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Friday, March 5, 2010

Brussels Sprouts with Pecans and Cranberries

Mmmm who doesn’t like Brussels sprouts!  It turns out quite a few people!  I really enjoy eating them but struggle with under or overcooking them. 

Just before Christmas last year, we were going to have some friends over for some Alton Brown inspired pot roast and I had some Brussels sprouts in the refrigerator and decided to look on-line to see what kinds of recipes are available to vary my single cooking style of steaming Brussels sprouts.  A quick check of the Food Network web site yielded several recipes; the best sounding was Brussels Sprouts with Pecans and Cranberries by Alton Brown.

This was easy to make as we had all the ingredients, Pecan, Brussels sprouts, butter and dried cranberries.  Once I cleaned the Brussels sprouts, I sliced them by hand into narrow slices.  Alton says you can use a food processor, but I didn’t want to mess it up and have to clean it.

About this time our guests arrived and let us know that they didn’t really like Brussels sprouts, but they would try them.

I used a twelve-inch frying pan to make this dish; it works really well for the volume of the Brussels sprouts.  The pecans browned nicely and had a wonderful smell.  I added the butter and then the sliced Brussels sprouts.  The five-minute cooking time seems to be just right to cook the sprouts.  I mixed in a little salt and pepper then removed the pan from the heat and added the cranberries.

We served this dish in a colorful bowl and it looked as great as it tasted.  This couple so liked this way of preparing the Brussels sprouts that I sent my printed recipe home with them.

I made the dish again at Christmas for our family, and the green of the Brussels sprouts with the red of the dried cranberries was very festive.  Some of our family professed not to like Brussels sprouts, but really enjoyed these.

I made it again last night to go with our spagetti dinner and so that I could take photos of the process, and it was just as good as before.

One caution is to make sure the ratio of Brussels sprouts to cranberries is correct.  One time I was a little low on the sprouts, but still used the same amount of cranberries and the results was a dish that was a little too sweet.

This is now on my list of “guest” dishes, that when someone is coming over for dinner, this will likely be on the menu.

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