Thursday, October 16, 2008

Seattle Sprouts

I just returned from a marvelous wedding weekend in Seattle with old and dear friends, plus a few new ones I made while I was there. Catching up, retelling old stories and helping with the wedding preparations made me feel like part of the family. Meeting the delightful groom and his Mum (she flew in from their home in New Zealand) added to my roster of delightful new friends. Seattle put on her finest clothes for us - despite her reputation for rain, we had four out of five sunny days and the only rain fell after sunset, which doesn't really count. The fall colors of red, orange and yellow were just starting to tint the trees and the air was crisp. Personally, I suspect that rep is a myth invented by the locals to keep us Californians from moving up there.

In any case, the bride was lovely, the groom was handsome, the wedding dinner was delicious, the cake was sumptuous and everyone had a fine time. After the wedding was over and the newlyweds were off taking some time for themselves, our hostess cooked us a lovely meal, most notably this recipe for Brussels sprouts. She can't remember where she found it but she has doctored it up, anyway, so it is her own now. If you have reluctant Brussels sprouts eaters at your house, take note - this may just be the recipe that finally wins them over.

Slice one pound of fresh Brussels sprouts thinly
(no need to peel them laboriously first; just remove any brown ends of the stems before slicing). Crisp about half a pound of bacon lardons and drain them on paper towels. Slice a smallish white onion and halve the slices. Have olive oil, 1/4 cup of chicken stock and about 1/4 cup of real maple syrup ready to hand; this is a stir-fry recipe so it goes fast once you start.

Pour enough olive oil to coat the bottom and sides of a wok or other wide pan. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add the onions and stir-fry for a very few minutes. Add the sliced sprouts and continue stirring and frying until the sprouts turn bright green, add the chicken broth and maple syrup, constantly stirring until the sprouts are crisp-tender but still brightly green, perhaps 2-4 minutes. When the sprouts are nearly finished, add the bacon bits and stir them in. Serve immediately.

The onions add a depth of flavor, the syrup a little sweetness and the bacon a salty smokiness to the sprouts, whose nuttiness is retained as they are not cooked long enough to develop their cabbage-y side. Our hostess claims this dish is great eaten cold the next day, too, but
we ate every scrap of this huge wok full of sprouts so there were none left to sample the following day. Make more than you think you can eat if you want leftovers.

Enjoy with memories of a terrific wedding weekend!


Labels: ,

9 Comments:

Blogger dancingmorgan mouse said...

Everything's better with bacon, I'd never thought of using Maple Syrup to tempt Mr Brown to eat sprouts though. Roll on sprout season.

Thursday, October 16, 2008  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Morgan, I wouldn't have thought of the syrup, either, and it didn't make the dish sweet, just gentled the sprouts. Nice.

Friday, October 17, 2008  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

I wouldn't have thought of it either. You loved it? I might just give this a try.
(I have heretofore been one of those idiotic sprouts unravelers, one leaf at a time. Sheesh.)

Friday, October 17, 2008  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Cookiecrumb, I'm a sprout lover anyway, so I can't vouch yet for it's sprout-hate-changing capabilities. I'm going to make it for My Beloved one day soon, however, and he's a reluctant sprout eater - a better test! I did enjoy it very much!

Friday, October 17, 2008  
Blogger dancingmorgan mouse said...

Love the sprouts, green ballies, vegetable lollypops, if only Mr Brown would share in my joy.

Friday, October 17, 2008  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Morgan, oh, me, too, including the reluctant spousal unit.

Friday, October 17, 2008  
Blogger Dagny said...

I don't know. Once a garbage pail ball... (Yeah, I'm one of those sprout haters but give me a grown up sprout and yum.)

Friday, October 17, 2008  
Blogger Anna Haight said...

I am a native of the greater Seattle area, and I can attest that it really does rain a lot! But it's so unpredictable, so it can shine on guests gleefully to make us seem like liars! But just try a Memorial Day or 4th of July, odds are on some rain!

Friday, October 17, 2008  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Dagny, one of these days, we'll win you over! :-)

Anna, uh-huh, you locals are always talking about that but I notice that only a very few of you ever move away! :-)

Saturday, October 18, 2008  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home