zondag 30 november 2008

Brussels sprout and caramelised onion soup

450g/1 lb onions, sliced
30g/1oz butter
1 tbsp caster sugar
450g/1 lb brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
1 generous sprig of thyme
1.15 litres/2 pints chicken or vegetable stock
freshly ground black pepper

To serve:
soured cream, créme fraiche or Greek yoghurt
paprika or cayenne pepper

Put the onions into a pan with the butter, cover and sweat over a gentle heat for about 30-40 minutes until the onions are very tender and soft.
Sprinkle over the sugar and cook, uncovered, for another 10-15 minutes until the onions are lightly coloured and look a little like jam.
Add the sprouts and thyme and stir around.
Pour in the stock and season with salt and pepper.
Bring to the boil and simmer for about ten minutes until the sprouts are just tender.
Cool slightly, remove the thyme sprig, then liquidise in two batches.
Reheat gently if necessary and adjust seasoning.
Serve piping hot with a spoonful of créme fraiche or yoghurt in each bowl and a light dusting of paprika or cayenne.

zaterdag 29 november 2008

Fried Brussel Sprouts

1 lb Brussels sprouts
4-6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
lemon juice (optional)
white pepper

Remove brown outer leaves of brussel sprouts.

Cut the brussel sprouts in half.

In sauce pan, heat olive oil over medium heat.

Add the brussel sprouts and fry, stirring occasionally, until very dark brown, almost charred, but NOT burnt.
The last minute of cooking, add the garlic and stir in to combine. Be careful not to burn the garlic! Season to taste with salt, white pepper and lemon juice if using. Serve warm.

vrijdag 28 november 2008

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Baked Brussel Sprouts and Chestnuts

Today I've gor a really simple recipe for you

2 cups of Brussels sprouts, cooked
1/2 pound chestnuts
chicken stock
bread crumbs

Fill baking dish with chestnuts and sprouts. Layering them.
Dot each layer with butter.
Moisten lightly with the stock.
Cover and top with the bread crumbs and butter.
Bake uncovered at 350°F (190°C or gas mark 5) for 20 - 30 minutes.

woensdag 26 november 2008

Brussel Sprouts Stew

I know, not such a "good looker" this time, but soooooo tasty!!

Brussel Sprouts 10 to 12
Onion Finely chopped 1/2 cup
Tomato Puree 1/4 cup
Salt to Taste
Coconut Milk 1/2 cup
Sambar Powder 1 tsp
Oil 1 table spoon

Ingredients for Paste:

Coconut (grated) or Desicated- 2 tablespoons
Green Chillies 3
Ginger One Small Piece
Garlic 2 cloves
Cumin Seeds 1/2 tsp
Fresh Coriander Leaves handful
Little Salt.
Sugar 1/2 tsp
Little Tamarind
Few Cashew Nuts
Grind the above finely into paste and keep aside.

Wash and Clean Brussel Sprouts and make slits and Steam Cook.
Apply the Grinded Paste inside the slit and out side and keep for 20 minutes.
In another vessel, pour the Coconut Milk,sambar Powder,remaining grinded paste, salt and keep
it aside.
Heat Oil in a Kadai and fry chopped onions till golden brown.
Add Tomato Puree and cook well till oil separates.
Add stuffed Brussel sprouts and fry for a minute.
Now add coconut milk mixture, check for salt and cook till gravy thickens

dinsdag 25 november 2008

Brussel Sprouts Salad

Did you know that you can eat Brussel sprouts raw?
It might not be something you've considered, but it works really well, especially with early-season, small sprouts.
And it means there's no chance of the sulphurous sprout cooking smell so many of us hate!
So why not give it a go?!

Up to 30 Brussel sprouts
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
Handful of toasted pine nuts or pumpkin seeds

If the sprouts are still on their stem, gently snap them off.
Wash the sprouts and remove any yellowing leaves.
If you think there might be bugs in your sprouts, soak them in warm, salted water for 10 minutes. This brings the bugs out... Rinse well.
Cut the sprouts into 3 or 4 slices, depending on the size.
Mix the olive oil and balsamic vinegar in a bowl.
Add the sprouts and stir well until they are all coated with the dressing.
Toast the pine nuts or pumpkin seeds under a grill for about 3 minutes, until lightly toasted. Keep an eye on them so they don't burn!
Serve the sprouts sprinkled with the pine nuts / pumpkin seeds.

Food Hampers

As I was surfing the internet I came accross

Visit their website, click on the Food and drink tab and then on the left go to: Latest Promotions and click on Hampers.

They have the most amazing selection of Christmas Hampers you can imagine! Prices starting from £ 9.99.

My absolute favorite is
Belissimo Luxury Gift Hamper - for the ladies.
Contains Prosecco Italian Champagne
Tuscan rose wine
Penne organic premium pasta
Soft Amaretti biscuits
Lajeu L'eli, Piemontese extra virgin olive oil
Sugo alle Ligure (tomato sauce with basil and garlic)
Ragu di mare (tomato sauce with seafood)
Giant green olives
Selezione 4 year aged balsamic vinegar
Pere e moscato (Italian pears poached in sweet Moscato wine)
All items are presented in a high quality wicker hampers with leather straps, packed with shredded gift packing paper.

So guys ... anyone out there wanting to buy me a nice gift this christmas??

They also have a really nice 'Fair Trade and Organic food' section.

maandag 24 november 2008

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Brussels sprouts with chanterelles, tarragon and cream.

Today I want to share a wonderful recipe I found on the Cook Think website.

1 pound Brussels sprouts, thinly sliced
1/2 pound chanterelle mushrooms, halved
1/2 shallot, minced
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup heavy cream

Cut off and discard the tough stem ends of the Brussels sprouts.
Peel off and discard their outer leaves.
Slice them lengthwise.
Remove and discard any tough parts from the chanterelles' stems.
Cut the large ones in half lengthwise.
Prep the shallot.
Melt the butter over medium-high heat.
When it's hot, add the shallots and thyme, and cook 2 minutes.
Add the chanterelles and Brussels sprouts, and season with a sprinkling of salt and pepper.
Cook until the mushrooms begin to give up their liquid, 2-4 minutes.
Add the wine and partially cover the pan.
Cook, stirring often, until the Brussels sprouts are almost tender, 10-15 minutes.
Stir in the cream and simmer 2 minutes.
Add more salt and pepper to taste.

zondag 23 november 2008

Chinese Brussel Sprouts with Szechuan Pepper and Garlic

1 lb. brussel sprouts
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp salt
1 or two large white crushed scallion parts
2 large crushed garlic cloves
2 tbsp+ scallion oil and/or peanut oil
1 1/2 tbsp. coarsely chopped garlic

1/4 cup water
1 1/2 tbsp. gluten free teriyaki sauce (Edward and sons)
1 tbsp GF soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp szechuan pepper
1/4 tsp pepper
1 1/2 tbsp water and 1 tsp cornstarch, combined separately

Cut off the stem of the brussel sprouts and cut them in half.
Put 1/2 cup water in a pan with salt and the prepared brussel sprouts, and bring everythnig to a boil, then lower it to a simmer and cover for 8 minutes. Take off burner and drain.
Whisk sauce ingredients together.
Heat your wok and add oil with scallions and garlic until oil is seasoned and brown.
Remove the whole scallions and garlic from the pan and leave the oil.
Add the garlic and let brown for thirty seconds, and then add the brussel sprouts, stirring for another 45 seconds or so.
When sprouts are glossy, pour in sauce.
When sauce is heated add your water and cornstarch, whisked together before adding.
Let thicken and then immediately remove from wok and serve.

zaterdag 22 november 2008

Brussel Sprouts

Ofcourse I had to give you one more recipe I came across ...

2-3 lbs Brussels sprouts
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1 cup chopped onion
2 cups warm homogenized milk
1 1/2 cups shredded old sharp white cheddar cheese (divide in half)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon nutmeg

Parboil the brussel sprouts for 7 minutes and drain.
Place into a 2-3 quart oven proof dish.
Saute the onion in butter until clear and then add the flour and stir.
Add the warm milk, salt, pepper, nutmeg, 3/4 cup cheese and stir.
Pour filling over brussel sprouts.
Top with remaining 3/4 cup cheese and bake at 375 for 40 minutes.

I love my garden

I have just returned home from a few days in the UK. Whilst I was in London I came across an add for log cabins. Now I have always wanted my own private garden retreat. A place just for myself, where I can banish all distraction. A 'no go' area for partner and daughter. Just me, a good cuppa, a new recipe book and a purring cat on my lap.

And yes, I have fallen absolutely in love with Nancy :-)

You can visit Nency at

woensdag 19 november 2008

Corn Bread Dressing With Brussel Sprouts

1 prepared cornbread (use your favorite recipe or Jiffy Cornbread Mix)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (plus more for greasing the pans)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 celery ribs, finely diced
1 carrot, finely diced
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 lb thinly sliced prosciutto, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped sage
2 cups dry white wine
3 large eggs
2 cups chicken broth or turkey broth
fresh ground black pepper
2 lbs Brussels sprouts, halved

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Generously butter two 9X13" metal baking pans.
In a large skillet, melt 2 tbsp of the butter in 1 tablespoons of the olive oil.
Add the celery, carrot, and onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 10 minutes.
Add the prociutto and sage and cook until the prociutto starts to crisp, about 8 minutes.
Stir in 1/2 cup of the white wine, let cool slightly.
Crumble the corn bread into a bowl in small chunks.
In another bowl, whisk the eggs with the broth, then pour over the corn bread.
Add the prociutto mixture, season with salt and pepper and toss. Spread the dressing in the prepared pans.
Wipe out the skillet and melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the brussel sprouts and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until they begin to brown, about 10 minutes.
Add the remaining 1/2 cup of white wine and cook for 5 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper.
Tuck the brussel sprouts into the dressing.
Cover and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for 10 minutes longer, or until crisp on top. Serve hot.

dinsdag 18 november 2008

The Top 100 Recipes From Ready Steady Cook

The Top 100 Recipes From Ready Steady Cook

What does Ready Steady Cook mean to you? For some it means red tomatoes and green peppers, for others frenzied cooking and lively banter. Above all it stands for delicious, mouthwatering food that can be created in twenty minutes. Introduced by the chef and presenter, Ainsley Harriott, this book contains 100 of the show's best recipes, tried and tested by its regular contenders - Ross Burden, James Martin, Nick Nairn, Paul Rankin, Tony Tobin, Brian Turner, Phil Vickery, Lesley Waters, Kevin Woodford, Antony Worrall Thompson - and, of course, Ainsley himself.

Packed with healthy, delicious recipes, this easy-to-follow book reflects the energy and freshness of the show. It is divided into nine sections: Starters, Soups, Snack and Light Bites, Accompaniments, Vegetarian, Fish and Shellfish, Poultry and Game, Meat and Desserts. The chefs are also highly successful in their own right and many have published their own titles. All appear regularly in Good Food Magazine.

maandag 17 november 2008

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How to Choose Brussels Sprouts

While some fear the strong taste of brussels sprouts, others embrace it. The peak season for brussels sprouts is from fall to early spring. Follow these steps to find the best of the bunch.

  • 1. Use color as an indicator of freshness. Brussels sprouts should be bright green with leaves that look fresh.
  • 2. Avoid sprouts with a strong smell or leaves with holes or blemishes.
  • 3. Feel sprouts to make sure they are firm, tight and compact rather than puffy.
  • 4. Make sure the stems are clean and not discolored.
  • 5. Try to choose individual rather than prepackaged sprouts.
  • 6. Store brussels sprouts in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for three to four days.
Buy sprouts of equal size to ensure uniform cooking.

zondag 16 november 2008

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Hazelnuts

A Brussels sprouts recipe the kids will actually like? Yes, it's true. That's partly because the Brussels sprouts in this recipe are shredded, then tossed with some very flavorful ingredients like bacon, maple syrup, nuts and cheese. If the kids can't stand the thought of Brussels sprouts, just call this recipe, "Warm Shredded Salad with Maple Syrup and Bacon." Either way, it's delicious.

1 pound fresh Brussels sprouts
4 slices bacon or pancetta
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup hazelnuts
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 cup shredded or thinly-sliced Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Trim Brussels sprouts by cutting the root ends off. Place the shredding blade in your food processor. Shred Brussels sprouts.
Cook bacon in a large (12 or 14-inch) skillet. Remove, drain and crumble.
Add Brussels sprouts to bacon drippings. Saute 4-5 minutes. Do not overcook!
Add maple syrup, hazelnuts and salt to the Brussels sprouts. Stir in bacon.
Remove from heat. Stir in cheese, saving a little for garnish. Serve, topped with cheese.

Copyright Recipe: Stephanie Gallagher

zaterdag 15 november 2008

Risotto Covent Garden

Today I have a rather elaborate recipe for you. Covent Garden is one of my TOP favorite places in London. Therefore I could simply not resist adding this recipe.

The recipe is by Anton Mosimann from VegTalk.

15g/½oz butter
1 medium shallot, finely chopped
200g/7oz arborio rice, washed
1 small sprig of thyme
½ bay leaf
200-300ml/7/10fl oz vegetable stock
50ml/1¼fl oz white wine

For the mushroom sauce
200g/7oz forest mushrooms, finely sliced
15g/½oz butter
1 medium shallot, finely chopped
3 tbsp Maderia
½ tbsp lemon juice
100ml/3fl oz double cream
freshly ground black pepper
pinch of nutmeg
1 tbsp vegetable stock

For the vegetables
30g/1oz blanched lozenge cut mange tout
30g/1oz blanched lozenge cut turnips
30g/1oz blanched lozenge cut parsnips
30g/1oz blanched lozenge cut Swiss Chard
30g/1oz blanched thinly sliced Brussel Sprouts
30g/1oz blanched lozenge cut carrots
30g/1oz or halved cooked baby artichoke
40g/1½oz grated parmesan cheese
10g/¾oz whipped cream
50ml/1¾fl oz of champagne
2 tbsp chopped chives

1. Melt the butter in a heavy bottomed pan.
2. Add the shallots and sweat to soften without colour. Add the rice and stir constantly until well coated and translucent.
3. Add the herbs and the wine. Allow the wine to evaporate. Gradually add 200ml/7fl oz of vegetable stock stirring gently. (Add more stock as needed whilst allowing stock to be absorbed each time.)
4. Cook the rice for about 7-10 minutes. Spread the rice on a clean tray and allow to cool. Reserve.
5. For the forest mushroom sauce - melt the butter in a saucepan and gently sauté the shallots until transparent.
6. Add the mushrooms and cook until softened. Dust with the flour, then stir.
7. Add the white wine, lemon juice and one tablespoon of the veal stock, simmer for a few minutes. Remove the mushrooms and the shallots with a slotted spoon. Keep warm.
8. Reduce the stock to a glaze. Add the cream and reduce again by half. Return the mushrooms and shallots to the pan and warm through. Season with salt, pepper and pinch of nutmeg. Add when reheating rice.
9. Garnish with chopped chives.
10. To serve - reheat the rice adding stock accordingly. Add the mushroom sauce and the vegetables and bring to the boil. Add the whipped cream and the champagne. Season with cheese, salt and freshly ground pepper. Sprinkle with chives and serve.

Copyright Anton Mosimann

Whilst you visit Covent Garden make sure to book a table at

On June the 19th 1979 I opened 'Porters English Restaurant' in Covent Garden aiming to fill a gap in the market, and said, "The few specialist English Restaurants in London tend to serve food at rather high prices; Porters English Restaurant will give a lot of people good, simple, traditional English dishes in comfortable surroundings, at very reasonable prices!"

As I was surfing the internet today I came across the Mark&Spenser website.

Goodness, they do have a mouth watering selection of snacks and nibbles. Good thing is, you even don't have to leave your house to go to the shop yourself as everything will be delivered at your doorstep.

Their description is soooooo mouthwatering ...
What do you think of:
A whole side of lightly poached lochmuir™ salmon, decorated with the finest lochmuir™ smoked salmon, Honduran prawns, cream cheese with chives and asparagus, makes a luxurious fish dish.

Pieces of Wiltshire cured ham and fresh asparagus spears set in a creamy egg filling, blind-baked in a shortcrust, Parmesan-enriched pastry, and Hand-garnished.

A blind-baked, butter-rich pastry case packed with a tangy goat's cheese cream and juicy slow-roasted tomatoes
Perhaps working on a blog whilst I am hungry is NOT such a good idea ;-)

Pampered, styled and captured for ever

OK, I know, this has little to do with sprouts (and I will post a new recipe later on today) but surfing the internet I came across this super wonderful website!
Gosh, at times like this I wished I lived in the UK!

New ID Experiences Online offer the perfect gift experience for anyone! You will get professionally pampered, styled, made over, and then the look will all be captured on camera!

Have a look at their website: http://tinyurl.com/6rrjr9
They have studios in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Cardiff and Newcastle.

So ... if you have your photo taken, please post it here!

Enjoy your Saturday ...

donderdag 13 november 2008


Today I give you the recipe of a wonderful soup.

1 lb. Brussels sprouts
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 sm. onion, chopped
2 tbsp. medium-dry sherry (optional)
3 c. chicken broth
Freshly grated nutmeg
Salt & pepper

Preheat the oil in a saucepan, add the onion and cook gently for 5 minutes, until soft and lightly colored, but not brown. Stir in sherry, if using, then add broth. Bring to a boil, add the sprouts, a pinch of nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste. Lower the heat slightly, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes. Pass the soup through a strainer, or leave to cool slightly, then puree in a food processor. Return the soup to the rinsed-out pan and warm through. Taste and adjust seasoning. Sprinkle nutmeg or croutons on each serving. Alternately, swirl a little light cream in the soup before serving. Serves 4.

dinsdag 11 november 2008

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A Celebration Of The Humble Brussels Sprout

I came across this wonderful little book today: The Sprout Book, A Celebration Of The Humble Brussels Sprout

You can order it from
Asda (use product search code 9986157)
Waterstones (use product search code 6217981)

maandag 10 november 2008

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Garlic and Pancetta


1 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved (quartered if large)
2 oz pancetta, visible fat discarded and pancetta minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup water


Preheat oven to 450°F.

Toss together Brussels sprouts, pancetta, garlic, oil, and salt and pepper to taste in an 11- by 7-inch baking pan and spread in 1 layer.

Roast in upper third of oven, stirring once halfway through roasting, until sprouts are brown on edges and tender, about 25 minutes total. Stir in water, scraping up brown bits. Serve warm.

OK. 3 Recipes so far; I really hope you enjoyed cooking them. Keep sending your own favorites so I can add them to the blog.

vrijdag 7 november 2008

Brussels Sprouts Stir-fry

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
1 large potato, peeled and cubed
1 bay leaf
1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved lengthwise
1 red pepper, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup chicken broth
ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons chopped green onions

Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onion, potato, and bay leaf. Cook and stir until the onion is transparent, about 5 minutes. Add the Brussels sprouts, red pepper, and chicken broth. Cover and cook until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Remove the bay leaf. Toss with black pepper, to taste. Garnish with green onions, and serve immediately.

Grow Brussels Sprouts without Soil!

donderdag 6 november 2008

Golden-Crusted Brussels Sprouts Recipe

As a Belgian one often gets associated with 'a Brussels Sprout' ;-) As a child I always disliked the soggy green mess on my plate my mum used to call: sprouts. Needless to say that as an adult they never entered my plate agin. That is until I met my new partner who ... is a sprouts addict. (sigh)
Lucky for the relationship I came across this recipe by Heidi. And I feel confident saying this golden-crusted version has the ability to turn even the most vigilant brussels sprout haters around.

This is the only way to eat brussels sprouts: cut in half and cooked until deliciously tender inside and perfectly brown and crusted on the outside.
Use brussels sprouts that are on the small size and tightly closed. You can finish these with many different types of cheese but I tend to go for Parmesan when the weather is good. I trade that in for heavier cheeses like gruyere or Gouda in colder weather. I finished them off with some toasted hazelnuts the other night - delicious!
24 small brussels sprouts
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for rubbing
fine-grain sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup grated cheese of your choice
Wash the brussels sprouts well. Trim the stem ends and remove any raggy outer leaves. Cut in half from stem to top and gently rub each half with olive oil, keeping it intact (or if you are lazy just toss them in a bowl with a glug of olive oil).
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in your largest skillet over medium heat. Don’t overheat the skillet, or the outsides of the brussels sprouts will cook too quickly. Place the brussels sprouts in the pan flat side down (single-layer), sprinkle with a couple pinches of salt, cover, and cook for roughly 5 minutes; the bottoms of the sprouts should only show a hint of browning. Cut into or taste one of the sprouts to gauge whether they’re tender throughout. If not, cover and cook for a few more minutes.
Once just tender, uncover, turn up the heat, and cook until the flat sides are deep brown and caramelized. Use a metal spatula to toss them once or twice to get some browning on the rounded side. Season with more salt, a few grinds of pepper, and a dusting of grated cheese. While you might be able to get away with keeping a platter of these warm in the oven for a few minutes, they are exponentially tastier if popped in your mouth immediately.

Please tell me your favorite recipe too!