Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Keeping The Tradition Alive

Mention the vegetable 'Brussel Sprouts' to many people and they turn there nose up at you and make a face and say something along the lines of BLECH! But my thoughts on this reaction are one of wonder. As in, I wonder how your Mom prepared these little mini cabbages for you? Were they boiled within an inch of their life until they were a gray green mushy mass on your plate with nothing but butter and salt for seasoning?

That is just wrong.

Brussel Sprouts can be a tasty side dish. This is how my Mom has always prepared them and I say give this a try before you completely write off the vegetable.

Brussel Sprouts A La Mom

Trim your sprouts by removing damaged or bug infested outer leaves, cut a small slice off the bottom, and cut a small X in the bottom stem. This helps them to cook evenly so you don't end up with mushy leaves and hard centre cores.

Place sprouts in a steamer basket and steam until just barely tender - they should be 'tender crisp' to be perfect.

Rinse with cold water to stop them from cooking, and set aside in the pot until your sauce is done.


Chop bacon (that would be smoked streaky bacon here in the UK)

1 slice bacon for each 1 cup of sprouts
Brown bacon in fry pan on medium heat, until it starts to crisp up
Add 1/2 cup onion, diced finely
Stir onion and bacon until onion is translucent and bacon is nicely crisped but not burnt !!

Add 1/4 cup white vinegar and 2 tablespoons white sugar to the bacon and onions. Stir together until sugar has dissolved.

Toss sauce over sprouts, put pot back on burner
Add some fresh ground salt and black pepper to taste.
You can also add a bit more vinegar or sugar, depends on how strong the flavor of the sprouts are.

Once the sprouts have reheated and flavor is right - serve with a smile (Mom added that bit)

Now, after you've tasted this recipe and you still turn your nose up at brussel sprouts then you can always play this game.


D J & E Huber said...

That is a good recipe. We can vouch for it, as we have used a very similar recipe in the recent past.

A very important "trick" for good brussels sprouts, however, starts well before the stove and pot. It starts in the garden, where you leave the plants until after at least the first hard frost (if not later - some people dig them out of the snow). This ensures a nice, non-bitter flavor.

Of course, most sprouts that we buy in the store, at least in North America (and I suspect Europe is no different) are grown in warm areas where hard frosts are rare. Add to that the fact that a farmer's profit margins decline the longer he/she has to wait for a frost after the crop is mature, and you get the picture.

We grew some sprouts in our northern garden the past summer, but did not harvest them until late-November. They were the best sprouts that we've ever had!

Gordon said...

I love Brussels, bacon and chestnuts...


But I blogged about this a week ago so not much else I can say..

Rob said...

I love brussel sprouts! One of my favourite parts of Christmas dinner, and we just eat them simply with nothing but butter and salt for seasoning.

This recipe looks excellent, though. I may have to try this...

Anonymous said...

When they start mentioning the word Tradition, alongside ones name I guess it means one is getting old....not sure I like that.
... Mom