Brussels Sprouts

There’s no need to be apprehensive about Brussels sprouts. Forget about the overcooked, bitter sprouts of your youth and give them a second chance with this quick, easy and very tasty recipe. For best results choose bright green, medium sized sprouts with firm, tight leaves and do not overcook them. Sprouts may be cooked whole but slicing them thinly before cooking helps dispearse some of the slightly bitter flavor that some people dislike. With so few fresh vegetable options during the winter months, Brussels sprouts can be a welcome change from the broccoli doldrums when properly cooked.

And, for a more dressed up recipe featuring this often abused veggie, check out my recipe for Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Almonds.

Quick Sautéed Sprouts

1 lb fresh Brussels sprouts
¼ cup water
1 chicken bouillon or stock cube (or equivalent of any other instant bouillon product-see note)
½ tsp white sugar
2 tsp butter

Rinse the sprouts under cold water and drain. Trim off the stem ends, and remove any loose, dark green outer leaves. With a sharp knife, slice the sprouts thinly.

Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the water, bouillon cube and sugar, and heat until the cube dissolves. Turn the heat to medium high and add the sliced sprouts. Continue to cook for about 4 minutes, gently turning in the liquid, until just tender but still bright green. The water should be almost entirely evaporated, but add a few drops more if the pan becomes dry before the sprouts become crisp-tender. Do not overcook. Serves 4.

* Note about stock for cooking…while nothing can beat a home made stock for soups and sauces, my personal preference for an instant stock for a quick bit of seasoning in this kind of recipe is the Better Than Bouillon brand in the “reduced sodium” chicken flavor. It’s a little more difficult to find on supermarket shelves, but well worth the hunt if you can find it. But if you prefer not to use this kind of product, just substitute with salt to taste, the dish will still be very good.

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