Contributed by: NAPSA
(NAPSA) - Brussels sprouts lovers are loyal to these delicate little green vegetables, and have made them a tradition for holiday meals. For those who say they don't care for this miniature cousin of the cabbage family, there's an easy answer: quick cooking. Six to 10 minutes in the pot is the maximum, and the results are bright green, crisp-tender and mild in flavor and aroma. It's overcooking that makes the sprouts grey in color and strong in flavor and aroma, so stick to the six-to-10-minute rule and enjoy the simple saute in the recipe below.
Brussels sprouts are a member of the Brassica family, as are broccoli, cabbage and the like, famed for their antioxidant powers. They actually grow on tall stalks, usually two feet high or so, and thrive in the cool, misty climate along California's northern coast (just like artichokes). That's why Ocean Mist Farms, the country's largest artichoke grower, also grows the best Brussels sprouts.
Look for Brussels sprouts that are green, heavy for their size, with leaves that are tightly closed and similar in size. You'll find them on the stalks (impressive as a holiday centerpiece) or loose, in 10-ounce net bags, convenient one-pound clamshell containers or in 10-ounce tubs. When you get them home, refrigerate them in the crisper section of your refrigerator and use within a day or two.
Brussels sprouts pair nicely with many other flavors-see some simple suggestions in the recipe. You might also try them sweetened with just a little maple syrup or brown sugar, drizzled with orange juice, or with a little heavy or sour cream. Partner Brussels sprouts with any of your every-night favorites such as burgers or casseroles, or bring them to the holiday table with turkey, beef or pork roasts.
Remember the easy rule for perfectly cooked Brussels sprouts -do not overcook-and you and your guests will be delighted with the results. Just-right sprouts will still be green and tender when tested with the tip of a sharp knife. For a crowd, just double or triple this recipe.
Rinse Brussels sprouts with cold water. Trim stem ends, if you wish. Drain well. Halve larger sprouts, leave small sprouts whole.
In large skillet with a lid, over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add Brussels sprouts and cook and stir until sprouts just begin to brown on cut sides, about 2 minutes. Add water to pan. Cover and cook just until tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Drain well.
Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
If you wish, skip the Parmesan and add any one of the following:
Serving Size: Makes 4 Servings
Nutritional Information: Per Serving: 136 calories, 5 g protein, 8 g carbohydrate, 4 g fat, 3 g fiber, 169 g sodium
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