In my kitchen I try to use all kinds of vegetables, fresh and seasonal. With winter on the doorstep a colorfull markets are replaced by winter seasonal vegetables. Today I decided to write about Brussels sprouts … I know, I know, a lot of times when mention her name I met a with a twisted and funny faces like ” no thanks “.

BRUSSELS SPROUTS are even declared the most hated vegetables in America and the UK in 2008.

In short – most people are not very fond of Brussels sprouts. I also resist them for a long time untill my husband began to insist that I start to prepare meals of Brussels sprouts ( just note –  he is a typical Brussels sproutshollic).

Brussels sprouts are not only healthy and nutritionally rich in anything and everything but they are also very tasty and fine when you prepare it in a good way… And there is really a lot of ways to prepare them: steamed, boiled, fried, baked and au gratin.

I earlier mention that they are rich in anything and everything and now I will briefly state just few of its values.

  • They are low-calories with 0 % fat.
  • They are rich in C, A, and B – 6 vitamins and calcium and iron.
  • They have a high percentage of water (per 100g Brussels sprouts – 86g of water)
  • Have anticancer properties.
  • They are rich in fiber which is good for those with poor digestion.

Although its name (in English – Brussel sprouts) indicates Brussels, Brussels sprouts has nothing to do with Belgium. It originates from Asia, in particular was bred from wild species of cabbage in Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan and in Chinese medicine was used as a remedy for indigestion.

I found the information that there are more than 9,000 ways to prepare Brussels sprouts and it sounds utterly unbelievable and quite possible (just like paradoxes).

I will write two recipes or 2 ways to prepare them.

First is my husband favourite:

BRUSSLES SPROUTS AU GRATIN

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 25 g grated Parmesan cheese
  • 700 g Brussels prouts, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic clives, finely chopped
  • Salt and groung black pepper

Preheat the oven to 200C and butter the shallow ovenproof dish. Blend together cream, milk, Parmesan cheese and seasoning. Put a layer of Brussels sprouts in bottom of dish, sprinkle with a little garlic and pour over about a quarter of cream mixture. Add another layer of sprouts and continue building layers this way, ending with the remaining cream and milk.

Cover loosely with graseproof paper and bake for about an hour. Halfway through cooking, remove the paper and press the sprouts into the liquid in the dish. Bake until brown.

The second recipe is a fine combination of sweetness of sweet potato and light bitternes of Brussels sprouts enriched with aroma of smoked seitan or tofu:

PAN FRIED SWEET POTATOES AND BRUSSELS SPROUTS WITH SMOKED TOFU

  • 500 g sweet potatoes
  • 300 g Brussels sprouts
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon plain flour
  • a good pinch of cayenne pepper
  • about 3-4 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 150 g smoked tofu, cut on small cubes
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • salt

Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into chunks about 4cm. Place in a pan of boiling water with the lemon juice and little salt and simmer for 8-10 minutes until cooked but not soft.

Brussels sprouts cut in halves (in 4 if bigger) and cook in little salty water few minutes until soft.
Mix together flour, cayenne pepper and pinch of salt. Drain potatoes and sprouts and then dust with the seasoned flour, coating the pieces well.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan and fry the onionfor few minutes. Add the smoked tofu cubes and fry over a gentle heat for few minutes more. Transfer to a plate using a slotted spoon. Add the breadcrumbs and fry, stirring, for about 1-2 minutes untill golden. Add to the plate with the tofu.

Heat the remaining oil in the pan and fry first the potatoesfor about 5 minutes, turning occasionaly, until evenly browned. Stir into breadcrumbs. Do the same with sprouts.

Mix all together and cook for about a minute. Serve at once.

ph123

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