprouts, red pepper, and chicken broth. Cover and cook until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Remove the bay leaf. Toss with black pepper, to taste. Garnish with green onions, and serve immediately.

Grow Brussels Sprouts without Soil!

donderdag 6 november 2008

Golden-Crusted Brussels Sprouts Recipe

As a Belgian one often gets associated with 'a Brussels Sprout' ;-) As a child I always disliked the soggy green mess on my plate my mum used to call: sprouts. Needless to say that as an adult they never entered my plate agin. That is until I met my new partner who ... is a sprouts addict. (sigh)
Lucky for the relationship I came across this recipe by Heidi. And I feel confident saying this golden-crusted version has the ability to turn even the most vigilant brussels sprout haters around.

This is the only way to eat brussels sprouts: cut in half and cooked until deliciously tender inside and perfectly brown and crusted on the outside.
Use brussels sprouts that are on the small size and tightly closed. You can finish these with many different types of cheese but I tend to go for Parmesan when the weather is good. I trade that in for heavier cheeses like gruyere or Gouda in colder weather. I finished them off with some toasted hazelnuts the other night - delicious!
24 small brussels sprouts
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for rubbing
fine-grain sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup grated cheese of your choice
Wash the brussels sprouts well. Trim the stem ends and remove any raggy outer leaves. Cut in half from stem to top and gently rub each half with olive oil, keeping it intact (or if you are lazy just toss them in a bowl with a glug of olive oil).
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in your largest skillet over medium heat. Don’t overheat the skillet, or the outsides of the brussels sprouts will cook too quickly. Place the brussels sprouts in the pan flat side down (single-layer), sprinkle with a couple pinches of salt, cover, and cook for roughly 5 minutes; the bottoms of the sprouts should only show a hint of browning. Cut into or taste one of the sprouts to gauge whether they’re tender throughout. If not, cover and cook for a few more minutes.
Once just tender, uncover, turn up the heat, and cook until the flat sides are deep brown and caramelized. Use a metal spatula to toss them once or twice to get some browning on the rounded side. Season with more salt, a few grinds of pepper, and a dusting of grated cheese. While you might be able to get away with keeping a platter of these warm in the oven for a few minutes, they are exponentially tastier if popped in your mouth immediately.

Please tell me your favorite recipe too!