Christmas is such a festive time of year. It gives us a chance to gather our loved ones, young and old, swap gifts, drink gallons of mulled wine and enjoy a cracking Christmas dinner.
Once everyone’s tummies are fit to burst, kids drag out board games while elderly relatives fall asleep during the Queen’s speech. It’s the perfect time to reflect on Christmases past and give thanks for all those treasured memories.
Christmas has always been a traditional affair in our house. I cover the walls with funky reindeers, fat jolly Santa’s and one or two naughty elves. In the hallway, I hang silver bells and there’s always a mountain of presents under the tree.
I cook a festive lunch with all the trimmings but every year there’s one vegetable that leads to an argument. Yes, you’ve guessed it. The dreaded Brussels sprout. Let’s face it they’re like Marmite. You either love them or you hate them. Personally, I’m a hater and so are two of my sons.
The Brussels sprout is part of the cabbage family and has long been popular in Brussels, Belgium, (it’s how it gained its name). Low in calories but high in nutrients, especially fibre, vitamin K and vitamin C, it’s no wonder we make allowances for this… dare I say… disgusting-tasting green vegetable.
Of course, this is just my opinion and varies from person to person. My husband loves sprouts and says that Christmas dinner isn’t complete without them. However, because of the continual moans and groans from family members whenever I asked… ‘Who wants sprouts?’ I came up with a cunning plan without the help of Baldrick.
I decided that if Brussels sprouts didn’t taste like sprouts then maybe more of my family would eat them. A couple of years ago I created a recipe that transformed the humble sprout to a tasty morsel. Now my Brussels sprouts are absolutely to die for. But don’t take my word for it. Try this recipe for yourself.
Pan Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Caramelised Onions, Pancetta and Sherry:
- 1 x large onion (red or white), finely chopped.
- 2/3 x garlic cloves, finely chopped.
- 1 x 100g pack of unsmoked pancetta or chopped bacon.
- Brussels sprouts.
- 3 x tablespoons of *Harvey’s Bristol Cream (or any cream sherry you have in the house). *Using sherry is optional but it makes the sprouts taste fantastic.
- Salt and pepper.
- Parboil the sprouts in boiling water until they’ve softened enough to eat but aren’t squishy. Then put to one side.
- Heat a non-stick frying pan to medium heat.
- Add the pancetta or diced bacon and sauté until brown, approximately 5-7 minutes.
- Remove pancetta/bacon from the pan and let it drain on a paper towel-lined plate.
- With the pancetta/bacon grease still in the pan, add the diced onion and garlic and sauté until slightly caramelised. This takes approx 5-7 minutes.
- Add the Brussels sprouts to the pan and sauté for 5-7 minutes.
- Pour in the *Harvey’s Bristol Cream. *Optional.
- Allow the sprouts to soak up the alcohol, add the pancetta and heat through.
- Add salt and pepper.
- Serve with all the trimmings and I promise you anyone who isn’t keen on sprouts will be converted.
Don’t forget a FREE children’s Christmas story will be published on the 11th December 2019. Subscribe to my blog to ensure you receive a copy of the delightful tale featuring Prickles and Primrose two adorable hedgehogs.
Merry Christmas Everyone… Ho-ho-ho!
© Lynette E. Creswell