Thursday, November 20, 2014

Brussels Sprouts: Two Ways

The time to buy Brussels sprouts is when the weather turns cold.  And lately it's been cold enough to bring in the hummingbird feeder at night. Buy fresh sprouts, if possible. Frozen sprouts are often bitter and serving frozen Brussels sprouts can turn people off of this great vegetable. 

When the sprouts are on trees, they may be fresher than loose sprouts, but it's hard to tell how much you're paying when you buy a tree, which is discarded in the end. 

The price shown above is last year's price. This year, the price is between $5.99 and $6.99 for a "tree."  I have no idea how much a "tree" weighs but the tree is fairly heavy and compact, so the true price of the sprouts is probably about twice what the tree sells for, or about $10.99 a pound, making this a "special occasion food" for the frugal or $100 a week food shopper (is that really possible in the Northwest?).

Shallots are pricier than onions, so these are also for special dinners at our house. Could be, they'd both be perfect for Thanksgiving.

Brussels Sprouts, Leeks and Red Peppers with Lemon
(Serves 4)

1 large leek, sliced and washed thoroughly
1 tablespoon canola oil or ghee (clarified butter)
1 pound Brussels sprouts, washed and cut in half
1/2 cup diced red pepper
3 or 4 cloves garlic, pressed
1 tablespoon Mama Lil's Peppers, chopped, or use 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Sea salt to taste
Lemon juice, fresh (use a Meyer lemon, if possible)
Shredded coconut

Heat a heavy skillet over medium heat.  Add oil and leek.  Stir and cook until leek begins to soften and brown.  

Add Brussels sprouts, stir and cook until sprouts begin to soften.  Add the diced red pepper and Mama Lil's.  Continue to stir and cook until sprouts are fork tender.  Sprinkle with sea salt to taste.  Drizzle with fresh lemon juice. Sprinkle with a small amount of shredded coconut. 

And keep them out of reach from your Cooking Assistant.

I cooked this Brussels sprouts recipe with shiitake mushrooms last year.  Now that I look at it, the simplicity of it is very similar to my Brussels sprouts and leeks and red peppers. I like the colors of this year's Brussels sprouts recipe.  

Use whichever version suits you.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Shiitake Mushrooms
(Serves 4)

Brussels Sprouts from one tree (about 2 pounds sprouts)
5 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
1 1/2  tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon Mama Lil's peppers, chopped, or 1/2 teaspoon chopped red peppers
Smoked sea salt to taste
8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, tough stems removed and sliced

Preheat oven to 400F. Cut sprouts in half. Toss sprouts and garlic in oil.  Stir in peppers. Layer sprouts in a baking dish. Sprinkle with smoked sea salt. Roast for 30 minutes, stirring once.

Heat a heavy skillet over medium heat.  Add mushrooms.  Stir and cook until they soften. In the last 10 minutes, add them to roasting Brussels sprouts.

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