Brussels Sprouts

Probably the most underrated vegetable in the garden…..

I am not sure why but my guess is that as a child most of us had to endure boiled way to long sprouts with our turkey dinners. Well its time to block this from your memory because Brussels Sprouts are damn good and can be enjoyed much more often than with your turkey dinner. Be creative, they can hold their own with many different ingredients.

For those of you who did not know, Canadian Thanksgiving was on October 10th and yes we Canadians give thanks as well 🙂 Instead of cooking a turkey I decided to Sous Vide some duck legs along with a beautiful side of Brussels Sprouts and Madeira Jus. I actually decided to create two different sprout sides, the first is my wife Jana’s favorite (amazing for someone who hated Brussels Sprouts until she tried this dish a few years back) charred with crispy pork belly, roasted grapes tossed with shallots. The second dish is a variation of a side that we served with squab when I was working in England (back then we used almonds and no grapes) Brussels Sprout leaves, toasted hazelnuts and roasted grapes. The bitterness of the sprouts and the intense sweetness of the grapes with the beautiful crunch of the hazelnuts works so well with the crispy skin and just so ever saltiness of the Sous Vide duck leg.

Jana was not to excited about eating what she calls boil (sous vide) in the bag duck leg but I convinced her to give it a try with the sprouts and she was a believer after the first bite. Just remember there is no water necessary for these two recipes so leave the boiled to death Brussels Sprout memories in the past where they belong.

Amy’s Wine Picks
For Chef McLeod’s Sous Vide Duck leg, I recommend a wine that is bold enough to stand up to the fall flavors, yet subtle enough to not steal the show. Besides the rich protein, you must consider the sweet Madeira Jus, nutty hazelnuts and earthy Brussels sprouts. Depending on the style, Châteauneuf-du-Pape tends to have a residual sweetness that will accentuate the Madeira Jus and an earthy component that complements the Brussels sprouts. Pinot Noir is a classic pairing with Duck and will enhance its flavors. Riesling, well…it simply goes with everything. An off-dry to sweet selection will pair beautifully with the Madeira Jus. Its acidity will cleanse the palate, preparing for the next delightful bite. And if you select an older vintage, it develops a nutty quality that will be perfect with the hazelnuts. Overall, I think all three wines would complement Chef McLeod’s dish.

Top pick: Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Playing it safe: Pinot Noir

Off the beaten track: Riesling

Amy Payne

Charred Brussels Sprouts

1lb Brussel Sprouts
2 Strips Bacon or 3 oz Pork Belly
1 Shallot
15pc Red Grapes
Safflower Oil

Trim the stem of the sprouts, cut in 1/2 and remove and excess leaves
Cut the bacon in batons
Finely dice the shallots
Roast the Grapes in a 400F oven for about 20 to 25 mins
Cook bacon batons in just a drop of oil
Once bacon is cooked remove from pan
Add the sprouts to Bacon Fat and add a splash of oil and cook on high heat
Season with salt and pepper
It is key to really char the sprouts, the darker the better (just don’t burn)
This should take about 5 to 7 mins
Strain any excess fat/oil from pan add shallots and toss quickly
Add bacon and grapes

Brussels Sprout Leaves, Hazelnuts, Roasted Grapes

1/2 lb Brussels Sprouts
15 Grapes
1/4 cup Toasted Hazelnuts
1 Shallot Finely Diced
1 tbsp Safflower Oil

Cut off the stem on the sprouts and remove the leaves one by one
Roast the Grapes in a 400F oven for about 20 to 25 mins
Crush the hazelnuts but not to small
Place a saute pan on medium to high heat and add oil
Quickly add the leaves and toss for about 60 to 90 seconds you want to just wilt the leaves
Season with salt and pepper
Add the shallots and remove from heat
Toss in the grapes and last second add the nuts

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6 thoughts on “Brussels Sprouts

  1. Yay I’m going to try these special Brussel Sprouts for American Thanksgiving in November. Kenny will have to try them, I’ve tried to slip my version of roasted BS but he won’t be able to these down. Thanks for the eloquent and delicious post! Leeta

  2. Carroll says:

    Great combination! Love the salty sweet!

  3. This looks so good! I used to hate brussel sprouts as a kid, but as an adult, they are one of my favorite vegetables ever. I love the combination of flavors and textures here — the crunch of the hazelnuts and the sweetness of the grapes. Yum!

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