Monday, December 31, 2007

Le Chou de Bruxelles

"How do you say 'brussels sprouts' in French?" one of my nieces asked the foreign exchange student staying with her family. Everything sounds sexy in French, including the names of vegetables.

By request of my brother-in-law, here's the very free-form "recipe" for my Christmas Eve brussels sprouts.

Chou de Bruxelles Elisa

Prepare in: One large covered sauté pan. I've seen similar recipes using stock pots or even woks; it's important to have just one layer of sprouts and a small amount of liquid.

Ingredients: brussels sprouts, water, 6-8 TB unsalted butter, sugar, prepared horseradish, caraway seeds, salt.

Step 1: Steam
Clean sprouts, removing stems and damaged outer leaves. Place in one layer in the pan, and add about 1/4-1/2 inch of water, and about 2 TB or a quarter stick of unsalted butter. Cover the pan and heat on Medium until water is boiling. Reduce to a simmer, and leave the lid ajar. Periodically stir and turn the sprouts, making sure that all of their surfaces get sauteed/steamed.

If you figure the liquid out just right, there will be no need to drain it once the sprouts are tender. Keep looking for color to change from a light green to a bright green, and then to a slightly duller color, indicating that the sprouts are tender. Take care to not over-cook, because they need to be slightly firm to withstand the sauté.

Step 2: Sauté
Once most of the water is gone, add the remaining butter. Remove the cover and sauté the sprouts on Medium, stirring often. After about five minutes, add 1/2 tsp sugar, or more to taste. Sugar will reduce bitterness and also help create a golden-brown appearance. Continue sautéing sprouts until they do start to "glow," about 10-15 minutes. Add 2 TB (more or less to taste) prepared horseradish and stir, coating all the sprouts. Sprinkle with caraway seeds and salt, and serve hot.

Bon appétit!

photo by Kent Wang


Anonymous said...

Mare see bow koo, mamzel.
Dr. Dick

Anonymous said...

I know this will be appreciated in beantown. I'm sending him a gift--a year of culinary pleasure from the brassica of the month club--it's the gift that keeps on gas.


The Fifty Foot Blogger said...

Cabbage-of-the-Month Club? Sign me up.