Brussels sprouts

Brussels sprouts

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From
Encyclopedia of Food and Cookery

These look like tiny cabbages. The smaller they are, the better the flavour and texture. They are an excellent vegetable cooked until tender, but not too soft, and finished off with a little butter and pepper. Choose small, tight, bright green heads with no trace of yellow. Use them soon after buying as they fade quickly. Store, covered, in the refrigerator for a few days only.

Basic preparation: Remove any faded leaves and trim stems level with base of leaves. Unless sprouts are very tiny, cut a cross in the end of each stem to speed cooking. Rinse in cold water.

To cook: Drop into boiling salted water, cover and cook until tender but still firm (test a stem with a knife), for 6–12 minutes depending on size. Drain and serve immediately with butter, freshly ground black pepper and a few drops of lemon juice. Breadcrumbs, fried in butter and tossed through, give a contrast in texture.

Butter-braised sprouts: This recipe is an exception to the basic cooking method for Brussels sprouts, but it is too delicious to omit. When chestnuts are added, the dish is a traditional accompaniment to roast turkey or goose.

Partially cook sprouts in boiling, salted water. Drain and dry. Heat 60 g butter in a shallow flameproof dish, add sprouts and turn them to coat evenly with butter. Cover with buttered paper and bake in a preheated moderate oven for about 20 minutes. Cooked or tinned chestnuts may be baked in the butter with the sprouts. A little cream is a nice addition, or the sprouts may be covered with buttered breadcrumbs and grated cheese and the top browned under a preheated grill.

Ingredients

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