8/24/2017 3:45:00 PM An abundance of garden veggies
I was thinking about recipes using veggies but my brain was on hold! I checked back in my “steno book” and found that I hadn’t used recipes for this member of the cabbage family since 2002. Some people call them baby cabbages…in other words, Brussels sprouts. They do look like little cabbages but they grow differently. They cling to a large stalk topped with a crown of foliage. I tried growing them years ago but it takes patience, which I don’t have much of, before they are ready to pick…like 90 days. If I remember right, I yanked them out because I didn’t think they were going to produce after growing for a month and a half. I never planted them again. End of story!
We do like Brussels sprouts but I don’t prepare them very often. Looking through a number of cookbooks I found recipes that sounded like I would like to make and thought you might like to make as well. So, I went to our local Farmer’s Market and bought some. So far I’ve made one of these recipes and plan to make another dish soon…..after we’ve eaten corn on the cob, green beans, tomatoes, zucchini, new red potatoes, etc.
BRUSSELS SPROUTS WITH PANCETTA 4 quarts water 1 t. salt 1-1/2 lbs. fresh Brussels sprouts, trimmed 1/2 lb. pancetta, cut in 1/2 –inch cubes (pronounced pan-chetta), see Note. 1 t. snipped fresh thyme (or 1/2 t. dried thyme leaves) 1 t. snipped flat or curly parsley (flat preferred) Salt and ground black pepper, to taste Bring water to a boil; add salt. Meanwhile put ice cubes and about 3 quarts of water in a large bowl to make an ice bath. Cook whole sprouts in the boiling water for two minutes, then drain and plunge into the ice bath. Once the sprouts have cooled, drain, trim off the tough ends and cut in half lengthwise. In a 12-14-inch fry pan, heat bacon over medium-low heat until most of the fat has been rendered and pancetta is crisp, stirring often, 8-10 minutes. Remove bacon from pan with a slotted spoon and set aside. Drain all but 2 T. of fat. Add sprouts to the pan and cook over medium heat until just tender, five to six minutes. Return bacon to pan; toss with thyme and parsley salt and pepper. Serve immediately. Makes 6 servings. Note: A pound of sprouts is about 3-1/2 c. whole or 4 c. halved. If you don’t have pancetta, thick sliced bacon, cut into 3/4 –inch pieces, would be a fine and less salty substitute.
BRUSSELS SPROUTS CHEESE BAKE 4 c. fresh Brussels sprouts, trimmed 1 – 8 oz. can sliced water chestnuts, drained 3 T. butter or stick margarine 1/4 lb. fresh mushrooms, sliced 1 T. flour 1/8 t. pepper 1 c. milk 1 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese 1/2 c. sliced or slivered toasted almonds
Using a small, sharp knife, cut an X in the stem of each sprout. (Cut any large sprouts in half lengthwise.) In a 3 qt. saucepan over high heat, bring 1-inch of water to a boil; add sprouts. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer 10 minutes or until fork tender (don’t over cook). Drain. In a 1-1/2 qt. baking dish place sprouts. Top with water chestnuts. In same saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add mushrooms; cook until just tender. Stir in flour and pepper until well blended. Gradually stir in milk until well blended; cook stirring constantly until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat; stir in cheese until melted. Pour over sprouts in baking dish. Sprinkle with almonds. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until bubbly. Makes 6 servings. Note: When using sliced water chestnuts, I cut the slices in half so they’re not so big. Sprouts are best when cooked tender-crisp and be a bright green By cutting an X in the stem of the sprouts it makes for more even cooking. As I’ve mentioned in the past, when adding milk to a flour/butter mixture I warm the milk so the mixture thickens faster.
If you like to use a bit of orange flavor in your cooking, you will like this quick and easy side dish to serve with chicken, turkey or duck.
BRUSSELS SPROUTS WITH ORANGE SAUCE 4 c. medium-sized fresh Brussels sprouts 1/2 t. grated orange rind 1/2 c. orange juice 1 c. chopped water chestnuts 2 T. butter
In a 3-qt. saucepan over high heat, bring 1-1/2-inches of water to a boil; add sprouts. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer sprouts for 5-6 minutes or until crisp tender; drain. In a large frying pan melt butter; sauté orange rind, orange juice, water chestnuts and sprouts in butter for 2 minutes. Serve immediately. Makes 6-8 servings Serve these sprouts in a bowl next to a relish tray with black olives, beet pickles, bread and butter pickles and perhaps corn relish for a colorful and flavorful addition to a buffet serving table.
MARINATED BRUSSELS SPROUTS 2-10 oz. pkg. frozen Brussels sprouts, thawed 1 c. Italian salad dressing 1-1/2 T. minced onion 1 large garlic clove, minced 3/4 t. fresh dill (1/4 t. if using dried dill weed)
Cook sprouts according to pkg. directions; drain. Combine remaining ingredients, mixing well. Pour over sprouts and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate 3-4 hours. Gently stir 2 or 3 times while marinating. Makes about 2-1/2 cups. To serve, using a slotted spoon, spoon sprouts into a small bowl. Set alongside a relish tray with black olives, bread and butter pickles, baby dill pickles, beet pickles and perhaps corn relish for a colorful, flavorful addition to a buffet table.
Thought for the Day: I’m sure all readers of this great newspaper saw the front page of last week’s Press and I hope you read the “Opinion” column on page three. Great article Matt.