13 November 2014

Brussels Sprouts

Recently, I got an entire stalk of Brussels sprouts in my CSA basket. Many people are appalled by them, and for good reason. If not cooked right, they end up tasting really funky - and not in a good way! I've been experimenting with different ways I can use them in cooking, and I'd like to share with you some successes and failures!

DO NOT overcook them in boiling water; most people get turned off from Brussels sprouts' gooey texture and weird aftertaste reminiscent of old gym socks when they're boiled in water for too long.

DO eat them raw and thinly chopped with a light, acidic dressing. Lemon juice + olive oil + salt never go wrong, and eating Brussels sprouts raw removes the problem of overcooking entirely. If you chop them thin enough, people might not even notice that it's Brussels sprouts!

DO lightly sautée them on high heat with a bit of soy sauce, sugar, and sesame oil. Top off with some freshly toasted sesame seeds for an interesting Asian kick. Cooking for a short time on high heat will soften the outer leaves without fully cooking the insides (that's where all the nasty comes from).

DO gratinate them. There's something magical about being covered in creamy béchamel sauce, cheese, and crunchy bread crumbs. Just make sure the Brussels sprouts go into the oven raw so they don't overcook!

DO/DON'T braise them. I personally enjoy them braised, but I would understand why others might not. While they do get mushy, they're really good at absorbing the flavour of the braising liquid while still maintaining their distinctive taste. I made some braised chicken with Brussels sprouts in a tomato and herb sauce that turned out really well. If you're into that, give it a try!

**Many apologies for the lack of pictures. I'm a broke university student without a camera.

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