Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Braised Dijon Brussel Sprouts

The latest and greatest veggie to grace our dinner table is the brussel sprout. I've been experimenting with braising combinations as I've become bored with eating these globular green gems steamed with mayo or mustard on the side.

85% of homegrown brussel sprouts end up in the freezer section of the grocery store. That is a great tragedy. Vegetables that have gone to the trouble of being frozen lose their flavor, color and texture. When cooked fresh, their vibrant, crisp leaves are ten times more satisfying (and appetizing).

Here in California, we are a bit spoiled with fresh produce. It helps that the majority of U.S. fruits and veggies are grown here. I know from my time living in Virginia, where I would often find avocados amongst the foreign (huh?) fruits and vegetables, many states have great difficulty, particularly this time of year, finding fresh produce. For those of you on the opposite side of the Rockies, I hope that a bit of our wealth has made its way to you so that you, too, may experience the joys of brussel sprout season. If you are able, scoop up a few.

This is an easy side dish, perfect with a red meat dish. Just about any variety of dry white wine works when cooking this dish. I have also used vermouth when the wine rack was lacking. Water may be substituted for the vegetable or chicken broth, but it will lose a bit of its richness.

Braised Dijon Brussel Sprouts

1 lb. brussel sprouts
2 T. olive oil
salt and pepper
2 shallots, chopped
1/2 c. dry white wine
1/2 c. vegetable or chicken broth
2 T. dijon mustard (I used a horseradish version.)
2-3 T. half-and-half (or milk)

Cut all brussel sprouts length-wise. Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Place brussel sprouts cut side down. Allow to cook for about 5 minutes until slightly browned.

Remove brussel sprouts from pan. Shake a bit of salt and pepper over them. Using left over oil, sautee shallots for 3 or 4 minutes. Return brussel sprouts to pan.

Pour wine and broth over brussel sprouts. After allowing liquid to come to a slow boil, turn down heat to simmer, and cover with a lid or foil. Cook for 15 minutes.

Place brussel sprouts on a serving platter.

Mix dijon mustard and half-and-half in leftover pan juices. Heat, stirring, for a few minutes, until mustard has dissolved. Pour over brussel sprouts before serving.

No comments: