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  #1   ^
Old Fri, Feb-17-12, 22:17
aj_cohn's Avatar
aj_cohn aj_cohn is offline
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Plan: Protein Power
Stats: 213/167/165 Male 65 in.
BF:35%/23%/20%
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Location: United States
Default Invasion of the Brussels Sprouts

URL: http://culture.wnyc.org/articles/la...ussels-sprouts/
Quote:
Brussels sprouts are everywhere. The John Dory Oyster Bar serves them with mushrooms, pancetta and cheese. Ilili in the Flatiron District takes a Mediterranean spin and adds mint yogurt, fig puree, walnuts and grapes. Brussels sprouts were so popular at Momofuku Noodle Bar that chef David Chang took them off the menu — he didn’t want to dedicate the manpower necessary to keep up with demand.

Looking at New York restaurants these days, it’s hard to believe that the cruciferous winter vegetable ever got a bad rap. But up until the last 15 years or so, Brussels sprouts were often sad, overcooked, bitter little cabbages.

Chef Sara Moulton, whose PBS show Sara’s Weeknight Meals is in its second season, explains that it is all in the preparation. “Everybody overcooks them,” she said, adding that she used to studiously avoid them. “They’re like the smallest member of the culinary dirty diaper family. You know, they’re in the crucifer family and the thing with any crucifer, be it broccoli or cauliflower or cabbage of any kind, if you over cook it, it stinks.”

Moulton still remembers the dish that made her a Brussels sprouts convert. In 1996, during the early days of the Food Network, she overheard The Two Hot Tamales, Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, discussing a quick and easy way of making sprouts. The recipe involved shredding the Brussels sprouts and sautéing them quickly in olive oil. “Back then it seemed very novel, now I think it’s pretty common,” Moulton said.

Now, Moulton still makes them that way for her own family. “One way to get them to cook through quickly and to not overcook them is to shred them, but shredding them can take time,” she said. So instead, she drops Brussel sprouts into her food processor. A few spins through the shredding disk attachment, and they’re ready for a quick toss in a pan. She often counters the natural bitterness of the sprouts with the addition of ingredients like Balsamic vinegar, pine nuts, walnuts or Parmesan. Shredded Brussels sprouts can even be dressed and eaten as a raw salad.

When selecting Brussels sprouts, Moulton is a fan of buying them on the stalk because it can be a sign of freshness. The stalks are also a novelty because of how strange the look. “I always thought they sort of looked like the pods in Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” she said with a chuckle.

Moulton says to look for Brussels that are firm with tightly wrapped leaves. “The good news about Brussels sprouts is that they are a... fall-winter vegetable so that when you buy them at the farmers market, they’ve been sitting in the cold,” she said. “In the summer time, when we buy corn, and it’s been sitting there for hours in the 90-degree heat, it’s deteriorating.”

Once home, Moulton does a minimum of prep work: She just trims the ends and gets rid of the blemished outer leaves. The former Gourmet test kitchen director says that she has no preference on size, but does add that there is one advantage with the larger sprouts. “If they’re bigger, it takes less time to prepare them, so that would be a plus for the bigger ones,” Moulton said. “But, hey, I think they’re all good.”

Below, try Moulton’s recipe for Sautéed Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta.

Sautéed Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta
Servings: 6-8

1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 ounces pancetta (or bacon), finely chopped
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Parmigiano-Reggiano (shaved into strips)


1. Trim the Brussels sprouts and discard any damaged outside leaves.
2. Using a food processor, force the sprouts a few at a time through the chute with the blade in motion. You should have about 8 cups of shredded sprouts.
3. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring often, until very lightly browned 3-5 minutes. Add the sprouts and cook, stirring, until tender, about 5 minutes.
4. Pour in the vinegar and increase the heat to high. Season with salt and pepper and stir until the vinegar has evaporated. Top with cheese.
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  #2   ^
Old Sat, Feb-18-12, 02:41
M Levac M Levac is offline
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Plan: VLC, mostly meat
Stats: 202/200/165 Male 5' 7"
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Default

My recipe for Brussels sprouts.

Cut in half, in the pan, use tons of butter (1/4lbs or more), salt and cumin, fry till dark brown and tender, serve, eat.

My recipe for mushrooms is the same minus the cumin.
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  #3   ^
Old Sat, Feb-18-12, 05:47
Ryevels Ma's Avatar
Ryevels Ma Ryevels Ma is offline
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Plan: Atkins
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Default

That's how I make them too M Levac! Although never tried it with cumin! That sounds delicious! mmmmm the crispy pieces are so delicious!

I think I need to make some today!
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  #4   ^
Old Sat, Feb-18-12, 06:47
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becky7474 becky7474 is offline
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Plan: Atkins '72, IF
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Location: Panama
Default

I have never seen a brussel sprout here in Panama......darn.
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  #5   ^
Old Sat, Feb-18-12, 08:25
ICDogg's Avatar
ICDogg ICDogg is offline
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Plan: Low carb, high fat keto
Stats: 310/212/183 Male 6'0"
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Default

Like with a lot of vegetables, Brussels sprouts are, IMO, best when you get smaller varieties, "baby" or "petite" Brussels sprouts. These are small and tender enough that they don't need assistance by shredding them. Not easy to find these fresh, though.
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  #6   ^
Old Sat, Feb-18-12, 08:54
Altari Altari is offline
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Plan: Meats & Veggies
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Default

I've been so happy the last few years to see brussels sprouts everywhere. My dad always grew them while I was growing up and I've just had an affinity for them ever since.

Best way I've found to prepare them: peel the two outer layers of leaves, quarter and blanch until bright green. Then caramelize in a pan of hot butter, sprinkle with salt and pepper.

I've also taken to dropping a few cups of halved/quartered sprouts into winter soups and stews about an hour before I serve. The bitterness really plays well with the sweetness of the carrots.
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  #7   ^
Old Sat, Feb-18-12, 17:22
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sondacop sondacop is offline
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Default

I tried growing them in my yard, they were always so full of bugs I never got anything to eat. I now avoid them, wondering what is sprayed on them to keep them bug free, and I think they are a bit high carb.
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  #8   ^
Old Sat, Feb-18-12, 17:37
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Atrsy Atrsy is offline
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Default

We grew them and the stalks got to be over 5' tall and there were sprouts all the way up. We were cutting them and eating them fresh almost all winter. We like ours cooked in a Greek salad dressing. They are also very good that way cold from the fridge as leftover snacks.
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  #9   ^
Old Tue, Feb-21-12, 09:11
Squarecube's Avatar
Squarecube Squarecube is offline
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Plan: atkins/paleo/IF
Stats: 186.5/159.0/160 Male 5' 11"
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by sondacop
I tried growing them in my yard, they were always so full of bugs I never got anything to eat. I now avoid them, wondering what is sprayed on them to keep them bug free, and I think they are a bit high carb.


I've never looked them up! However, just last night we had them and I remember remarking how sweet they tasted.

They ain't bad browned in goose fat
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  #10   ^
Old Tue, Feb-21-12, 09:16
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TeresaTX TeresaTX is offline
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Plan: whole food
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Default

I'm a fan! I grew them also and used no pesticide and had no issue with bugs - it might be a regional thing I suppose.
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  #11   ^
Old Tue, Feb-21-12, 10:13
Pilili Pilili is offline
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Stats: 240/210/150 Female 156cm
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Default

Everything is a matter of taste.
I live a mere 50 km away from Brussels and I have always preferred my brussel sprouts overcooked. It's how my mother made them and it's how my grandmother made them.

Butter (or a good other fat) in a cooking pot, some bacon cubes if you like those, and sprouts. Some salt, pepper and nutmeg. I need no more than that.

And then... at least half an hour on low heat, until the colour is deep green, and the sprouts are mushy soft, perhaps even slightly burnt and caramelized.

Do go ahead and call me Belgian. I don't care
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  #12   ^
Old Tue, Feb-21-12, 10:15
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marcsfl marcsfl is offline
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Default

I've been using a cooking method from America's test kitchen that works well.

Trim ends, cut in half, rinse and while still wet, toss with oil and salt.

Lay cut side down on a baking sheet, cover tightly with foil and bake on an upper rack in a 475 degree oven for 10 or 15 minutes.

Remove foil and finish uncovered for 5 or so minutes until browned.

Remove from pan, add favorite toppings and serve.

The first part of the cooking steams them, and the second roasts and caramelizes them for a great finish.
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  #13   ^
Old Tue, Feb-21-12, 12:49
sondacop's Avatar
sondacop sondacop is offline
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Plan: Atkins
Stats: 149.6/143/130 Female 170cm
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Location: Israel
Default

7-8 grams of carbs for 100, 2-3 fiber, 3 protein.
http://www.lowcarb.ca/low-carb-tool...er_listing.html
Lots of hungry bugs where I live in the season the Brussels sprout, sprout.
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  #14   ^
Old Tue, Feb-21-12, 20:27
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KarenJ KarenJ is offline
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Plan: tasty animals with butter
Stats: 170/115/110 Female 60"
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by sondacop
I tried growing them in my yard, they were always so full of bugs I never got anything to eat.


I was planning on making "baby sprouts" for Thanksgiving this year (slow growing season). When I cut the stalks, I couldn't even bring them in the house they were so full of bugs! Ewwwwe. My farmer says that if you soak the veggies (broccoli, cauli, sprouts, etc) in salted water, the bugs die and float.
However, the damage was done. Huge bite holes from the cabbage worms in my Thanksgiving side was not an option!

If you don't like pesticides, one option might be to hire a neighborhood boy who likes to smash bugs and let him have at it.
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  #15   ^
Old Tue, Feb-21-12, 21:25
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RawNut RawNut is offline
Lipivore
Posts: 1,208
 
Plan: Very Low Carb Paleo
Stats: 270/185/180 Male 72 inches
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Progress: 94%
Location: Florida
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by KarenJ
If you don't like pesticides, one option might be to hire a neighborhood boy who likes to smash bugs and let him have at it.


I would have loved to do that! I think it's part of a primate instinct for me. Whenever one of my pets would get fleas, I'd have a powerful urge to pick them off and squish them even though I knew it wouldn't make a dent in the population. I didn't eat them of course.
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