Friday, 9 December 2011

It started in Sardinia.

Another little island, fighting off the rest of Europe, just like us!

And, how, their "carta musica" helped me to change Sophie into a Brussel sprout lover.

Originally made for the shepherds, to take to the mountains, its a crisp, light delight!

Some arrived at Shottle a couple of weeks ago, and taking inspiration from a special wedding breakfast menu I wrote for an Italian themed day at East Lodge, and paying no attention to my long term fiscal stability I  ended up with this lot!

The mussels were steamed, just until they started to open, then tipped into a colander, to save their juices.

I made a rich tomato sauce, using lots of garlic, shallots and herbs. I was going to stir in the cooked mussels at the last minute. I also got some fregola, a Sardinian pasta, that I cooked in the mussel stock, to also stir into my sauce.

So, with my "carta musica" and some cured meats, and a hearty mussel stew for my main course, it was a nice sunny midweek supper.

"I dream of you

Sprouts, sprouts, sprouts

Du, du, du, du, du

Alle Ci bum ci bum bum

It's wonderful, it's wonderful"

Do you think, that if, like chips, sprouts had a catchy song written about them that they would be more popular?

No, me neither, but, like Richard the Lionheart, marching through Europe, I'm on a mission to make people love these little green brassicas.

So for my Christmas miracle, I warmed the Sardinian bread in a low oven, and then placed some prosciutto on top.
Doing this while warm allows the fat on the ham to soften and really develop it's flavor.

I got some lovely tight, fresh sprouts, and shredded them as fine as I could, and seasoned them with a touch of lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil and some salt and pepper.

I'll tell you what, they were delicious!

Sweet, nutty and crisp, with the bread and ham I think it would turn anyone into a sprout lover, and a drizzle of truffle oil would be a nice addition too!
Meanwhile over at East Lodge I'm serving them like this.

Using celeriac, beetroot, swede, carrots, baby onions and turnips, all cooked seperately, as they have different cooking times, we then saute them all off together, glazed with honey and thyme butter, its a great side dish for our roasted turkey.

The all important parsnips are served as a puree, with a bacon and fried bread "crumble'", chipolatas are wrapped in bacon and roasted, and finally a bread and suet stuffing is served.

Oh, and I nearly forgot, the turkey and roasted potatoes!

So, it a nice, colorful, somewhat heathy garnish for December.

Brussels, they can be loved, and they're not just for Christmas you know!

Right, thats it!

I'll be going all festive next time with our East Lodge Christmas tasting menu, including blitzed up Brussels!

Just because David looked a little bit lonely!

And, just to show there's no hard feelings, and I really do try to include the whole world, have a look at these, that also arrived at Shottle this week.

Ok, that's it, have fun!

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