Au Gratin Good Time

Brussels Sprouts Gratin

why hello there

When they’re in season, brussels sprouts find their way onto my plate at least once a week. And while I’m HUGE fan of roasting and sautéing those little beauties, that can get boring.

But if you’re looking for a good time, go ahead and add some cheese. Cheese tends to make everything better, right? And brussels sprouts are no exception.

Most grocery stores have pre-bagged brussels sprouts but if they’re available on the stalk, go for that. It might fit a little awkward in your fridge but they’ll taste fresher and last longer.

Brussels Sprouts Gratin
1 lb of brussels sprouts, ends trimmed
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Salt & pepper
½ cup of light cream
3/4 cup of shredded white cheddar cheese
½ cup of breadcrumbs
Cooking spray
1 tablespoon of unsalted butter

Heat your oven to 400º.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the brussels sprouts and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until tender. Drain and then roughly chop.

Lightly grease a 9×7 baking dish with cooking spray and then add the chopped brussels sprouts. Add the red pepper flakes, season to taste with salt and pepper, and stir to combine. Pour the cream over the top and sprinkle with the cheese and breadcrumbs. Then place dabs of butter around the dish. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden and bubbling. Let cool slightly and then eat.

Colonel Mustard (Chicken) in the Kitchen

Chicken & Brussels sprouts with mustard sauce

this totally cuts the mustard

There shouldn’t be any mystery to why I love this recipe. My chicken obsession gets stronger every week, and now Brussels sprouts are gaining a similar (healthy?) fixation. Here both are covered in a flavorful mustard sauce – a sauce so good you’ll want to eat it with a spoon.

Quick story: One of my favorite movies as a kid was Clue, that madcap adaptation of the board game. Even now if I stumble upon it on cable, I have to watch it. It’s so silly and yet so clever. I’ve dreamed of hosting my own dinner party with Miss Scarlet, Professor Plum, Miss Peacock and the rest. (Well, without all the murder and dead bodies.)

So, a dinner party like that probably isn’t in my future. But now I can wholeheartedly say that Colonel Mustard did it. In the kitchen. With the knife. Oops, I mean a skillet.

Chicken and Brussels Sprouts with Mustard Sauce
– 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
– 2 tablespoons of whole grain mustard
– ¼ cup of low-sodium chicken stock
– 1 tablespoon of butter
– 12 oz of Brussels sprouts, trimmed & halved
– 1 to 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
– Salt and pepper
– Olive oil

Heat your oven to 450º.

Season the chicken breasts on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat a tablespoon of oil in large oven-proof skillet over high heat. Add the chicken and brown on both sides, about 6 minutes. Place the skillet in the oven and bake until cooked through, about 10 minutes.

Heat another tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the Brussels sprouts and sauté for about 4 minutes, stirring frequently, until lightly browned. Add the vinegar, season with salt and pepper, cover and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until crisp-tender.

Remove the chicken breasts from the skillet and keep warm. Heat the skillet with the pan drippings over medium-high heat. Stir in the mustard and chicken stock, scraping any brown bits from the bottom, and bring to a boil. Next add the butter and simmer until the sauce thickens. (Note: The skillet will be hot directly from the oven. Use a potholder for the handle. Seriously!)

Plate chicken breasts and Brussels sprouts, top with a few spoonfuls of sauce, and then eat.

A few close-ups. It was hard to pick a favorite side of my plate.

chicken & Brussels sprouts with mustard sauce

hey chick

chicken & Brussels sprouts with mustard sauce

hello sprouts

And: if you’re looking for some Clue, here’s a link to one of my favorite scenes.

Flex Your Brussels

maple brussels sprouts

maple makes it magnificent

A little maple syrup can make a big difference. Not that brussels sprouts aren’t tasty with just a little olive oil and salt & pepper, but if you’re looking for an easy, fall-inspired side dish, this is it. Cut ’em in half, brown ’em up and then toss ’em with a little butter, maple syrup and sage. For anyone out there who doesn’t like brussels sprouts – it makes me sad they have such a bad rep – this is a great way to try them for the first time.

Maple-Glazed Brussels Sprouts
– 1 lb of brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half lengthwise
– 1 ½ tablespoons of unsalted butter, at room temperature
– 3 tablespoons of maple syrup
– 1 tablespoon of freshly chopped sage
– Salt and pepper
– Olive oil

Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the brussels sprouts in batches, cut side down, and cook until golden brown, about 4 to 5 minutes. (Add more oil if necessary.) Then add all the brussels sprouts to the skillet, season with salt and pepper, and cook until tender, about 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer them to a large bowl. Remove the skillet from the heat and add the butter, maple syrup and sage. Once the butter has melted, return the brussels sprouts to the skillet and toss to coat. Lightly drizzle with olive oil and serve.