Brussels sprouts, or spruitjes as I like to call them in homage to my Flemish background, are one of my favourite vegetables to serve at Thanksgivings. My family, however, doesn’t feel the same way about them. This year I decided to try a different preparation, to make them feel less cabbage-like and more sophisticated.
First I trim the bottom of the sprout, discard the tough outer leaves and then remove the rest of the leaves, coring the sprout as I go. Yes, it’s a finicky and time-comsuming job (especially when you’re working with almost two pounds of sprouts, as I was for our Thanksgiving dinner), but meditative and relaxing in its own way. Besides, a bold makeover always takes some effort. I gave them a quick rinse and set them aside until it was time to finish them.
Another benefit of this dish is that it’s so easy to cook the sprouts at the last minute before dinner. Just melt several tablespoons of butter in large skillet, stirr in the Brussels sprouts leaves, add salt and pepper and a grating of fresh nutmeg, put on the lid and let them cook over low heat until tender.
At one point I added about a tablespoon of the turkey stock I’d made for the gravy just to get more moisture to aid in the cooking process. I could have used water instead.
As a final coup de grace, I added 6 slices of bacon that I had cooked and chopped the night before.
Prepared this way, sprouts cook quite quickly, in about 20 minutes or so, and are happy to wait in the lidded skillet with the heat off until serving time. They look tender, bright and delicious, and they are!
As makeovers go, this one is a winner (even though not all of the Offspring were fooled.)