Brussels Sprouts, my way.

My kids are adventurous eaters. They have to be, I’m their mom! From early on they have eaten a lot of food most kids do not like. A friend of mine joked once that I had no food to scare my kids with like she does. She uses the Brussels Sprouts Threat if he doesn’t eat what is on his plate. Kid finishes his dinner and there are no evil sprouts on the menu anytime. There was a brief spell where both kids decided not to like Brussels Sprouts the way they were cooked when I was growing up. Got to admit, just boiled they do not hold a lot of appeal for me either.
I’m not sure when it was decided they should be pan roasted but over time this dish (and many variations of it) has replaced cooked Brussels Sprouts. My kids love it and it makes a flavorful vegetable dish that only looks like you slaved hard over it.

Brussels Sprouts with bacon and almonds
pound to 1 1/5 pound Brussels Sprouts
4-6 strips bacon cut small
2 tbs slivered almonds
2tbs butter
1tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Clean Sprouts and quickly blanch them in hot water for about 5 minutes.
Fill a bowl with cold water and some ice cubes and put drained Sprouts in bowl, this will keep the nice green color.
In a saute pan brown bacon bits, drain liquid and add butter and sprouts.
salt the sprouts, tasting one to make sure it is seasoned well.
after 5 minutes add the almonds and the nutmeg.
the sprouts should look golden, takes about 5-7 minutes.


Picture courtesy of Jeffrey Aiello

Happy Easter, Swedish Chef style.

Soup for you!

I like soup, but most of all I like soups you don’t need to bind.

This one is definitely a favorite and the kids don’t realize it’s gluten free because it doesn’t taste cabbage-y.

Cauliflower soup:

3 shallots
1 medium to large cauliflower, about 4 cups.
2 tbs butter
5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of nutmeg
8 slices bacon
1/2 cup heavy cream

cook shallots in butter, add pre-cooked cauliflower and saute
puree mix with broth
add heavy cream
offer crumbled bacon on the side.


Orange Goodness

Growing up in the Netherlands we did not eat or have sweet potatoes or yams. Here in the US this pretty orange tuber has stolen my heart.
I love to cook it in the oven. It eliminates the need for a binding agent when used in soups.

Curried Sweet Potato soup with crab.

4 sweet potatoes
4 tbs butter
4 cups broth
1tsp salt
1 clove crushed garlic
1/2 tsp pepper
1tsp curry powder
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp nutmeg
3-4 ounces crab or cooked shrimp per person
Cut sweet potatoes in half and lay on roasting dish with the cut sides down
Add a little water and butter to the pan, about 1 tbs butter and 3 tbs water.
On 225 f in the oven cook the sweet potatoes until a fork can pierce them
Let cool and spoon ‘meat’ out of the shell
In a blender or food processor mix sweet potatoes with 2 cups broth, all the spices, butter and blend until smooth.
Soup should have the consistency of a chowder
Add crab and heavy cream on low heat and let it get warm enough for the crab to be heated.
Taste again and add salt, pepper or a little curry to the soup
This soup does get better when it’s a left over, but sure to store it no more than 2 days in a good closed container.

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