Seasonal local food recipe No.257 – Sprouts with chipotle, honey and toasted almonds

This is from a Thomasina Miers column in The Guardian. If you haven’t got chipotle en adobo (a relish) she suggests deseeding a dried chipotle, simmering it in water for 20 minutes to soften before pureeing it; failing that use smoked paprika.  You could also substitute hazelnuts for the almonds.

The sprouts made a tasty supper with grilled sausages.  Thomasina Miers also suggests serving over rice or quinoa loosened with sesame oil, and topped with feta.

Serves 2-4

Preparation time: 10-20 minutes
Cooking time: 10-15 minutes

500g brussels sprouts
45g almonds (optional), skinned
60 g butter
1 tbsp chipotle en adobo (or 1 tsp hot smoked paprika)
1 tbsp honey
juice of 1 lime

Wash and tail the sprouts, cut away any discoloured/damaged leaves, and cut into halves.  Put a large, heavy-bottomed frying pan on a medium heat and, when hot, toast the nuts (if using) for 5-10 minutes, tossing them every so often until they are toasted all over.  Roughly chop the nuts.

Turn the heat under the pan right up, add the butter, wait for the butter to start foaming, then cook until the solids turn a rich deep brown and it smells deliciously nutty.  Throw in the sprouts, fry for a few minutes, then turn them over and cook for 5 minutes more, tossing every so often so they colour all over.

Add the honey and chipotle to the pan, toss to coat the sprouts and squeeze in the lime juice.  Leave to heat through for a minute and sprinkle with the chopped nuts before serving.

Seasonal local food recipe No.250 – Wok-fried Brussels sprouts with ginger

This is for those of you who don’t like plain boiled sprouts!  The Riverford Farm cookbook suggests serving with rice.

Serves 4

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 7 minutes

3 tbs sunflower oil
2 shallots or 1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 chilli, finely chopped
600g Brussels sprouts, finely shredded
4cm piece of fresh ginger, cut into very fine strips
4 cm piece of crystallised stem ginger, cut into very fine strips
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a wok, add the shallots or onion, plus the garlic and chilli and fry quickly for about 2 minutes, without browning.  Add the shredded sprouts and the fresh and crystallised ginger.  Cook stirring constantly for two minutes.  Add 3 tbs water, cover and steam for 3 minutes.  Season to taste and serve.

Seasonal local food recipe No.215 – Country-style hot-pot

A hearty casserole to warm you up when you come in out of the wind and rain!  It’s my adaptation from Sarah Brown’s Vegetarian Kitchen using vacuum packed chestnuts instead of dried chestnuts and is a meal in a pot if you serve it with the cheese nuggets.

Serves 2-4

Preparation time: 15-20 minutes
Cooking time: 50 minutes

200g vacuum packed chestnuts
250g whole pickling onions or shallots
250g carrots, peeled and sliced into 1cm rings
250g sprouts, peeled
125g button mushrooms, cleaned
1 tbs oil
1/2 tsp mustard powder
1 tbs soy sauce
freshly chopped parsley
salt and pepper

for the cheese nuggets (optional)
50 fresh breadcrumbs
50g grated cheese
1 egg
1/4 tsp mustard powder
1/4 tsp paprika

Heat the oil in a flameproof casserole or large pan and gently fry the onions for a few minutes, add the carrots and mustard powder and continue frying for a few minutes.  Add the soy sauce, the chestnuts and 500ml of water, bring to the boil and simmer for about 20 minutes.

While this is cooking make the cheese nuggets.  Mix together the breadcrumbs and grated cheese.  Beat the egg and mix with the salt, mustard and paprika then mix this into the breadcrumbs and cheese.  Form the mixture into small balls the size of walnuts.

After the hot-pot has cooked for 20 minutes add the sprouts, mushrooms, parsley and cheese nuggets (if using).  Season to taste and continue cooking for 15-20 minutes until the cheese nuggets are cooked and the sprouts are tender.  Serve staight away.

This casserole will go further if you serve it with mashed potatoes and a green vegetable.

Seasonal local food recipe No.211 – Shaved brussels sprouts, olive oil, lemon and pecorino cheese

“A recipe that is enough to convert even the most ardent sprouts-averse folk,” according to The Guardian. What a perfect use for the freshly-picked Brussels sprout stalk in Camel CSA’s vegetable boxes this week.

It’s from The Perfectly Tossed Salad by Mindy Fox. Italian Pecorino is a sharper alternative to Parmesan.

Serves 4-6

Preparation time: 10 minutes

No cooking!

450g brussels sprouts
5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp salt
3½ tbsp fresh lemon juice
½-1 tsp whole black peppercorns, crushed
115g pecorino cheese, grated or shaved

Rinse the sprouts, then pat dry with kitchen roll. Remove any discoloured outer leaves, then cut the sprouts in half, lengthways. Very thinly slice them the sprouts crossways, transferring to a large, shallow serving bowl as you go.

Drizzle the oil over the sprouts, sprinkle with salt and toss well. Add the lemon juice and pepper and toss again. Lay the cheese on the top of the salad and serve immediately.

Seasonal local food recipe No.210 – Sprout tops and gorgonzola frittata

If you’ve never tasted Brussels sprout tops, now’s the time to start. They’re quite a gourmet veg and there’s plenty more where Camel CSA’s come from!

TV chef Silvana Franco sautées them in this quick and easy frittata on The Good Food Channel. I cheated and used the last of the Christmas stilton in place of Italian gorgonzola.

Serves: 2

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes

1 knob butter
1 red onion, finely sliced
1 head sprout tops, or spring greens, finely shredded
2-4 cloves garlic, chopped, to taste
6 eggs
1 thick slice rustic whitebread, crust removed
2 tbsp finely chopped sage
1 tbsp olive oil
150g gorgonzola cheese

Heat the butter in a 23cm non-stick frying pan. Cook the onion, greens and garlic for 5 minutes until wilted and golden.

Meanwhile, beat the eggs. Tear small pieces of bread into the eggs. Add the sage and some salt and pepper and set aside for a few minutes. Stir the wilted green into the eggs and mix well.

Return the pan to the heat and add the oil. Pour in half of the egg mixture and crumble over the cheese. Pour in the rest of the egg mixture. Cook gently for 8 minutes until the frittata is almost set.

Carefully slip out onto a plate then invert back into the pan and cook for a couple of minutes more until cooked right through and golden on each side. Allow to stand for a minute then cut into wedges and serve.

Seasonal local food recipe No.133: Brussels sprouts with bacon

sprouts on a stem-camel csa

This recipe, from the American TV cook Rachael Ray, dares anyone who says “Yuk!” to Brussels sprouts – even children – to dislike them after trying them cooked this way.

The sprouts absorb the flavour of the stock and the short cooking time ensures that they don’t collapse.

Serves: four

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes

3 slices bacon, chopped
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 shallot or small onion, chopped
800g Brussels sprouts, trimmed, small spouts left whole, larger spouts halved
250ml chicken stock
Salt and pepper to taste

Brown the bacon in a medium skillet over medium high heat. Remove the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Put the extra-virgin olive oil to the pan. Add the shallot or onion and saute for one to two minutes. Add the Brussels sprouts and coat in oil. Season with salt and pepper. Cook the sprouts for two to three  minutes until they begin to soften, then add the stock. Bring it to a bubble, cover and reduce heat to medium low. Cook  for up to 10 minutes, until sprouts are just tender. Transfer sprouts to a serving dish with a slotted spoon and top with the cooked bacon bits.

Brussels sprouts with chestnuts, bacon and parsley

Seasonal recipe No 31 – Brussels sprouts with chestnuts, bacon and parsley

Cooking sprouts with chestnuts and bacon makes them seriously irresistible.

Serves 4

Preparation time: less than 30 minutes
Cooking time: 10 to 30 minutes

500g Brussels sprouts
vegetable oil
125g streaky bacon, cut into small pieces
1 tbsp butter
125g vacuum-packed chestnuts, roughly chopped
30ml marsala (optional)
handful fresh parsley, chopped
freshly ground pepper

Trim the ends of the sprouts and put them in a large saucepan of salted boiling water. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until they are tender but still retain a bit of bite. Remove from the heat and drain.

Heat about half a tablespoon of oil in a large pan. Add the bacon and cook until it is crisp and golden-brown. Add the butter and chestnuts. If you’re using the marsala, once the chestnuts have warmed through, turn the heat up and add the marsala. Cook until the mixture has reduced and thickened slightly.

Add the sprouts and half the parsley to the pan and mix well. Season with freshly ground black pepper. Serve with the rest of the parsley sprinkled over the top.

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