Why am I even posting Brussels sprouts recipes on the website I hear you ask? I know - many people only buy sprouts once a year for the Christmas dinner, when they end up totally neglected next to bits of dried up chipolata.
Honestly, that's a waste. If you hate the green bullets that much, don't buy them in the first place.
If you're a bit more open-minded than that, then stay with me here and try one of my favourite Brussels sprouts recipes. Because, you know, sprouts really aren't as bad as the reputation they've been saddled with. The hint of bitterness is something of a more adult flavour, but is actually one of the reason I like sprouts. Just like chicory and radish, I suppose.
Buy sprouts, but don't drown them and don't overcook them. Try them cooked this way instead and if you do really end up with leftovers, then simply pop them into a pan with the last roast potatoes, swede and parsnip for a delicious bubble and squeak. I promise, you'll never look sideways at sprouts again.
Difficult to judge that, as it depends very much on how many people you're cooking for and how much you really think you hate sprouts. For simplicity's sake I assume you've picked up one of those little net things the supermarkets have in the runup to Christmas dinner. That's about 500g of sprouts.
If you pick your own from a crate of loose sprouts, make sure to go for the small ones. The tastiest ones - to my mind at least - are just slightly larger than marbles. I find that the flavour gets coarser the larger the sprouts get. And you don't want that, especially when I'm trying to convince you that sprouts are tasty as all get out.
As Brussels sprouts recipes go, this one does not demand excessive kitchen skills. Nor does it take much of your time. So, it's a winner allround, ne?
Peel any wilted leaves off the sprouts and remove any tough, dry stuff from the base. If you've selected your own, and they're nice and small like marbles, leave them whole as they are. If they're huge, cut a cross in the base or cut them in half.
Squeeze the lemon and keep the juice near the stove.
Heat the oil or lard in a deep pan on medium-high heat. When there's a heat haze above the pot, tip in the sprouts and toss them around until they're bright green and glistening.
Next, turn the heat down a little and sprinkle in the stock powder. You need the heat lower for this, or the powder will burn. And you want to use stock powder rather than stock, because we don't want soggy sprouts, so we're keeping the water away! Stir until the sprouts are well coated in the stock powder, then tip in the lemon juice. Stand well away when you do this, it spits!
Turn the heat down a little more and clap a lid on the pot, leaving the sprouts to steam in the lemon juice / stock mixture. Don't walk away from the stove - you don't want burnt and sticking sprouts.
Keep shaking the pan and add a splash (no more!) of water or white wine if the pan dries before the sprouts are cooked. Remember, you want them bright green and with bite - not mushy - so take them off the heat long before you'd usually do.
And that's all there is to it. Tasty, hasslefree sprouts in next to no time.
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