Thursday, August 6, 2009

Julia Child's Brussel Sprouts Browned with Cheese

***Okay, so I do realize that there's an infinite amount of other things in this world that are incredibly more exciting than Brussel sprouts. Trust me. Maybe you could take up basket-weaving, learn to play the bagpipes, or maybe even learn to juggle. All kidding aside, the term "Brussel sprouts" has never really inspired a lot of excitement in me.

"Dear, you have to eat your vegetables before you can go play." We all heard this growing up. Many of those not-so-yummy veggies have become some of my favorite things...broccoli, spinach and asparagus all come to mind. Brussel sprouts however, have never been a favorite of mine.

As it turns out though, this particular recipe just so happens to be Amy Adams' (you know...the actress who plays Julie Powell in the new movie Julie & Julia) favorite recipe from Mastering the Art of French Cooking Volume I. Check it out here:

Brad and I were in The Fresh Market recently and we came across a beautiful display of these little Brussel sprouts...after all, they do look like cute little heads of cabbage. For some reason, we decided it would be a good idea to get them, and I just knew that Julia would have a good idea for how to prepare them. And that, she did! I selected a classic-enough dish - Brussel Sprouts Browned with Cheese. I figured any vegetable smothered in butter and topped with cheese couldn't be that bad...RIGHT??

While this dish was really far as Brussel sprouts go...I have to admit that I just don't think I'm a big "Brussel sprouts person" know? However, if you're a fan of this popular veggie, then you'll love this recipe! Give it a try!***

Choux de Bruxelles a la Milanaise (Brussels Sprouts Browned with Cheese)

1 1/2 quarts brussels sprouts braised in butter
1/2 cup grated Swiss cheese mixed with 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons melted butter

Follow the master recipe for braising the brussels sprouts (below), but when they have been in the oven 10 minutes, turn them into a bowl. Reset set oven to 425 degrees. Sprinkle 2 to 3 tablespoons of cheese in the casserole or baking dish to coat the bottom and sides. Return the brussels sprouts, spreading the rest of the cheese over each layer. Pour on the melted butter. Place uncovered in upper third of oven for 10 to 15 minutes to brown the cheese nicely.

Choux de Bruxelles Etuves au Beurre (Brussels Sprouts Braised in Butter)
Serves: 6 people

1 1/2 tablespoons softened butter
A 2 1/2 quart, fireproof, covered casserole or baking dish large enough to hold the brussels spouts in 1 or 2 layers
1 1/2 quarts blanched brussels sprouts...partially cooked (see recipe below)
Salt and pepper 2 to 4 tablespoons melted butter
A round of lightly buttered waxed paper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and smear butter inside the casserole or baking dish.

Arrange the blanched brussels sprouts heads up in the casserole or baking dish. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper, and then with the melted butter.

Lay the waxed paper over the brussels sprouts. Cover and heat on top of the stove until vegetables begin to sizzle, then place in the middle level of preheated oven. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the sprouts are tender and well impregnated with butter. Serve as soon as possible.

Choux de Bruxelles Blanchis (Blanched Brussel Sprouts - Preliminary Cooking)
1 to 2 quarts Brussel Sprouts, trimmed and washed
A large kettle containing 7 to 8 quarts of rapidly boiling water
1 1/2 tsp salt per quart of water
A skimmer
A colander

Drop the Brussel sprouts into the rapidly boiling salted water. Bring to the boil again as rapidly as possible.

If the vegetables are to be partially cooked and finished off later as directed in the recipe above, boil them slowly, uncovered, for 6 to 8 minutes, or until mostly tender. Immediately remove with a skimmer and drain in a colander.


Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

This looks great... and I am not a huge brussel sprout fan.
Have you gotten to see the movie? It is date night!

Celeste said...

Hi Sandi!! Yes...I saw the movie...let's just say it's officially on my Top 5 Favorite Movie List...I adored every minute!!! :)

Anonymous said...

A good story

GK Chesterton: “The poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.”

Voila: This book is a poetic view of 30 of the best loved French cheeses with an additional two odes to cheese. Recipes, wine pairing, three short stories and an educational section complete the book.

From a hectic life in New York City to the peace and glories of the French countryside lead me to be the co-founder of Ten years later with the words of Pierre Androuet hammering on my brain:

“Cheese is the soul of the soil. It is the purest and most romantic link between humans and the earth.”

I took pen and paper; many reams later with the midnight oil burning Tasting to Eternity was born and self published.

I believe cheese and wine lovers should be told about this publication.


Anonymous said...

Well, cheese and brussies sounds mighty tasty to me so I'm going to give it a try. Much appreciated.