Many people have a love/hate relationship with the Brussels sprout.
A traditional festive dinner is unthinkable without then, yet they are mostly unloved. Part of the problem is that they are either boiled since September, in time for the 25thor are served as hard as bullets.
The truth is that in as little as 25 minutes (say, when the turkey is resting), you can have something flavoursome that is also nutritious.
Preferably try and use baby sprouts, but equally, normal sprouts cut lengthwise will work as well. Fill a roasting tray with as many sprouts as will cover the tray and not be stacked on top of each other.
Chop a quantity of lardoons (Veal bacon works, choose pieces that have some fat on) and sprinkle some mixed nuts; pistachios, cashews, blanched almonds and some raisins over the sprouts. Shake the tray so there is an even spread. Splash on a generous amount of olive oil and place in a preheated oven for about 25 to 30 minutes at 450 degrees, shaking half way through cooking to ‘toss’ everything, ensuring the cooking is even. You may wish to add a little water for the last ten minutes. You want some caramelisation, it brings out the natural sweetness, but not burnt offerings. When you can run a fork into the sprout cleanly, the dish is ready to serve. Just before serving, sprinkle some pomegranate seeds and you are ready to bring the sprouts to the table.
Vegetarians will wish to avoid using lardoons of course, but other toppings; just before serving are honey or maple syrup. You will look at sprouts in a completely new light. Be bold with flavours and tastes, while doing the traditional thing.
It is the time of year when half the world is eating turkey while complaining how dry the meat is. I explained last year how to avoid ever having a dry turkey, the answer is stuffing the bird with rice, fruits, mushrooms etc. Without having to explain things from scratch and as a help to new readers here is the link to last years turkey article:
Enjoy a very happy festive season, one and all!
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