Debbie Dance Uhrig
Before you go ‘yuck’ over my featured vegetable dish this week take a look at what I’ve done with it! So many people think that Brussel sprouts are totally un-approachable. Perhaps it’s the generations, or whatever, I just feel this little cabbage gets hassled a bit too much.
Let’s start with how to purchase Brussel sprouts. The best are always fresh!
When I lived in Kansas City I could find them still on the stalk, which is best. One of the down sides of living in Southern Missouri is they’re never still on the stalk.
Try to choose the smallest sizes for the best flavor. The larger sprouts will have a more robust flavor and will release more of an odor than the smaller size.
Brussel Sprouts have been around for a very long time in Europe. They arrived on the California coast, where most of the American crop is grown, around the 1920’s. They prefer cool temperatures and the dampness of mist and fog. You will also find some Brussel sprout farming in the great state of Washington.
The recipe I’m sharing today is a very ‘dressed up’ version of Brussel Sprouts. Quickly let’s discuss the best way to eat these small vegetable buds. Like its family members, cabbage, kale and broccoli the Brussel sprout is a big cancer fighting food. In order to receive the most benefits from the vegetable I recommend steaming, sautéing or roasting. When the vegetable is boiled much of the nutrient and health benefits are removed. Growers often say they taste the best after a freeze when the sprout achieves more sweetness.
When you purchase your sprouts trim the ends, remove any damaged leaves and wash thoroughly and drain.
I’ve already mentioned that this recipe is a bit ‘glorified’. Let’s be totally honest here, I was at a ‘chain’ restaurant a little over a year ago when I had a dish like mine for the first time. I didn’t immediately come home and write the recipe down, instead I went back and enjoyed them a second time a few months later.
Then I wrote down the recipe. My husband, Ervin, who is not a big fan of this member of the cabbage family says this presentation is the best he’s ever eaten.
Those with younger kids and teenagers beware, it’s not always easy to get kids to eat Brussel sprouts. I often get the same reaction to them as I do when I mention how I love beets, particularly Harvard beets. The interesting thing is how beneficial both of these vegetables are to our health.
How do I prepare them the most? In the summer months I’ve used a suggestion from growers at the city market, in Kansas City. Steam the sprouts, just don’t go overboard with the cooking. Drain and marinate in a nice vinegar and oil dressing with your favorite herbs and spices, and refrigerate. They’ll hold for quite a few days. I enjoy them simply steamed or sautéed the most. ‘However’ this recipe now kicks all of the above out of the water.
This is truly one of my newest recipes, not even in the new cookbook. Most likely I won’t serve it in a class because of how many dislike this little ole’ vegie. However I would definitely serve it at a dinner party made up of adults.
Have an outstanding week. Happy Spring Break to all of the students enjoying a few days of freedom. Simply yours, The Covered Dish. www.thecovereddish.com
Delizioso Brussel Sprouts
2-3 tablespoons salted butter
1/4 cup white wine or dry sherry, cook’s choice
1 medium sweet onion, thinly sliced
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
18-24 small Brussel sprouts, sliced in half
Seasoning of choice, (salt/pepper or seasoning salt)
6-8 ounces *Natural Swiss cheese, grated
6-8 ounces fresh grated parmesan cheese
Sauté washed and sliced Brussel sprouts in butter with the sliced onion. As soon as the Brussel sprouts become tender add wine or sherry with mushrooms. Finish cooking the mushrooms and reduce alcohol down. Using a straining spoon remove all the ingredients and place them in a greased chafing dish, season at this time. Over the top sprinkle your choice of cheeses. Place dish into a 350 degree oven until cheese begins to melt. If the top doesn’t brown up like you desire switch to the broiler for a short period to get a nice brown look over the top. Serves 4-6 persons. This tends to be a bit rich with all the cheese, but it is so yummy!!
*Natural Swiss means the real thing not processed, where it’s part Swiss and part ‘who knows’. Natural Swiss doesn’t melt as smoothly as processed, but at least you know it’s 100% real cheese.