Brussel sprouts are not to everyone’s taste and that’s because, most of the time, they are not cooked properly,and are reduced to a mushy, smelly, yellow or even brown, horrible food instead of a bright green, delicious vegetable. Right now, there are available at all the markets, sometimes even still on the tree. Get the freshest you can find, and then in only a few minutes, you can prepare the sprouts to complement the colour scheme of a roast served with squash and mashed potatoes. They are a natural choice for a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner and go well with turkey and goose.
The key is to cook them at the last minute, and to cook them just enough that they are tender. Most often, I will cut 2 slices of thick bacon into small lardons, that I fry in their own fat for about one minute. I add a tbsp vegetable oil and the sprouts, saute for 1 minute on medium, and add 3/4 cup of water and salt, also a sprinkle of baking soda. Cover and cook 5 minutes on low, remove the lid and finish cooking, evaporating the water. The sprouts remain bright green and that is the test. Their taste is not that of old boiled cabbage. So, here it is: no sugar, no browning, no caramelizing, no roasting, no onions, no garlic, no cream to mask the bad cabbage taste, maybe just a small chunk of butter to enhance the flavour from the Brussel sprout. Even the bacon is optional. You will know what you are eating and love it!
This was on TV recently, on PBS. The Baking Soda (not powder) reacts with sulfur in the flesh of cabbage family plants, and helps it pass out of the food.. The sulfur, according to America’s Test Kitchen, is what causes the bitter taste. I love them anyway, but this helps.
OOOOOOOOOOOOO they are very yummy!!! Quite different tasting than the ones I normally make sauted leaves in olive oil, garlic and pistachios! I just made them to go with our Thanks for Giving Dinner! Yay!
Happy Thanksgiving! Good to hear that the B. Sprouts were good!
Why the baking soda?
I love brussel sprouts and will try this recipe this weekend.
Finally, a recipe simple enough for a simple guy !
I think I found what I was looking for, my own culinary arts texts are packed away in storage!
There was no way to copy and paste the info, thus here is a link to the Culinary Arts Institute Encyclopedic. The link also explains a few other common additions to assist in maintaining unfaded or brighter veggie colors in cooking, which are affected by water, cooking equipment contents and other ingredients in foods. I might point out, that some things called for that work well in one area, can seem to reverse in others. (chemical additives to water, and minerals in well/spring water…aluminum in pots and so on…)
Thank you so much, that explains it very well and as they say the key is not to overdo it. I am so glad you found this reliable source. as every body has been asking the very same thing!
the baking soda, just a sprinkle, enhances the green! that’s all!
The reason is: if you just steam or boil them, the sprouts will stay green. But they taste much better if they saute a bit in fat, (the chemicals are altered). This however almost immediately fades the green, hence the sprinkle of baking soda to counteract the colour change! It is a harmless addition.
Thanks for the feedback! always love to hear more.
Interesting. Is the baking soda to help to keep the bright green? I know some things can be added to other veggies to do this, but I’ve never been taught baking soda. I normally saute the leaves in garlic and olive oil and add chopped pistachios, and they stay bright green on their own. Thank you.
ps I avoid boiling now to avoid that “nasty’ slime and smell and ….from when I was small. More an aversion than my own experience, I simply refuse lol. We all love this veggie, might be nice to feel safe with the new method. Will wait to try until feedback on the baking soda addition. 🙂