Brussels Sprouts Basic Method
For too many people the Brussels sprout is the vegetable suffered on Christmas day after being cooked too long. However, cooked properly they are delicious and they can be enjoyed fresh from September through February.
Do not follow the traditional recipe of cutting a cross into the base and boiling until the house smells of cabbage and the sprouts are a mush. If you want to try something different try this.
Take the fresh Brussels sprouts, preferably smaller rather than larger ones, and peel off any loose or yellowing outer leaves. Bring a pan of water to the boil, you can add salt if you like.
Drop the prepared sprouts into the water and put a lid on the pan, leaving the heat on high until the water returns to the boil. After 3 minutes, strain the sprouts and shake off any excess water.
A lot of recipes will say 10 minutes but we find three minutes is just right. The sprouts will be cooked.
Now melt some butter into a frying pan, add the Brussels sprouts and some black pepper to taste. Sauté for a couple of minutes and serve.
If you have a glut of sprouts then blanche for three minutes and then drop into iced water until they are cold. Drain well and freeze. When you are ready to use them, remember they've already been partially cooked and after thawing you can put them straight into a frying pan or even just steam them until warmed through.
Variations for Brussels Sprouts Recipes
You can vary the basic method by adding garlic and / or sage to the butter before frying them.
Fry off some lardons or smoked bacon before adding the sprouts, try goose fat instead of butter or olive oil can work well. Small pieces of cooked chestnut can be added for a very seasonal accompaniment to your Christmas lunch.