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Old 06-25-2011, 10:24 AM   #1
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ISO buying Brussels sprouts advice

This veggie was never a part of my family's repertoire of cooking so I know nothing about them. I've had them several times recently at different places and liked them. I'd like to learn how to know cook them and I assume they like other veggies in that the good ones fresher but how do you pick out good ones? Or doesn't it matter?

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Old 06-25-2011, 11:01 AM   #2
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It does matter.....Look for firm, very green, no yellowing leaves etc. I like the medium size ones, but I don't spend a long time picking through them...We steam them in a bamboo steamer until tender..serve with a melted butter/lemon 'sauce'

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Old 06-25-2011, 11:09 AM   #3
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My favorite way of making them is to cut a little of the stem off. Peel off the loose leaf or two. Cut them in half.
Get some EVOO and butter going in a skillet over med/high heat. Add a little s & p and lay the sprouts in, flat side down. When that side gets colored nicely, turn them over with tongs, turn the heat down, add a little chicken broth and put a lid on the skillet. Steam them like that for ten minutes or so.


You could also add some chopped garlic after you turn the heat down. Or change the steaming liquid. I'm sure wine would work, too.
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Old 06-25-2011, 11:10 AM   #4
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they are reasonable "shelf stable" - so finding "good ones" is not too hard -
as mentioned - firm, green not yellowing you can also look at the stem end. some drying is natural but it should not be "crisp"

our market has them prepacked and loose - I always buy the loose - so I can gander them as I count them out....

many ways to fix, here's my fav (at the moment.....)
get some water boiling, salt
snip the stem, remove any loose leaves
cut in half 'top to bottom' ie parallel to the stem
boil gently for about 10 minutes - I like a little crunch
in a heavy pan, 1-2 pats of butter, melted
heat to sizzling
carefully place sprouts cut side down in pan - lightly brown the cut surface
remove & serve.
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Old 06-25-2011, 11:44 AM   #5
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Thanks for the replies! Firm, green, no yellow, not dry and crispy stems. The recommendations for cooking appreciated too! I'm going to get some the next time I'm out. I'll let you know how it goes!
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Old 06-25-2011, 11:56 AM   #6
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Make sure they're nicely firm and green. They're fairly cheap too, and can be bought at any supermarket. Make sure there's no yellow spots or significant detachment of leaves.

I used to dislike them at first because I didn't know how to make them taste good, until I discovered that they REALLY go well with Dijon mustard. Wash them well, cut them into quarters, steam them, and then add mustard and cilantro. They last fairly long in the fridge too.
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Old 06-25-2011, 12:03 PM   #7
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Oh, a HUGE pox on my crashed computer!!!! Sprouts are one of my most favorite fall veggies, & all my recipes are trapped until dear hubby can transfer them to my new computer. Drat.

But I will say that, having grown them myself, all the advice re: picking good ones stand. Try to buy them loose so you can pick & choose - avoid the prepackaged ones. In the fall, some farmers markets & supermarkets even sell sprouts fresh on the stalk, & these are terrific & last a long time if kept in a cool place. In a pinch, the Hanover brand of frozen "Petite Brussel Sprouts" is excellent. In fact, I almost always have a bag in the freezer. Tiny, tender, & a perfect last-minute accompaniment to roast chicken. Oh, & the Wegmans supermarket chain now carries a wonderful new product - bagged shredded Brussel Sprouts!! Let me tell you - they make a WONDERFUL new side briefly sauteed in butter, or added to stirfries, soups, etc., etc. I've found them really tasty & versatile. In addition, they last a LONG time in the fridge.

I'll have to revisit this thread when my new computer is up & running. :)
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Old 06-25-2011, 04:01 PM   #8
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I roast them - they come out deliciously caramelized.

Preheat oven to 400 F. Peel and cut brussels sprouts in half. Toss with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper (can also add garlic powder and onion powder). Lay them cut side down on baking sheet, and roast about 20 minutes, or until nicely browned.
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Old 06-26-2011, 07:56 AM   #9
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Brussels sprouts are one of my favorites--I can eat half a pound all by myself.

Another vote for the methods used by pacanis and dc--browning them a bit really makes them good. I usually burn them when I try to roast them, but roasting would take care of the browning, too. My brother roasts his, and sprinkles with parmesan as he takes them out of the oven. Mmmm!

I love them combined with wild rice--the flavor/texture combo is wonderful. I usually cook my wild rice in chicken broth, with some celery and onions.
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Old 06-26-2011, 12:19 PM   #10
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My favorite way (lately) of doing them is using Laura Calder's recipe:

Brussels Sprouts - Recipes - Food Network Canada

I add about 1-2 tsp of maple syrup when I get them in the pan (once the bacon's crisped).
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Old 06-26-2011, 12:24 PM   #11
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I like to buy frozen ones, no guess work, and I love them in soup. They give this amazing and sweet flavor to soup.
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Old 06-26-2011, 12:27 PM   #12
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Definitly go for the firm, bright green ones. I steam mine till tender, then add crispy bacon bits or lemon and garlic butter. I've also used them to make coleslaw, very tasty alternative to regular cabbage.
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Old 06-26-2011, 01:01 PM   #13
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Biggest tip on brussel sprouts - don't mention them to Frank Z!
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