I am always on the lookout for recipe ideas to spice up an otherwise dull dish, or a way to cook a dish that isn’t normally served, especially a way to cook a dish that most people would turn down and surprise the naysayers. To that end I have two favorite podcasts and blogs; My Life as a Foodie and Sean Paxton’s Home Brewed Chef
On the latest Home Brewed Chef episode Sean Paxton dwelt mainly on local food available a your farmer’s market, early in the show he was answering some question and presented an idea for Brussels Sprouts “a cultivar group of wild cabbage cultivated for its small, leafy green buds, which are typically 2.5–4 cm (0.98–1.6 in) in diameter” (wikipedia.com). This recipe involves a bit more work than the normal “cut in half” but I think the extra work is well worth the work.
Again my recipe is rather vague, more of an idea of how to prepare than a strict formula. The guide here will serve 2, adjust as needed. You will need about a dozen small Brussels Sprouts, the smaller the better. Large ones get a bit tough and have a harsh flavor, I select sprouts less than and inch in diameter, some grocery stores have some well over that size. You will also need a Scallion, some Olive Oil, Bacon drippings, or Goose Fat. A good beer, preferably a malty brew. And some good prepared mustard.
Begin by trimming the outer leafs from the sprouts, revealing the light tender inner leaves. Then slice them into thin pieces – think about making Cole Slaw with a cabbage but on a smaller scale. Also remove the skin from the scallions and slice them. Have the mustard and beer handy before you start the next steps, thinks happen fairly rapidly from here in, total cooking time us 3-4 minutes.
Heat a bit of Olive Oil, I’m guessing I use about 2 teaspoons of the oil. It’s not much. Heat this in a ‘non-stick’ frying pan over a medium heat (6 on my stove), when the oil is hot, add the chopped sprouts and scallions. Stir occasionally while sautéing this for about 3 minutes, don’t let anything burn. When this all looks done – ok, turning a dark green, add just a bit of mustard. I would probably use some Pommery-Mustard if I had it, but a spicy brown mustard work great. A “yellow mud” probably would not work,. Be sparing with the mustard, the last time I made this I only used about half a teaspoon for 12 sprouts (2 servings). The target is to have a hint of mustard taste, with sprouts, not sprout flavored mustard.
Stir this for a few seconds – enough the warm the mustard to the temperature of the sprouts. Now add a splash of the selected beer – probably about 1 Tablespoon, Again the result is not to have sprout flavored beer, it’s mainly used as a flavored liquid to keep the dish from becoming too dry.
Serve hot and enjoy. Don’t tell your guests ahead of time what it is, see if they can tell they are eating eating Brussels Sprouts. I’ll wager they will want the recipe.