Tis the season of the Sprout!
Brussel Sprout that is! Along with other perennial favorites like the succulent and vividly tart cranberry and all the myriad varieties of winter squash. I would love to share a few ideas to spark come creativity while in the kitchen tomorrow for this feast of Thanks and Gratitude!
I know many of us have gone through rough childhood moments at the dinner table when we were scooped a pile of those overcooked, bitter, foul smelling, little mini cabbages. Oh the brussel sprout! The Sprout actually spurned my first culinary adventure. At 8 or 9, I was determined to make a sauce to eat with the brussel sprouts that I had to eat. Along came the mustard aioli. And since then I have found many ways to make these amazingly nutritious little guys tasty! Just to add in a little nutritional fact, these miniature cabbages are loaded in vitamins K and C. Their pungent nature and high sulfur content make them tonifying for the lungs
One of my current favorites Is a combination of 1 cup cooked beluga lentils, 2 cups brussel sprouts chopped roughly and browned in a cast iron pan with2 cloves garlic, a splash of apple cider vinegar, and a dollop of goat cheese. Add in a little fennel seed and bay leaf to the cooking lentils as well. Belugas cook very fast so watch your timing. This is a 20 minute dish.
Yet another item with shadowed memories of the past holidays…the canned cranberry stuff. Not anymore. Fresh cranberries can be procured at almost any larger grocery store nowadays. And there are Some folks that have the fortune of getting cranberries from their own bogs! Anyways, The astringent and sour nature of the cranberry is wonderfully healing this time of year. Underneath the vivid tastes lay compounds that benefit the urinary, digestive, and circulatory systems. Eat and grow strong!!
I have been enjoying adding raw cranberries to my baked goods. In your next cookie or even pancake recipe add a little fresh cranberry! One of my favorites for the season is a classic cranberry sauce with grapefruit sections added in at the last minutes of simmering. Most cranberry sauces call for some form of sugar to balance the sour. Try Sucanat instead of regular sugar this year. The flavor depth from the unfiltered molasses in sucanat rounds out the additions of cloves, and cinnamon. Another wonderful addition is the New Mexico Chili. Not too hot, but just enough kick to get the palate ready for the second helping of potatoes you just snuck.
There are so many wonderful choices out there when looking for a good winter squash to cook up.My suggestion: get one you have never tried before. Maybe it is the small and succulent Delicata squash. Maybe its it lightly pink and warty Galeux de Eyesines. Maybe you choose the gorgeous red heirloom, Cinderella Squash. Either way you go, you will not be disappointed.
Out of all the ways to cook a squash, I will be doing 3 different preparations in particular this year. The first one was offered at the Yoga Tree Telegraph Grand Openning celebration the other day: the Pumpkin Samosa served with a Coconut Cilantro Chutney. If you all want the recipe for that, let me know :). The other that is going to the family celebration tomorrow is a Cinderella Squash and Leek Soup. Big squash, couple chopped leek whites, couple cloves of garlic, a little fresh ginger, salt, pepper, allspice, splash of lemon, and some fresh made stock. Chop, saute, boil, simmer, blend, season, enjoy! Top this soup with fresh chopped rosemary for a simple and amazing squash adventure.
Another wonderful preparation is extremely simple. Cut your squash of choice into 1inch thick wedges and lightly coat with coconut or grapeseed oil. Sprinkle with salt, fresh pepper and a dash of rosemary, cinnamon and star anise. Just a dash. Bake at 350 on a parchment lined sheet pan just until a knife smoothly cut through. This is a great way to get to know the squash and whether you want to bring that kind home again to meet the parents. All the squashes have different consistencies and textures. Play with them! See which one fits your fancy! Many of the ones you have always thought to be simply decorations on the doorsteps around the neighborhood, are amazing to eat.
Be delightfully surprised this year when you sit down for your holidays! Try something new, fresh and creative in your cooking routine.
You will be thankful you did.
Plus, isn’t that the point anyways? The whole “brimming over with gratitude because we are alive, getting creative, and sharing our love” attitude.
Happy Day of Thanks and Gratitude to You all from us at Shri Cuisine!!