Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sautéed Brussels Sprouts

Dinner at Foodie’s house is always an adventure…she is a great cook and she frequently introduces us me to new things (compared to my dinner mates, I have a stunted food repertoire).  This week it was something familiar but still not a favorite of adults and children alike, Brussels sprouts.  Leave it Trader Joes to come up with a fancy method to make these underappreciated darlings easier to make – and camouflage – in a variety of ways.   
Shaved Brussels Sprouts, available at Trader Joes for $2.29 a bag, can be tossed raw in salads and slaws, roasted to caramelized perfection, or substituted for a vegetable in your favorite quiche.  My dad used to cut Brussels sprouts in quarters, blanch, then quickly sauté them in garlic, olive oil and salt and pepper.   

Although TJ's sprouts come in a handy-dandy bag, Brussels sprouts actually grow on stalks and, along with cabbage, broccoli, rapini, and cauliflower, are members of the cruciferous (because of their four-petal flowers that resemble a cross) family of vegetables. All are a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, folic acid and dietary fiber and, bonus, contain cancer-fighting agents.  As the name suggests, Brussels sprouts perhaps originated in Belgium and Thomas Jefferson grew the emerald gems at Monticello but California is responsible for most of the production enjoyed in the United States today.

To prepare, Foodie first sautéed mushrooms and shallots until browned and then she added the bag of Brussels sprouts.  She sautéed the mixture for a few minutes more until the sprouts were bright green and softened.  Before serving, she drizzled a little walnut oil on top to finish off. Quick, easy and definitely delicious.

She also served baked chicken thighs and baked potatoes and we noticed that the potatoes were lightly crusted with salt…Foodie explained that the salt helps to keep the moisture in the potato producing a fluffy white, evenly baked and perfect potato.

Puncture the potato a few times to let the heat escape while the potato is baking.  Rub the outside of the potato with olive oil then roll in coarse or sea salt.  Bake aS usual, about 45-60 minutes at 400°.

Image of sprouts on stalks from Google images.

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