RECIPES FOR YOUR BRUSSELS SPROUTS
Brussels Sprouts are the perfect example of a vegetable which should only be enjoyed in season and when it is locally produced. This means they will be at their best from mid October to early March. Ten years ago that window would have have been two months shorter but new F1 varieties really have extended the growing season in the UK. Supermarket Brussels sprouts are fine on most occasions but storage at near freezing temperatures and damage during transport do affect their quality. Of course, the supermarkets select varieties based on keeping qualities and appearance in preference to taste.
COOKING BRUSSELS SPROUTS
Peel off loose layers then wash the sprouts under running cold water. Trim the base of the sprout so that there is no stalk left on it. Don't cut in half and don’t cut a cross in the base, both of those will simply let water into the middle of the sprouts and contribute to making them soggy.
BOILING BRUSSELS SPROUTS
Add them to boiling water with a little salt and boil gently for seven minutes. Drain of water and serve in warm serving bowl.
FREEZING BRUSSELS SPROUTS
Whatever you read about freezing Brussels sprouts our simple advice is don’t bother. The freezing process always results in soggy sprouts, even the shop bought ones, and they should know how to freeze them, are just a soggy imitation of fresh Brussels sprouts.
BAKED SPROUTS WITH CHEESE, BACON AND CREAM
1kg / 2.2lbs fresh as possible Brussels Sprouts
150g / 5oz back bacon
6 tablespoons of fresh white breadcrumbs
4 tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons of vegetable oil
25g / 1oz of butter (salted or unsalted)
25g / 1oz of flaked almonds
400ml / 14 fl oz double cream
3 teaspoons of lemon juice
Salt and pepper
Prepare the Brussels sprouts
Cut the bacon into smallish bits
Mix the Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs in a small bowl
- Pre-heat the oven to 200°C / 400°F / Gas mark 6, slightly lower in fan-assisted ovens.
- In a large saucepan lightly boil the sprouts in salted water for 4 minutes.
- Drain away the water and cut them in half.
- Place a large frying pan on a medium heat, add the butter and oil then add the bacon and almonds. Sauté for 4 minutes turning the ingredients often.
- Add the sprouts and cream then bring to a very light boil for three minutes stirring frequently.
- Remove from the heat, add salt, pepper and the lemon juice – stir in well. Evenly sprinkle over the breadcrumb / Parmesan cheese mix.
- Place in the oven for 18 minutes or so until the top is golden brown. Serve in the same dish.
Serves eight vegetable portions, halve the ingredients to serve four.
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