Cook in the Moment: Pasta with Brussels Sprouts, Brown Butter & Walnuts

Each week I contribute an article to “Whole Foods Market Cooking Boulder” website expanding on one of the 10 Ways Tuesday ideas. This week I shared a recipe for Whole Wheat Pasta with Brussels Sprouts, Brown Butter, and Walnuts. Here is the original article:

This week, La Domestique is dedicated to Brussels sprouts, which are like tiny cabbages growing in clusters along a tall, sturdy stalk. Here in Colorado, the weather has been perfect for growing Brussels sprouts, with a couple of plentiful snows and crisp, chilly nights balanced by sunny days. Brussels sprouts come into season in November, when the small buds develop a flavor that’s perfectly sweet and a texture that’s crisp yet still delicate. In the marketplace, select bright green specimens with tight heads, preferably still on the stalk. Brussels sprouts are not meant for storage, so use them within 3 days or you’ll find their flavor intensified and sulfurous. I like to keep the buds (unwashed) in a sealed plastic bag in the vegetable crisper until I’m ready to use them. In Chez Panisse Vegetables, Alice Waters writes that cooking Brussels sprouts quickly ensures the best flavor. The quickest method for cooking Brussels sprouts is to separate the delicate leaves and sauté them in a hot pan.


10 Ways Tuesday: Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts (c)2011

I’ve got creative ideas for cooking with Brussels sprouts:


1.  Raw in Salad

I appreciate the Frankies Spuntino Kitchen Companion & Cooking Manual for its simple, straightforward cooking that celebrates good ingredients. It’s the Italian way of preparing food. Their recipe for Shaved Raw Brussels Sprouts with Castelrosso is inspired by, as the Frankies put it, “a basic equation from the Italian kitchen-fresh veg, olive oil, and a little bit of Italian cheese…”. Thin strands of Brussels sprouts leaves are tossed in lemon juice, olive oil, and the Frankies signature touch of white pepper. Finish the salad with crumbled Castelrosso, a cow’s milk cheese from Piedmont.

2.  Roasted with Mediterranean Flavors

I didn’t know Brussels sprouts could be sexy and loud, punchy and savory, until I came across Michael Symon’s version in the November issue of Food & Wine Magazine. In the article, Heartland Thanksgiving, he shares a recipe for Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Capers, Walnuts and Anchovies that threatens to steal the show from all other side dishes. The Brussels sprouts are simply roasted with olive oil, salt and pepper, then tossed with a honey-mustard vinaigrette. Mediterranean flavors of fresh garlic, shallots, anchovies and capers bring new life to the Thanksgiving table. Toasted walnuts add crunchy texture. I doubt there will be any leftovers to fight over.


Ingredient of the Week: Brussels Sprouts

BrusselsSprouts (c)2011

Here in Boulder, Colorado, we’ve already enjoyed our first snows. The nights are chilly and days are crisp and sunny. It’s the perfect time to harvest the ingredient of the week, Brussels sprouts. These tiny cabbages grow in clusters on a thick stalk, much like broccoli. The smallest buds are the sweetest and most tender. Their delicate sweet flavor is only improved by the first snow of November. Those of you who don’t like Brussels sprouts are probably scratching your head, wondering if I’m confused. Delicate? Sweet? Delicious? What is she thinking?

It’s true, boiled to death or allowed to languish in the refrigerator, Brussels sprouts develop a noxious, sulfurous, awful flavor. Overcooked Brussels sprouts are sad and mushy, certainly not pleasant. Cooked properly, Brussels sprouts are a beautiful, even charming, late season vegetable. Unless you are going to roast them and deeply caramelize their leaves, it’s best to quickly steam or sauté them. Treat them with care and you’ll be rewarded with tender, crisp leaves with a sweet, nutty flavor. This week at la domestique we’ll explore the many ways to cook with Brussels sprouts and some really interesting flavor combinations you may never have tried before. With Thanksgiving quickly approaching there will be simple recipes with festive flavor that beg to be served alongside you turkey and stuffing. If you’re having a vegetarian Thanksgiving, I’ll also have delicious ideas for incorporating Brussels sprouts. I’m excited to begin this festive season, cooking in the moment with you!


This Past Week at La Domestique: Beer

Beer (c)2011

This past week at la Domestique was dedicated to cooking with beer, from pale lagers to black stouts. We explored all the unique flavors beer contributes to soups, braises, breads, and even cakes. Beer can be hoppy, bitter, fruity, herbal, sweet, or rich, among other flavors. It adds body and bite to autumn stews. We learned what flavors pair best with beer and found plenty of great ideas for cooking with beer.

In case you missed anything, I’ve got a recap:


Monday:  Announcing beer as ingredient of the week.

Tuesday: 10 Ways Tuesday! Creative ideas for cooking with beer in autumn.

Wednesday: Cook in the moment with a recipe for Shellfish in German Beer Broth.

Thursday: The story behind beer- how it’s made, cooking with beer & flavor pairing.

Friday:  Baking with beer- Anise & Guinness Bread recipe.

Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful weekend!


Anise & Guinness Bread

This Friday I’m making Anise & Guinness Bread from Dough: Simple Contemporary Bread, by Richard Bertinet, my favorite bread baker. I’ve written about Richard Bertinet before, and wholeheartedly recommend his books to anyone who wants to learn to bake bread. Most of the recipes in his books are simple and get bread on the table within a couple of hours. However, his Anise & Guinness Bread is a rye dough, and that’s a bit of a game changer. This recipe takes about 6 hours from start to finish, most of the time spent rising while you watch telly or read a good book or take a nap with the dog on a lazy Sunday. The steps are very simple, though. Richard Bertinet uses a traditional French kneading method that is probably different from what you’ve seen before. I suggest watching his video on making doughnuts to see his technique. This method of kneading is what he uses for all dough. I have included the recipe below, but there’s no substitute for his book, which describes each step with detailed photos, and includes an instructional DVD.