Sunday, October 26, 2014

Brussel Sprouts

This is the road we walk everyday to the mailbox. Bella knows the route and leads the way. It is one mile one way. Bella is more than eager to take the walk since she has been getting mail several times a week lately from her secret admirer. Sometimes the lo-cal peanut butter flavor snacks make it through the postal system intact and other times there are only crumbs.   But she doesn't care.

Today I 'prayed' no one would pass me by on the road as I walked back to my house. 
It was rather comical me carrying this very large stalk of Brussels sprouts my neighbor gave me. When I inquired if she had extra I never dreamed I'd get a whole stalk. Since I never knew anyone who grew Brussel sprouts much less knew what they even looked like on a stalk it was one of those aha moments. 
Now they need to be cooked.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Cranberries with Barley
Serves 2 recipe from

  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, tips cut off, discolored leaves removed and sliced in half (smaller sprouts are better than large sprouts)
  • 1 TB. olive oil
  • Salt
  • 2/3 cup fresh cranberries (or 1/3 cup dried cranberries)
  • 1/3 cup crumbled Gorgonzola or goat cheese
  •  1/3 cup freshly toasted pecans
  • 1-1/2 cups cooked barley
  • 1 TB. maple syrup, or more to taste
  • 1 TB.balsamic vinegar, or more to taste
  • Set a 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium-high heat on the stove. Let it heat up for two to three minutes. It should be so hot that a few drops of water sizzle and quickly disappear after contact.
  • In a medium sized bowl, toss the prepared Brussels sprouts with olive oil and salt. Toss well, so that the sprouts are evenly coated in a thin layer of oil.
  • Once the pan is hot, dump the sprouts into the pan and quickly rearrange them so the flat sides are face down. Let them cook for two minutes.
  • Toss the fresh cranberries into the pan and transfer the pan to your broiler. The pan will be heavy and hot so use oven mitts and be careful! Let the Brussels broil for about three minutes. Check the sprouts for doneness—their tops should be a little browned and the bottoms caramelized. How long you should leave them in there depends on your preferences and your oven. The cranberries should have started popping by now; set the hot pan on your stove top for a couple of minutes while you reheat the barley.
  • Toss the warm barley, sprouts, cranberries, cheese and pecans in a bowl and drizzle with balsamic vinegar and maple syrup. Season with salt.
 Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Apples and Bacon
Cook's notes: Pancetta can be substituted for bacon. Recipe adapted from BHG
  • 12 ounces Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved or quartered
  • 2 sweet cooking apples, such as Gala or Fuji, cored and cut into wedges
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 3 ounces finely chopped pancetta or 5 slices of bacon cooked and diced
  • 3 TB. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 2 TB.balsamic vinegar or Black Cherry or Chocolate Balsamic 
  • 1 TB. honey
  • 2 tsp.Dijon-style mustard
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a 15x10x1-inch baking pan with parchment paper; set aside. 
  • In a large bowl combine Brussels sprouts, apples, onion, pancetta or cooked bacon, oil, salt, dry mustard and pepper. Transfer mixture to the prepared baking pan.
  • Roast, uncovered, for 25 to 30 minutes or until sprouts are tender, stirring once.
  • In a small bowl whisk together vinegar, honey, and Dijon mustard. Drizzle vinegar mixture over sprout mixture; toss gently to coat.
  • Return to oven for 4 minutes. Serve immediately.
I thought these bread cones had lots of possibilities and easy to make using refrigerated dough. Make cone shape out of tin foil and wrap breadstrips around. Brush with an egg wash and sprinkle sesame seeds. Bake according to package directions. One idea is to fill with chicken or shrimp sald.  
Making cone molds:
  • All you need is some manila paper or any semi-hard paper. Cut into rectangles and roll them up into cones, you can then staple them to maintain the conical shape. Then cut up a piece of foil and wrap it around the cone to prevent the paper from burning in the oven. Tuck the foil from the top opening of the cone to hold it in place, but you don't have to line the inside of the paper cones, just the outsides.
  • You can then re-use these cone-molds a couple of times, you will just need to change out the foils and use new ones for the next batch.
  • Before baking using them, you will need to grease the molds preferably with butter to make sure your bread strips does not stick to the molds.

1 comment:

  1. I've never known anyone either who grew brussel sprouts, nor how the sprouts grow. You are such a creative cook. It's always fun to read your cooking posts. Now if only I could convince myself that cooking is fun.