Thursday, December 11, 2014

Cooking with Sea Cider Prohibition – Side Dish II Recipe

Recipe Pairing Flavors:
A bourbon barrel aged cider full of aromas and flavors of caramel, molasses and rum with a note of toasted oak, that’s all wrapped up in tart-sweet heirloom apples.  Mouthfilling, full-bodied and gently effervescent, Prohibition finishes dry and crisp, with a pleasingly lingering warmth.

Want the Cooking with Sea Cider
Entrée recipe?

Want the Cooking with Sea Cider
Side Dish recipe?

Want the Cooking with Sea Cider
Dessert recipe?
You’ll find it in next Thursday’s post.

Want the Cooking with Sea Cider
Dessert II recipe?
We’ll wrap up the series and 2014 with this December 26th post.


In this season of celebration, let me tell you a winter’s horror story.

Imagine a golden, roast turkey or a beautifully glazed ham, sitting alongside brilliant red cranberries and fluffy, deep orange whipped sweet potatoes. And then, nestled beside all this bounty are the greens of the season.  Small, miniature cabbages, waterboarded into a pile of mushy, bitter, green blobs.

Well, I've got news for you.  Halloween’s over and torture is out.  These little cabbages shouldn’t be the black sheep of the season.

So, to rescue you from an unnecessary horror, I'm here to make it all go away.

No, not the cabbages.  Just their tortured preparation.  And to top it all off, they’ll get a boost of flavor from the season’s cider.

But, before we spill the beans about our little cabbages, are they really from Brussels or is that just a marketing ploy?  Most likely yes to the first, and probably yes, to the second, since although sprouts had been cultivated in Italy since Roman times, they weren't grown in large quantities until the late 16th century in Belgium.

And with their growth in popularity, they eventually spread to the US in the early 18th century, when French settlers brought them along with them to Louisiana.  While Thomas Jefferson, another fan, would later grow them at Monticello.

And not only is their resemblance to larger cabbages no mistake, they’re members of the same mustard family called “cruciferae” (which is Latin for “cross) as full-size cabbages, a name they earned because their four-part flower is in the shape of a cross.

Grown on two to three foot tall, thick, long stalks with 20 to 40 bulbs per plant, their peak season arrives in autumn and takes them through the winter, which is why they probably haunt holiday tables regularly at this time of the year.

But, we’ll put an end to all that haunting with my brussels sprouts recipe, by avoiding the water treatment, and roasting them instead.  Crispy and browned, they’re then tossed in a light dressing of brown sugar, citrus and cider, making them unrecognizable to their soggy counterparts that are often bitter and drab.

So, here's to putting the green back again on your holiday table, with a cider themed recipe for brussels sprouts that really celebrates the season.


Serves 6 – 8

1 pound brussels sprouts
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
⅛ teaspoon black pepper (freshly cracked)

2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
½ teaspoon orange zest (finely chopped)
1 tablespoon Sea Cider Prohibition

Set rack to mid-oven and preheat to 400°F.
Aluminum foil a sheet pan and set aside.

Rinse the brussels sprouts, drain well and remove any damaged outer leaves and slice in half, lengthwise.

Place in a bowl, then add the salt and pepper and drizzle in the olive oil.
Mix gently to coat, then transfer to the prepared sheet pan and slide into the oven to roast for 15 minutes, turn over and roast an additional 5 minutes until crispy and tender. 
Transfer to a serving bowl.

In a small skillet set over medium low heat, combine the brown sugar and orange zest, heating until sugar begins to melt.  Add the cider and reduce slightly, before drizzling over the roasted sprouts.

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