Looking back to when I was a child, I thought brussels sprouts smelled and tasted awful. It was not until the last few years that I have even thought about trying them again. Then I did. Thinly sliced sprouts sautéed in a little olive oil with garlic and lemon. Wow, they really tasted great and did not really know why I thought I did not like them. Brussels sprouts remind me and taste like little cabbage. Even sautéed they can be dry. Today while a roast was in the crock pot, I opened the refrigerator to see what else I would make for dinner. I had a bag of sprouts I had bought some time ago and knew I needed to use them soon. Thinking of how to make them interesting I saw a recipe for au gratin potatoes. Alas, there it was, brussels sprout gratin.
They were awesome. Creamy and cheesy, slightly undercooked with a slight crunch, with just the right amount of salt and pepper. It was easy to make and made a wonderful side to the slow simmered pot roast. So the next time you want to try something different, buy a pound of sprouts and get cooking!
- 1 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk, at room temperature
- salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- 6 ounces Gruyere, Gouda or Mozzarella
- 6 ounces parmesan cheese, about 1 1/2 cups
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium heat. Add the Brussels sprouts and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until bright green and beginning to soften. Remove the sprouts to cool.
Make the sauce by melting the butter and flour together in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until smooth and bubbling, about 1 minute; slowly whisk in milk and continue to cook, whisking frequently, until thick and creamy, 3 to 4 minutes. Season the sauce well with salt and heavily with pepper.
Halve the Brussels sprouts through the core and put them in an even layer in a 2 quart baking dish. Pour the sauce over the sprouts and sprinkle the cheese evenly over the top. Bake in the center of the oven for 15 to 20 minutes until the top is golden and bubbling.
- 2 pounds venison, cubed
- 1 medium red onion, chopped
- 2 small turnips, diced
- 2 large potatos, diced
- 6 carrots sliced diagonally
- 2 clove garlic, minced
- 6 cups beef broth
- 2 cups green beans
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
Over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon oil in large pot. Saute onion and garlic. Add venison and cook completely. Drain excess fat and return to pot. Add the remaining ingredients and cook over medium heat until vegetables are tender. Salt and pepper to taste. Before serving, mix 1 tablespoon of corn starch 2 tablespoons of cool water. Slowly stir into soup until desired thickness is reached. Serve with crusty bread.
Makes 2 big bowls of soup
Toast the spices
- 4 whole cloves
- 4 whole star anise
- 1 cinnamon stick
Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Add the cloves, star anise, and cinnamon stick and toast until fragrant, about 3-4 minutes. Put the spices into a bowl and set aside.
- 1 quart chicken stock plus two cups water
- 1 bunch green onions (green top parts only) chopped
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar, or more to taste
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce, or more to taste (optional)
- 2 cup sea weed or kale, chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 2 large grilled chicken breasts, shredded
- 1 orange or yellow bell pepper, sliced thin
- 2 cups sliced mushrooms
- 4 oz vermicelli or thin rice noodles
- 2 tablespoon cilantro, chopped- for garnish (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 tablespoon chopped green onions (white parts only), minced- for garnish (optional)
- 1/2 lime, cut into wedges
- salt and pepper to taste
In a large pot, add the toasted spices and all ingredients except chicken, sea weed/kale, mushrooms and bell peppers and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let simmer for 20 minutes.
Taste the broth and add more sugar or fish sauce, if needed. Strain the broth and discard the solids. Add the sea weed or kale, mushrooms and bell peppers and cook for 1-2 more minutes. Remove from heat.
Add the shredded chicken and the vermicelli. Allow to sit for a few minutes while the noodles soften. Ladle the broth into bowls. Divide the kale, shredded chicken, peppers and the noodles evenly into each bowl. Sprinkle on the garnishes. Squeeze lime juice to taste over the top of your bowl before eating.