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small changes…

March 1, 2011

Remember in my first post all of just 2 weeks ago, I confessed that my blog would be par-boiled and not perfect?  I made a few tweaks on all of the posts and learned how to hyperlink the links and it looks so much prettier.   I learned how to do it today and very proud of myself.  A small accomplishment to some, but HUGE to me.

Now, I need to decide if I should try cooking brussel sprouts.  What do you think?


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One Comment
  1. I reviewed the poll and did not know that I had 2 comments in there. Oh, so embarrassed. I am posting them here as well. Some good recipe ideas that I just saw after posting my love for the sprout.

    Shantelle – 5 days ago
    Hey Katherine, I’ve been contemplating the exact same thing… I was “forced” to eat these bitter, tasteless things when I was growing up and know that there has to be a better way to prepare them! Another friend of mine, Janell, with a food blog, did just that. Here is her recipe from her blog…
    * 6-8 brussels sprouts, rinsed
    * 2 garlic cloves, minced
    * 1 tbs olive oil
    * 1-2 tbs balsamic vinegar
    1. Cut the ends off the brussels sprouts and cut in half length wise.
    2. Heat oil in a large skillet. Once oil is hot, place sprout halves face down. Add garlic.
    3. Let the sprouts cook for several minutes, until bottoms are browned. Remove from heat and toss in Balsamic vinegar.
    Tips I Learned Along The Way
    1. I may have done well to get the exact recipe/ instructions from Julie because mine didn’t turn out exactly like hers. There may be a couple reasons for this. One, I don’t think she used olive oil (maybe grape seed oil?)Two, I may have had my heat up too high.
    2. Let the sprouts sit for a few minutes after cooking. I had tried one right out of the pan and it was a bit too crunchy (disappointing), but after sitting for a few minutes while we ate our meal, they softened up a bit.
    3. Salt was a good addition.

    Brian – 4 days ago
    They key is to select the best brussel sprouts by hand. Get the smallest sprouts you can (not the biggest like so many people try to do) and then make sure they are nice and tight with no leaves coming off. Don’t be tricked by grocers that freeze them! The big ones get bitter. The small ones are flavorful and soak up butter better. 😉 Here is my favorite recipe:
    Brussel Sprouts Au Gratin
    * 1/2 cup butter
    * 1 1/2 lbs. Brussel sprouts
    * 2 tbls olive oil
    * generous 1/2 cup pancetta, diced
    * scant 1 cup of Swiss cheese, finely grated
    * Bechemel Sauce:
    x 1/4 cup butter
    x 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    x 2 1/4 cups milk
    x pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
    x salt and pepper to taste
    * salt and pepper to taste
    1. Preheat oven to 350 F and boil a pot of salted water.
    2. Make the Bechemel sauce: Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour. Pour in the milk and whisk constantly until it starts to boil. Season with salt and lower the heat, cover and simmer gently, stirring occasionally for at least 20 minutes. The sauce should not taste floury. Remove the pan from heat and taste. Add more salt if needed, then add pepper and nutmeg. If the sauce is to thick, add a little milk. If it is too runny, return to heat and add a pat of butter and an equal part of flour.
    3. While making the sauce, cook the Brussel sprouts in the boiling water for 10 minutes. Drain and reserve.
    4. Heat the butter in a pan until melted and cook the pancetta until lightly browned – stirring occasionally.
    5. Add the Brussel sprouts and 1 TBLS of warm water. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes.
    6. Stir 1/2 of the swiss cheese into the bechemel sauce and season with salt and pepper.
    7. Place the Brussel sprouts into a prepared oven-proof dish. Sprinkle with 1/2 of the remaining swiss cheese. Spoon the bechemel sauce over the top of the sprouts, then top with the remaining cheese.
    8. Bake about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let settle for 5 minutes.

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