Brussels sprouts recipe: Transform sprouts from sweet to creamy comfort food
By Calley Hastings, for the Free Press • Sunday, November 29, 2009
Ten or so stalks of Brussels sprouts still stand out in our garden.
They show signs of deterioration, leaves are discoloring, stalks are giving way to gravity and slowly drooping toward the ground, but there are still dozens of sweet green sprouts hiding under each leaf.
We have been fulfilling our duty of eating Brussels sprouts several times a week in order to take advantage of these last few signs of life before everything gives way to the months of cold ahead. The deer, still busy with the apples found in our abandoned orchard, have yet to discover these hidden morsels.
Like most of the population, it seems, I hated Brussels sprouts as a kid, but I have grown to love them as an adult. Or, better put, I have grown to love them since I started growing them.
I’m not sure I gave Brussels sprouts the time of day before I grew them. Honestly, who would? But now I am so thankful to have this incredibly fresh, green vegetable still coming out of my garden at the end of November.
The wonderful thing about Brussels sprouts is that they get sweeter after frosts. Earlier on in the fall, when cider was fresh off the press, I was braising them in cider and butter for a caramelized sweet sprout.
Now I’m in hibernation mode and craving creamy comfort food, and so, in this recipe, I use cream to braise the sprouts instead of cider. I then add Parmesan cheese on top to cut the creaminess (try putting other cheeses on top as well).
The result is a dish that is quite reminiscent of butter-and-cheese popcorn. The smell and taste bring me back to sixth grade, when every Friday our class had the extreme privilege of making popcorn to sell to the rest of the kids in the school. Those were the days!
Enjoy this recipe during the holiday season!
Braised Creamed Brussels Sprouts with Parmesan Cheese
- 10-12 medium size Brussels sprouts
- 1 1/2 cups cream (half and half or whipping cream)
- 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
Wash Brussels sprouts and cut off outside leaves if needed. Cut sprouts in half. Place face down in a large saute pan. Pour cream over sprouts.
Cook with cover on over medium heat for eight to 10 minutes. Stick a fork through them to make sure they are mostly cooked. When they are, remove lid and cook for three more minutes.
Turn heat off when cream has been absorbed and the bottom is starting to brown. Sprinkle salt and pepper on top and then sprinkle Parmesan on.
Calley Hastings runs Fat Toad Farm, a small goat dairy in Brookfield, along with family members Steve Reid, Judith Irving and Josey Hastings. They produce fresh goat cheese and goats milk caramel (cajeta) along with 80 percent of their own food. Find their products in natural food stores throughout Vermont. Look for more recipes and information about the farm at http://www.fattoadfarm.com.