10/12/09

Cornmeal Crusted Brussels Sprouts

It's one of the most popular VODs (vegetable of the day): Cornmeal Crusted Brussels Sprouts. Every time we make a batch, we run out if it almost immediately. Without fail. It's crispy on the outside, warm and creamy on the inside, and altogether delicious.

Brussels sprouts are related to cabbages, cauliflower, broccoli, and other members of the Brassica family. A single 100 gram serving has 142% of your daily needs for vitamin C. Aside from that, you get a lot of the B complex vitamins (and since it has Red Star Vegetarian Support Formula nutritional yeast, it'll also knock out your needs for B-12 while you're at it), Iron, Calcium, and the rest. Definitely good for you.

So why do people hate it?

Well, let's talk about broccoli. Most people, when they meet broccoli for the first time, have it when it's boiled to death, and smells FOUL. There's a reason for this. Descendants of cabbage (like broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, etc.) contain a sulphur containing compound that's released when the vegetable is boiled (i.e., it's highly water soluble). That's why you smell that foul odour when you boil these foods. Instead, if you do decide to boil your brassica, do so for a quick time; maybe 5 or 6 minutes.

I personally prefer to avoid all that mess, and go with dry heat cooking methods, like roasting, sautéing, or grilling. Since it's cold as all get-out this time of year (which is around when Brussels Sprouts come into season), you can do the lazy method: toss in oil and herbs, roast at 350ºF/180ºC for about 35 - 45 minutes, shaking the pan halfway through cooking to turn the sprouts over, and then liberally sprinkling on salt and black pepper. Quite lovely.

However, if you want the cornmeal crusted brussels sprouts, just avoid all that work, and come to Sacred Chow. We've done the work for you.
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