Brussels Sprouts…Because SoupAddict Cares


Thanksgiving is still a week and a half away, but doesn’t it feel like the holiday season has already started in full force? SoupAddict noticed that Christmas TV commercials started on Halloween night, before trick-or-treating was even over, and radio stations played Christmas music bright and early Nov. 1st.

Yikies.

That means that there are extra celebratory weeks this year for eating things like this. And this. And this. And these.

Oh, Guh’ness. SoupAddict’s in trouble.

SoupAddict is going to make the extra effort this year to ensure that she eats sufficient greens throughout the holiday season.

And we’re not talkin’ green icing on Christmas tree cookies.

Well, maayybe green icing.

No no no.

Focus, SoupAddict, focus.

Vegetables. Yes. Vegetables.

Icing!

No … *wags finger* … vegetables.

Like the venerable brussels sprout. Packed with nutritional goodness, like vitamins C and K, folate (hear that mommies-to-be?), omega-3 fatty acids, and promote healthy immune and colon function. All in one adorable little cheek-pinching package.

So, SoupAddict is sharing this, one of her favorite brussels sprouts recipes, so that you, too, will be healthy going into the new year.

SoupAddict’s local Kroger is going to byzantine lengths to obtain the “freshest” produce available. Now they’re selling entire stalks of brussels sprouts, instead of just the stuffed mesh bags, so you, the consumer, can experience the thrill of picking the sprouts yourself. From the comfort of your kitchen.

They don’t fit very well in grocery bags

(And it was hideously expensive. Just buy the mesh bags.)

But if you’ve never seen brussels sprouts in nature, here’s your chance. Except they grow upright, not sideways. And they’re 3-4 feet tall. And they have leaves. Big leaves. Huge leaves. And usually there are many more sprouts on a stalk. But other than that, it’s exactly like this. You know, *ahem* natural.

And, you get to do all the manual labor.

You’re welcome, says Kroger, pocketing your hard earned money.

On the other hand, they might be on to something. The little heads were gorgeous, and there was not one shriveled outer leaf that needed to be removed.Not one. And they were so sweet and tender.

Blast you, Merchandisers at Krogers! You, who also lured SoupAddict to spend $8.54 on a block of rosemary olive oil asiago cheese this weekend at your sampling station with the red-and-white checked gingham tablecloth. I want the fresh stalk. Not the mesh bag.

I want the hideously expensive stalk!

(Curses!)

This dish comes together quickly, so prep all the ingredients before you begin.

Are those salty pork products you spy?

Oh, yes. Yes, indeedy.

Salty pork products and brussels sprouts go together like peas and carrots.

Salty pork products makes the peeps happy. They may even forgive you for including the brussels sprouts.

The apple cider gives a tangy little kick that SoupAddict really enjoys.

Serve this up at Thanksgiving, when your peeps are strung out and mellow from the L-tryptophan in the turkey, and you might get yourself some brussels sprouts converts.

Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients:
2 pounds brussels sprouts
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 ounces thick sliced smoked ham, coarsely chopped
2 ounces pancetta, coarsely chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/3 cup low-salt chicken broth
1/4 cup apple cider (SoupAddict uses this)
Coarse kosher salt

Instructions:
Trim root ends from brussels sprouts. Slice the sprouts into thin strips from top to root end (as you would a head of lettuce), use food processor fitted with coarse shredding disk.

Melt butter with olive oil in large deep skillet over medium heat. Add ham and pancetta; sauté until golden, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic; stir 30 seconds. Add brussels sprouts, broth and cider; sauté until crisp-tender but still bright green, 3 to 5 minutes. Season with coarse salt and black pepper. Transfer to bowl and serve hot.


Comments

  1. This sounds wonderful! It might just make my Thanksgiving table!

    • SoupAddict says:

      It hasn’t been part of my family tradition to serve brussels sprouts at Thanksgiving, but it sounds like a really good addition to me!

  2. always had these sprouts whole and always disliked them (boiled, steamed, eeek). This is the second recipe I have been finding these days that use them thinly sliced (the other one calls for them raw to make a slaw-type salad, without mayo). Needless to say, I, the shredded-savoy-cabbage lover, am smitten and can’t wait to try them both! thanks for sharing this.

    • SoupAddict says:

      I’m with you on that one, Marcella – I do like the flavor of brussels sprouts, but whole sprouts, boiled or steamed, they just don’t do it for me. My favorite preparation is roasting, but I really like this saute method, too.

  3. I don’t mind brussels sprouts, but they’re certainly not my first choice of green vegie because they’re usually bitter. Is that just a function of processing, do you think, or, perhaps, are they picked at the wrong time in the growing process?

    • SoupAddict says:

      Jo! Thanks so much for stopping by. :) As thislittlepiggy notes below, this is the right time of the year for brussels sprouts – they’re at their best in this cool autumn weather. But, seasonal freshness factors aside, the bitterness in a sprout resides in the “choke.” If you slice a sprout in half lengthwise (through the stem end), you’ll see a sort of solid white “V” inside the stem end. That’s the culprit. I have pictures here:

      Roasted Brussels Sprouts.

      If you’re preparing the sprouts whole, it would be quite the challenge to get the choke out, hence the suggestion of the “X” cut deeply into the stem end – it lets some of that choke cook out.

  4. P.S. This recipe looks really good, by the way!

  5. Looks delicious – that is one of our Thanksgiving sides sorted.

    • SoupAddict says:

      It really wasn’t until this year that I realized how many people serve brussels sprouts at Thanksgiving. How awesome!

  6. To Jo Moore – they should not be bitter this time of year. If you boil them whole put a criss cross in the bottom as this seems to make them less bitter. Also cooked quickly like Soup Addict does should not have a bitter taste at all.

  7. had them tonight – with no pork, quickly sauteed with just some onion and a splash of cider vinegar. They were delicious, crisp and flavourful and not bitter at all. Jo, you really should try them :)

  8. SoupAddict, you were absolutely right about this dish. I don’t care for Brussels sprouts, but you’ve made me a convert. After picking up the mighty light saber stalk from Whole Foods and wrestling it into/out of the car, into the kitchen, off the stalk, whew, I was ready for a nap. And after the food processor and I had words, there was a boatload of sliced sprouts everywhere. I told the family what they were about to eat was coleslaw and they loved it. So thank you for caring and expanding our vegetable repertoire.

    • SoupAddict says:

      I salute you for conquering the stalk. It’s the most awkward food item I think I’ve ever purchased. I also salute your cleverness in calling it cole slaw (since brussels sprouts and cabbage are both in the brassica genus, you weren’t really lying. :)

  9. Perfect Lap says:

    I have some red snapper filets and a part of me wants these tangy sprouts to go with them. I was thinking of mango curry sauce for the snapper over a bed of these sprouts. I’d like to work in a caramelized sweet potato somehow ….hmmm. Thanks for the tip on cutting out the bitter cores.

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