Sunday, January 25, 2015

Edwardian Cooking Part Three: Baked Brussels Sprouts and Cheddar Cheese

Remember the Brussels sprouts that I didn't feel like coring last week in Edwardian Cooking Part Two: Shredded Spiced Brussels Sprouts? I made another new dish with them! (Really, I didn't know this was going to a three parter until now.) This Baked Brussels Sprouts and Cheddar Cheese dish is fairly close to how I first tried Brussels sprouts in a dish that was called Brussels Sprouts Au Gratin. (It's basically the same thing except no bread crumbs this time.) 

First, a spoiler. I didn't use cheddar cheese. For vaguely known reasons, we have a ginormous bag of shredded Mexican blend cheese in our fridge. With no other use for this cheese, I decided to use it in place of cheddar in this dish. The result was absolutely fine. I say, use whatever cheese you'd like. In fact, experimenting with different kinds of cheese sounds like a lot of fun!

Again, the book is Edwardian Cooking: the Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook by Larry Edwards. If you've enjoyed these recipes, please buy it! With each recipe, you will find lovely anecdotes about the dish, its history, the culture, and sometimes little tidbits about the show Downton Abbey.

What You Need:
  • 1.5 lbs of Brussels Sprouts
  • 1/2 tspn salt
  • 1 T butter
  • 1.5 cups grated cheese
  • 1 tspn ground black pepper
As I said above, I used shredded cheese and not grated. It all melts in the oven! But if you're a stickler, the recipe does call for grated cheese.

It turns out we do have a pairing knife, at least what Greg knows as a pairing knife, so I used that to find my own way of coring Brussels sprouts. This recipe actually makes it easier than the last one. It directs you to first cut the sprouts in half, then core them. So this is what I did:

Still a bit tedious, but Greg and I agreed, the texture was much improved over a previous Brussels sprouts and cheese attempt. Once cored, you will want to:
  • Bring one inch of water to boil in a medium-size pan. Add the halved sprouts and salt and allow to cook for about three minutes. (The green color of the sprouts will intensify.)
  • Drain the water out of the pan. Add butter and toss sprouts to coat.
  • Spray a casserole dish with non-stick spray. Then pour in the sprouts, cover with cheese, and shake on some ground black pepper.
  • Cover with foil and bake at 325F for about 20 minutes.

Even with the coring, this dish was incredibly easy to make. I had to run off to an author event at around dinner time, so I prepped everything and had the sprouts ready to go and covered in foil for Greg to pop in the oven 20 minutes before I arrived home. (Team work!) For the companion piece, Greg cooked turkey sausages in a frying pan. Not a bad combo! 

Ok, I am all out of Brussels sprouts. Don't know what I am doing next week, but here's hoping the stove doesn't catch on fire. I have scoured the entire thing, so unless it wants to catch vestiges of cleaning solution on fire (again), we should be fine. 

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