So Joe and I are all snuggly tucked up in Vermont, fire roaring… except: there’s no snow and it’s like 50 degrees out and raining. Kinda makes skiing a little hard. Fortunately, fire + wine still equals a pretty nice, if exceptionally warm, time. Joe keeps trying to see if I’ll snoop through my presents to figure out what they are and even though he has left them out in the open (!!!) I have not shaken a single box even once. Ha! I’m pretty sure if I did though, his strategy would be considered entrapment. Oreo will be getting a giant lump of coal this year. (Kidding. Sort of.)
I’ve been busily preparing food for us (our fridge looks like we are a feeding a family of six), and one of my Christmas favorites are Brussels Sprouts. I feel like these tart veggies really divide people. Either you love them or think they are gross. Me? Love ’em. I like them even in their bitter state – especially when I shred them and then sauté them in a bit of oil, getting them crispy and top them with pepper and pine nuts. Yummers. But, to make them more festive and sweeter, I’ve made this side dish with cranberries, raisons and a whole lot of vegetable stock.
I start out by trimming the stem of the sprout and then slicing them in half. Careful with your fingers! I’ve come close to nipping mine a few times, but, I’m also not the most coordinated person. I stumbled and fell yesterday simply because I tripped over my own two feet. How I am coordinated enough to ski is still a mystery.
Then I cook them in the vegetable stock until it’s completely reduced/ soaked up by the brussels sprouts. This makes them sweet and soft! Now, I have no kids yet, and I’ve never tried to feed this to any. And I’m guessing, by reputation, that children don’t like brussels sprouts (along with lima beans and broccoli). That said, I have a feeling that sprouts prepared in this form are more likely to be eating by children. I’m not promising anything, it’s just a hunch. Give me a few more years to pop out my own and I’ll let you know!
Once the vegetable stock is almost totally gone I add the cranberries and raisons just enough to warm them up and soften them. You don’t want them totally mushy. I like the contrast between sweet and tart in this dish, soft and crisp. I know, I know I’m always saying I like contrasts. It’s my thing!
Coming up on on the blog we are list our favorite Christmas links, our Pinterest Christmas board and a hearty (and healthy, natch) Christmas dinner entrée. To stay up to date on all these posts be sure to Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!
Happy Eating and Happy Holidays!
- 2 cups Brussels Sprouts
- 1 cup Vegetable Stock (Approximately)
- 2/3 cup whole Cranberries (fresh or defrosted)
- 1/3 cup Raisons
- 2 tablespoons Olive Oil or Coconut Oil
- Trim stems of brussels sprouts and cut in half.
- Heat oil on medium high until warm but not smoking and place sprouts in pan flat side down and cook for about a minute till bottoms are golden.
- Add enough vegetable stock to cover sprouts about half way, leave top halves uncovered. This is approximately 1 cup but if you depending on the size of your pan and sprouts it could be more or less. Adjust accordingly.
- Cook for about about 20 minutes on medium heat, or until the stock has almost completely reduced. Add cranberries and raisons and toss to coat. Cook for another minutes until cranberries and raisons are soft and stock is gone.