Eat your choux de Bruxelles

In Recipies on January 5, 2013 at 12:50 pm

I was fairly delighted the other day when I found Brussels sprouts on sale at my local food mass-retailer. We enjoy these little “brains” when they’re prepared as most people are familiar, sautéd in butter after steaming. We also enjoy them au Polonaise, delicately flavored with a paste of boiled eggs.

Long-time readers will already know that I am a fan of Chef Jacques Pepin, so they will not be surprised that today’s recipe has its origins from within his kitchen.

Chef Pepin makes a delightful Brussels sprout ‘fricassee’. I adapted his recipe to stay within the rules set by my Invisible Friend (G-dash-Dee). The bacon used by Chef Pepin in his version gets replaced with turkey ham. And, while mixing meat with dairy is ‘out’ too, I justified using a bit of Gruyère cheese by applying a meat and dairy rule well-known in Reform Jewish congregations: “Turkeys don’t have tits.”

If such things do not restrain you, feel free to use bacon, real ham, and mix the dairy in to your heart’s content. The result is a delightful little gratin, rather than a true fricassee.

1 lb Brussels sprouts, stems trimmed and outer leaves removed

2 TBS salted butter

4 large scallions, white and green parts

1 clove garlic

½ C vegetable or chicken stock

4 large white mushrooms, ¼” slices

½ C Gruyère cheese, coarsely shredded

1 tsp Kosher salt

freshly ground black pepper

Preheat your oven to 350F. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Pulse the scallions and garlic in a food processor until fine. Re-fit the processor with a slicing disk set to about ¼” cuts and slice the Brussels sprouts. Gently add the mixture to the butter and sauté them until they are intensely green. Stir in the mushrooms and stock. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer gently for about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Be very gentle to avoid breaking up the sprout slices. Remove from the heat. If desired, transfer the mixture to a 1½ quart casserole. Or, leave it in the skillet if it is oven safe.

Check and adjust the seasoning, if needed. Evenly sprinkle the cheese over the top of the mixture and place in the oven for 15 minutes, until the cheese is well melted. Serve hot or warm.


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