Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Foods of October: Brussels Sprouts

I love Brussels sprouts. They are one of my favorite vegetables. Fall is also a time for chestnuts, so why not combine the two into one scrumptious side dish? The cream makes it extra-rich but is completely optional. Feel free to toss in a sprig of thyme, stripped and chopped, to bring love, psychic awareness, and purification to your Samhain table.

Brussels Sprouts

Planet: Moon
Element: Water
Energies: Protection

Add Brussels sprouts to protective diets. Cooking them with garlic and chili will up the protective energies of the dish, if the intent is there.

Source: Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Wicca in the Kitchen

Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts

2 shallots, finely chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
6-8 slices bacon, cut into 1” pieces
1 ½ lbs Brussels sprouts, washed, trimmed, cut in half
1 lb peeled roasted chestnuts
Salt and white pepper to taste
½ cup water, broth, or white wine and broth
¼ cup cream, optional

Cook sprouts in a pot of boiling water until barely tender, 4-5 minutes. Drain and shock the sprouts by putting them into a bowl of ice water. This will stop the cooking process and keep the color bright. Drain and pat dry.

In a large skillet, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove and drain, reserving the drippings. Cook the shallots and garlic in the bacon drippings until barely soft, about 5 minutes.

Add the drained sprouts and chestnuts to the skillet and sauté another 5 minutes, until sprouts are brown. Pour in the broth and simmer until sprouts have finished cooking and liquid has evaporated, 3-5 minutes. Add the cream, if using, and cook until cream is slightly thickened. Season with salt and white pepper to taste. Toss with bacon and serve.

If you don’t eat bacon, you can leave it out and just cook the shallots and garlic in 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil. Use olive oil and vegetable broth and leave out the bacon for a vegetarian-friendly side dish.

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