Healthy Eating: Cooked right, Brussels sprouts are irresistible
Ask most people to name a vegetable they hate, and the answer more likely than not will be Brussels sprouts.
That’s understandable – when Brussels sprouts are overcooked, they turn to mush and taste like a barnyard. When undercooked, they can be bitter and tough.
But when prepared properly, Brussels sprouts are addictive with the delicate sweetness of great cabbage, but with a more complex vegetable flavor.
Lately, they’ve been showing up on menus all over town prepared in a variety of ways – sautéed with bacon, roasted with olive oil, served in pasta.
Brussels sprouts grow on stalks, and look like tiny cabbages, to which they are related. The smaller the sprout, the more tender and sweet it is; avoid any that are puffy or yellowish. They keep in the refrigerator for several days. If the sprouts are large, cut them in halves or quarters and trim the tiny root end.
Brussels sprouts are delicious sliced, tossed with olive oil, seasoned with salt and herbs and roasted at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. You can also peel the leaves and cook them quickly with a little bacon for a warm, wilted salad. Cook them by whatever method you choose just until they are crisp-tender and bright-colored.
Brussels sprouts make an excellent accompaniment for almost any meat dish. If you are among the many Brussels sprouts haters, the recipe here, from chef Art Smith, may convert you.
Carole Kotkin, manager of the Ocean Reef Club cooking school and co-author of “Mmmmiami: Tempting Tropical Tastes for Home Cooks Everywhere,” writes for the Miami Herald
Unfried Chicken With Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Chef Art Smith takes out fat but none of the flavor from one of our best-loved chicken dishes in this recipe adapted from his new book, “Art Smith’s Healthy Comfort” (Harper One, $27.99).
Start the meal with chilled soup, pour a crisp pinot gris from Oregon, and finish with strawberries drizzled with balsamic vinegar.
1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon Louisiana Hot Sauce or another hot sauce
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut in half
1 ½ cups whole-grain panko bread crumbs
3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 ½ teaspoons onion powder
1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
16 Brussels sprouts, cut in half
1 ½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon, quartered
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Combine the buttermilk and hot sauce in a bowl. Submerge the chicken pieces in the buttermilk and soak in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour but no more than 24 hours.
In a gallon-size zipper-seal plastic bag, combine the bread crumbs, parmesan, pepper, cayenne, onion powder, garlic powder and paprika. Seal the bag and shake to mix.
Remove the chicken from the buttermilk and transfer it to the bag with the breadcrumb mixture. Shake the bag until the chicken pieces are evenly coated. Remove them and lay them flat on a nonstick baking sheet. Refrigerate, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
Bake the chicken for 20 to 25 minutes, or until just cooked through.
Meanwhile, place the Brussels sprouts in a medium mixing bowl, toss with the olive oil, and season salt and pepper. Spread them in a medium baking dish and roast in the 400-degree oven for 20 minutes or until caramelized and tender.
Divide chicken and vegetables among 4 dinner plates, and squeeze the lemon over the chicken.
Makes 4 servings.
Nutrition information per serving: 427 calories, 12 grams fat (3 grams saturated), 79 grams cholesterol, 40 grams protein, 45 grams carbohydrates, 9 grams dietary fiber, 349 milligrams sodium