Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Brussels Sprouts.....three ways


Ever since I've been making my favorite shredded brussels sprouts salad with apple and maple lemon dressing, I've found a few different ways to use the parts I normally used to throw away. Normally I would wash my sprouts and pull off the loose leaves, and throw those out. Then after the dried I shredded them for my salad and was left with the "core"...a little tough even when shredded so I threw those out too!

One day as I was about to throw away the loose leaves I pulled off I realized that they were perfectly good, nothing was wrong with them, why was I throwing them out? Not only were they perfectly good but they were the greenest part of the sprouts! I ended up using them by making some basic chunky veg soup with Italian sausage in a big stock pot (yep, NO PC!) and about 5 minutes before it was done (it only takes 15-20 min.) I added the brussels leaves to cook for only a short time. I wanted them to stay bright green, not get mushy and grey! I love it! The Italian sausage (only 2 links) along with my own chicken stock was surprisingly rich and flavorful.

Italian Sausage soup with Brussels leaves

2 links pork Italian sausage (remove from casing)
1 lg onion lg dice
2-3 celery stalks, lg dice
1 carrot, med dice
1 small head of cabbage, cut into 1/2 in ribbons (core removed)
1 small bunch of thyme

6-8 cups chicken stock (this I made in the PC!)

loose leaves for washed brussels sprouts

Heat 1 tbl olive oil in the bottom of an 8 qt stock pot and brown Italian sausage breaking into small pieces. Add another 1 tbl olive oil and saute onion and celery for 5 minutes until translucent. Deglaze bottom of pot with about 1 c. chicken stock before pouring the entire amount....now add the rest! Add shredded cabbage and thyme bundle. Bring to a boil with the lid on. Once at a boil turn the heat down to low and only slightly cover. Simmer for 15 min until the veggies are soft (almost). Add the loose leaves from the brussls sprouts and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.

At this time check to see if the leaves are tender (take a bite!). If they are then turn off the heat and remove the lid...you do not want them to heat up and cook anymore or you run the risk of them turning mushy and grey. If they are not tender yet then check them every couple of minutes....it shouldn't take long. Lift out the bundle of thyme and shake off the leaves....it's done!

The first time I served this to myself I added 3/4 cooked farro (I love, love, love farro!) If I were going to add beans to this soup I would have done it in the PC (white beans more than likely). Once the beans and veggies were done I would add the leaves to cook in the residual heat.

Now....the cores!
I knew Iwould have to be blasted in the PC! I decided to cook them along with my steel cut oats (in chicken stock) and eat them with feta cheese and black pepper. I posted the recipe for the oats, cheese and pepper a while ago and this time the only difference was that I added the brussels cores. I also used frozen stock! Another advantage of using a PC!

I freeze homemade stocks in increments of 1 c., 2 c., 4 c. containers. I didn't plan this ahead of time so I had to took a 1 c container of frozen chicken stock and added 1 more cup of water. I make my stock super rich to conserve freezer space and often have to dilute it with water.

Savory Steel Cut Oats with Brussels Sprouts, feta and black pepper

1/2 c steel cut oats
2 c. stock, water or combination of both
1 dz sm brussels sprouts (or just the cores)
1 oz feta cheese crumbled
a few fresh grinds of black pepper

Put 1/2 c. oats, 2 c liquid, 1/2 t. salt and brussels into PC. Lock lid and bring pressure to high (about 3-4 min). Turn heat to low while maintaining high pressure, and cook for 7 minutes. turn off heat and let pressure come down naturally (about 3-5 min). Stir in feta and top with a fine grind of black pepper.

So there you go....

Fresh crisp salad, flavorful and filling soup and a nifty way to use even the cores! talk about getting your money's worth!



Now....what to do with the tons of Fuyu persimmons? Today I julienned them with a Honeycrisp apple and squeezed lemon juice all over it. The plan was to make a salad of spinach, pumpkin seeds, persimmon and apple with a roasted pumpkin seed oil dressing (from Hungary)....but the fruits and lemon tasted so good on their own! The other idea was a mint and yogurt dressing....both would have the addition of some of my roasted chicken meat of course!


9 comments:

Marie said...

Dang! I threw all of those cores away yesterday after making your brussels sprout salad! I also love to cook/sauté (after par boiling) my brussels sprouts with lemon juice, onions and almonds- delicious! Can't wait to try the soup.

Tracy Reifkind said...

Marie,

I didn't eat the oats right away and I thought the cores would be mushy by the time I got to them (I had to re-heat)...and they were slightly, but they felt "creamy", not mushy. I liked it so much I'm making it again this morning (still have a handful of cores left!)

Seriously though...3 meals from one bag of brussels is pretty good!

Barney/IB138 said...

My mom made me eat all my brussels sprouts (and lima beans) when I was a kid but I'm not a kid anymore. :)

~Barney

Maribel said...

I had sweetened steel cut oats last week to change it up...but I dig the savory so much more. Brussels Sprouts in oatmeal sounds yummy. Did I tell you I mixed your corn chowder with oats too? That was sooooo good!

Hanneke said...

Ah, brussels sprouts, a topic near and dear to my heart. I absolutely LOVE them. I will definitely try some of these recipes. My favorite right now? Crispy brussels sprouts out of the oven with peanut sauce...mmmmmm...yum!

Tracy Reifkind said...

Barney,

Does that mean you won't eat them now because no one is making you? Your loss!

Tracy Reifkind said...

Maribel,

Savory oats is the way to go when using "steel cut". I almost always use chicken stock to cook them in these days. The sprout cores are really yummy in fact I'm going to make "mock" mashed potatoes...and I'll describe it more in my reply to Hanneke....

When you use "old fashioned" rolled oats then you might as well make dessert! 1/2 c. rolled oats is half of the calories, but makes about the same amount of volume....I add one 1-2 tbl brown sugar, (yep sometimes 2 tbls!), for a total of 240 cal! Now that's a sweet treat!

Tracy Reifkind said...

Hanneke,

Roasted Brussels used to be my favorite...which is why I pull off the loose leaves (I dislike burnt leaves). But when you roast veggies you take out the water content...in other words it's the same difference between fresh fruit and dried fruit. The flavor is more concentrated, but so are the calories and, for me, it changes the "digestibility".

Since adding just the cores to my oats I discovered a quite creamy texture to them so I'm going to try a "mock" mashed potato. I'll use my PC and post the results....I'm quite excited about this!

Hanneke said...

I'm looking forward to it.

Thanks for the reply!