Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Brussels Sprouts a l'orange

In honour of the approaching Thanksgiving holiday, I am posting my recipe for Brussels sprouts. Now, I was never a big fan of the Sprout, but a certain French cook transformed me from a girl who would risk choking to death in an attempt to swallow one of the little suckers whole, rather than chew (I had parents who made us always eat our veggies!) into a Sprout-loving maniac. Yes, maniac! The cook was my ex's sister....we didn't have much in common but the woman knew her way around a Sprout. My recipe doesn't much resemble hers, but I learned technique from her, and that Brussels sprouts don't have to be mushy yuck...they can be tender yet crisp, green little lovelies with a delicately earthy flavour and sweetness that tastes like more. Yum!

Brussels Sprouts a L'orange

Per pound of sprouts, you will need 1 orange, 2 tsp Grand Marnier, and 2 tsp butter. The oranges should be juiced and zested.

You must have fresh, not frozen sprouts, if you can get them still on the stalk and cut them off yourself, even better. Clean and trim them, cut each one in half and cut a little slit in the core end of each half, like so:

Heat a large frypan on medium-high heat and coat with cooking spray. Throw in the sprouts and cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until you see them browning a bit. Then put in the Grand Marnier and let it evaporate. When it is mostly evaporated, put in the orange juice and zest, stir it all up and put a lid on it. Let the sprouts steam in the juice for about 3 minutes, really it depends on the size...small sprouts need very little time, larger ones will need a bit more and may requuire a splash of water to keep the steaming going longer...just try them as you go, they should be fork-tender but still bright green and have some crispness to bite. The liquid should be all evaporated by the time they are done, at this point put in the butter, some cracked pepper and sea salt, and toss to coat.

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