December 24th, 2008 - Gerald "Gerry" Pugliese
Here’s another innovative Christmas tree alternative.
Yesterday we saw the space-saving, eco-conscious recycled cardboard tree. Sure, a great idea. But you can’t eat it!
That’s why the brussel tree rocks. As in, rocking around the Christmas tree!
And just think, after Christmas it makes the perfect guilt-free holiday snack, perfect for that New Year’s resolution.
Read More:Oh, Brussel Tree…
February 16th, 2006 - Barbara Feiner
Chef Anthony Walton
I still hear from chefs across the country about our pre-Thanksgiving recipe series on organic Brussels sprouts, which remain very much in season. (Check out the links at the end of this blog entry.)
Anthony Walton, executive chef at The Central Park Boathouse in New York City, has a wonderfully simple recipe. His culinary philosophy: “Keep things light, with subtle yet distinct flavors, and allow natural flavors to shine through.”
Chef Walton’s dishes are derived from fresh, seasonally driven ingredients and specially selected produce. Here’s his ever-so-easy recipe for sautéed Brussels sprouts, which he currently serves alongside an oven-roasted, chive-crusted halibut filet.
The Boathouse’s Brussels Sprouts
1 lb. Brussels sprouts
Dash of salt
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon chopped shallots
Salt and pepper, to taste
- Place Brussels sprouts in a pot with about 4 cups salted water. Bring to a boil and cook until sprouts are fork-tender. Drain. Then “shock” the sprouts in a large bowl filled with ice water. (Editor’s note: This stops the cooking process, preventing the sprouts from becoming mushy.)
- In a sauté pan, melt butter and add the shallots. Heat until butter turns golden brown. Add Brussels sprouts and toss until coated and warm again.
More Organic Authority Recipes
Read More:The Boathouse’s Brussels Sprouts
December 16th, 2005 - Barbara Feiner
Lisa Corwin is president of The Comfort Company in Miami, where she serves as a food consultant. She began her 25-year career as a chef, “drawing inspiration from the immigrants and ethnic neighborhoods that peddled and prepared real food and medicinal herbs,” she tells Organic Authority. “First and foremost, I love fresh, organic, high-quality food. Watching the world fall ill around me from the processing and adulteration of the modern food industry, it became very clear to me to heed the call to preservation and make healing foods a delicious way of life.”
Lisa, who prepares meals, caters parties and “walks clients down the food aisle so they can say ‘I do’ to a healthier lifestyle,” responded to my call for Brussels sprouts recipes just before Thanksgiving. She wanted to share her thoughts with Organic Authority readers this holiday season, so I’m turning the rest of today’s blog entry over to her.
“I was deprived of Brussels sprouts as a child because they were verboten at our dinner table,” Lisa writes. “I had a father who suffered from ‘Brussels sprouts sickness’ while serving overseas in England during World War II. But I became secretly enchanted with these mini-cabbages as a vegetable-loving young adult and would soon sing their praises as a healing-foods chef seeking wisdom from nature’s medicine chest.
“Every Thanksgiving and on other auspicious occasions throughout the year, I honor my late father with shining little examples of Brussels sprouts perfection. I know the lowly sinking sprouts that sat simmering and stinking on a hot steam table in an Army mess hall would be enough to have the most stalwart soldier bending at the knees.
“Not only delicious and fragrant when cooked properly, these mighty little heads are loaded with calcium, potassium and vitamin C, and they’re packed with fiber. I encourage my clients to eat them, as well as all their cousins in the cruciferous family (broccoli, cauliflower, mustard greens, turnip greens, collards, etc.) because they also contain indoles, which protect against certain types of cancer—particularly cancer of the reproductive organs. One can visualize these mini-‘super sprouts’ attacking and obliterating destructive cancer cells and leaving the body perfect, whole and complete!
“I like to cut large sprouts into bite-size halves. Whether blanched or steamed, here are a few deliciously simple ideas:
- Toss sprouts with walnut oil and a squeeze of lemon. Garnish with chopped toasted walnuts.
- For an Asian flair, prepare a dipping sauce made with shoyu (naturally brewed soy sauce), a little chopped garlic or grated ginger, a dash of rice wine vinegar and a pinch of organic sugar. Garnish with snipped chives or green onion tops.
- Blanched Brussels sprouts are great when sautéed in organic olive oil and garlic and then baked with a breadcrumb and grated-cheese topping. Ideas for this tasty vegetable are as endless as the fresh or dried herbs that you have on hand, combined with a little butter or oil.
“There is a Zen-like quality to vegetables like Brussels sprouts, which require arduous manual labor to clean and trim. One can have a lovely meditation while prepping them or can share the experience with a kitchen companion. If you are lucky enough to find them still on the stalk, it is well worth rearranging your refrigerator to accommodate them until used.
“Thank you for reminding me that the season for Brussels sprouts is upon us, and as I give thanks with friends and family, I will raise a glass of crisp chardonnay to my father and his ironic inspiration.”
Please check out our top chefs’ recipes for Brussels sprouts:
Read More:A Daughter’s Culinary Tribute to Her Father
November 15th, 2005 - Barbara Feiner
Yesterday, Lachlan Sands, associate chef instructor at the California School of Culinary Arts in Pasadena, California, explained how to select the best organic Brussels sprouts and their basic preparation. If you have trouble finding organic Brussels sprouts in your area, log onto Local Harvest, where you can search for organic farmers’ markets in your area.
“Because they are part of the cabbage and mustard family [Brassica], the flavors that best complement Brussels sprouts are mustard, bacon and onions,” Chef Sands tells Organic Authority. “Traditionally, they are served with a heavy béchamel or cheese sauce. This is the ‘Classical French Way of Hiding Icky Smells.’ ”
But if you cook your Brussels sprouts properly, using the deliciously simple preparation Chef Sands outlines below, you won’t need a thick sauce to mask unpleasant aromas.
Note: Because you follow an organic lifestyle, Organic Authority recommends using certified organic ingredients, when available, in all recipes to minimize your risk of exposure to pesticides, chemicals and preservatives.
Brussels Sprouts with Mustard and Shallots
1 lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed
1/4 cup Kosher salt
1 gallon boiling water
2 quarts ice water
2 ounces vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 shallots, finely minced
1 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon sour cream (optional)
Salt and pepper (to taste)
- Cut an “X” into the flat stem of the sprout. Cut 1/4” into the sprout.
- Add the Kosher salt to the boiling water. When it is dissolved, add the sprouts.
- When tender (5–7 minutes), remove the sprouts and quickly cool them in the ice water. It is better to pull them out too early than too late. You can always cook them a little more, if needed.
- Drain sprouts and halve them lengthwise.
- In a 10” sauté pan, sweat the garlic and shallots in vegetable oil over a medium-low heat until they become translucent (just a few minutes).
- Add chicken broth and mustard. Allow to thicken slightly.
- Add the sour cream and sprouts. Reduce the heat and allow the Brussels sprouts to warm through.
- Season with salt and pepper before serving.
“Taste the sprouts before you add them to your sauce,” Chef Sands advises. “If they have a green or raw flavor, cook them for 1–2 minutes in the sauce. Otherwise, just warm them up.”
Read More:Holiday Brussels Sprouts with Mustard and Shallots
November 14th, 2005 - Barbara Feiner
As promised, it’s Organic Brussels Sprouts Week here at Organic Authority. Before you utter an “Ewww!” or an “Ick,” we encourage you to forget traumatic memories of the past and learn how to cook these nutritious—and delicious—organic vegetables properly for a wonderful Thanksgiving side dish.
Many of us have had the same experience as Lachlan Sands, associate chef instructor at the California School of Culinary Arts in Pasadena, California, and a former sous-chef at the Water Grill in Los Angeles—commonly regarded as one of the best seafood restaurants in the country.
“My mother taught me to hate Brussels sprouts,” Chef Sands tells Organic Authority. “They were olive green, mushy, tasted funky and smelled bad. It turns out my experience is not unusual. Many people have never had Brussels sprouts as they should be—bright green, firm, mild and sweet.”
Our mothers ruined them, he says, by making a common culinary mistake: overcooking.
“Brussels sprouts—and all members of the cabbage family—contain sulfur compounds attached to the sugars in the leaves,” he explains. “When you overcook the sprout, these sulfur compounds bust off and give the sprouts a pungent, rotten-egg, cabbage-mustard aroma—and the flavor follows suit. The longer you cook them, the more extreme the effect is.”
Great organic Brussels sprouts begin with proper produce selection.
“First, choose small, compact sprouts,” Chef Sands instructs. “They are not really sweeter than large ones, but because they are small, they cook faster and have less time to develop the icky smell. Next, cut an ‘X’ into the base of the stem. Throw them into a lot of boiling water—at least a gallon of water per pound of sprouts. The biochemical reasons for this are complicated, but this is a way to keep the color a vibrant green.
“After five or six minutes of cooking—or when a paring knife goes into the stem and comes out without resistance—pull the sprouts out, and throw them into a bowl of ice water. If they stay hot, they will continue to cook, so get them cold quickly. Now, cut them in half lengthwise, and you can hold them cold for several hours and reheat to serve them.”
Tune in tomorrow’s blog for some fabulous recipes and cooking tips.
Read More:Bravo for Brussels Sprouts!