Brussel Sprouts, the new Sexy
Who would think that people would be chasing brussel sprouts like they were cabbage patch dolls? not me. I have the good fortune to have kids who love brussel sprouts, and to live in a town with Trader Joes. Every fall for the last few years has seen an increase in brusselsproutmania. Because TJs sells them fresh ON the STALK. When they are in-store, people have phone trees just to let other sproutfreaks know they are there. (But I suspect not until said caller has their sproutstash built back up first.)
I have never seen any other vegetable elicit "how-do-YOU-cook-thesebabies" conversations in the aisle like the sroutstalk. They are alien looking, and fresh and delicious, They keep very fresh on the stalk for quite some time. And everyone wants them. They have in the last three years become a standard at our thanksgiving table with the kids asking "are we having brussel sprouts this year?!?"
Here is how I prepare them:
Cut them off the stalk and cut them each in half. Get about 4 cups of sprouts. Heat a large skillet (that has a lid) and melt some olive oil and some butter, enough to coat the bottom of the skillet. Set to medium high? Add some minced garlic, maybe two large cloves. Place the brussel sprouts cut side down in the pan, and saute until the sprouts start to actually pop up and down in the pan. They should start to brown a little on the cut surface and I suspect steam gets up inside and pops them around a bit. Anyway, even if they do not pop (mine could well be magicalsprouts), once they start to brown a little, stir them over and around, and add about 1/2 cup of chicken stock to the pan and cover. Let steam for a few minutes until they are as tender as you like. Then throw in a handful (maybe a third of a cup), of parmesan cheese over the top, toss and serve. Salt and pepper to taste.