Tuesday, February 2, 2010

One dish two ways - for the Omnivegitarian couple

As a child, brussel sprouts were up there on the MOST HATED FOODS list along with innards, gizzards and chicken feet. Which is weird, because I was a pretty well behaved kid and generally liked most vegetables, with a particular fondness for cabbage. And sprouts are mini-cabbages.

Anyway, bizarrely, this winter seems to have been the rise of the brussel sprouts season, in both quantity and esteem. You've seen me roast them before, but when we were at NBs house for Christmas his mummy steamed some, and he loved those much more. One thing you should know about NB: he is of a household that doesn't particularly consume salt or... flavours. Ie oil and fried. He is also currently a vegetarian.

Here is the result: 2 dishes, zero extra work! And as a bonus, I will throw in a middle ground.

Steamed Brussel Sprouts

(You are probably noticing my thumb over the lens. Stellar photogs skills. It was too bright to see the screen!)

Ingredients: 1 bag of brussel sprouts, Water

Clean sprouts. This involves rinsing them, cutting off a little bit of the stem part and removing the outer leaves.

Bring one pot of water to boil (but not enough water to touch the bottom of the steamer part, because then it's boiling the vegetables), steam sprouts until they are tender and green. Easy peasy. I would say like 10 minutes? Watch out though, if you over steam those babies they will turn an unappetizing shade of gray-green.

Also, here's a tip for those who don't have a steamer: Use a metal sieve in a regular pot, cover.


One step up: Lightly season and mix with a small pat of butter until melted.

For the fatty:

Pan Fried Brussel Sprouts With Bacon

Ingredients: Pre-steamed brussel sprouts, a teaspoon of minced garlic, 2 streaks of bacon

Ohh yea, you heard me. Bacon. So while the sprouts are a-steaming, fry up two streaks of bacon. You may want more, or less, depending on how fatty your bacon is. Mine was some budget Vons bacon, and did you know that price of bacon is inversely proportionate to amount of fat per streak? When the bacon is crisp, remove and set aside. Sautee the garlic in the fat, then add the steamed brussel sprouts (you could cut them in half - may I recommend length-ways? - first), season - but go really light on the salt, and pan fry until they are slightly browned. Serve with the bacon crushed over the top.

One step down:

Use a tablespoon of butter instead of bacon fat, thus making dish vegetarian and slightly less sinful.

So. There you go. Reclaim the sprouts!


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