Brussels sprouts with apricot glaze, what a winner, literally! This recipe was a finalist in the 1996 Pillsbury Bake-Off.
[Small world: The recipe's originator is Judy Kroll, sister of our family friend JoAnn Jensen! Plus, new bloggers, do you know that one of our very own food bloggers won the Pillsbury Bake-Off in 2005? And that a St. Louis food blogger was a finalist?]
I adapted the recipe for fresh Brussels sprouts but was completely amazed at how good the glaze-lemon-water chestnuts were. This is a keeper, great for Thanksgiving but a year-round choice as well.
RECIPE for BRUSSELS SPROUTS with APRICOT GLAZE
Time to table: 35 minutes
Salted water to cover
1 1/2 pounds fresh Brussels sprouts, trimmed and X'd
1/2 cup fruit preserves, apricot or peach (what I used) or fig (I'd avoid red preserves like strawberry or raspberry for color reasons)
1 tablespoon lemon juice (don't skip this: it's magnificent)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill (I skipped this, think it would be a great addition)
8 ounces canned sliced water chestnuts, drained and sliced into matchsticks
1 tablespoon toasted nuts (I used pecans, the inspiring recipe uses untoasted chopped cashews)
Bring the water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add sprouts, cover and adjust heat to maintain a slow simmer. Cook for about 20 minutes or until Brussels sprouts are fully cooked but still bright green. Drain and return to the hot saucepan.
Meanwhile, bring the glaze ingredients to a boil in a small saucepan. Pour over hot, cooked sprouts and stir to coat well. [You could pause for a few minutes here but cover to keep the sprouts hot.] Transfer to a serving dish. Top with toasted nuts.
TO PREP AHEAD
NUTS Toast the nuts 1 - 2 days in advance
BRUSSELS SPROUTS Wash, trim and X the sprouts day before or morning of (if done day before, I think I'd spritz and cover with a damp paper towel until ready to cook) WATER CHESTNUTS Slice into matchsticks the morning of
GLAZE Combine glaze ingredients in a small saucepan the morning of, ready to warm shortly before serving
HOW TO TRIM BRUSSELS SPROUTS: Wash the sprouts under running water. Slice off the stem end about 1/4 way into the sprout, then remove the outer leaves. Check to see that the remaining sprout is completely clean and the leaves unblemished, if not wash again and remove another layer of outer leaves. With a sharp knife, cut an X into the stem end, this helps the interior core cook at the same rate as the outer leaves.
Buy Brussels sprouts of roughly equivalent size so they cook evenly
To salt water for boiling vegetables, Epicurious recommends a scant teaspoon of table salt (more if you only have the less salty sea salt) per quart (four cups) of water but I use about double that.
A good cook-ahead trick for any vegetables cooked or steamed in water: bring the water to a boil ahead of time, say 30 minutes or so, then cover and turn off the fire. When you're ready to bring the water to boil for real, it'll take far less time.
for large Brussels sprouts
~ Brussels sprouts with pancetta & garlic ~
for small Brussels sprouts
~ wine-glazed Brussels sprouts ~
~ more Brussels sprouts recipes ~
~ Thanksgiving Vegetable Recipes 2006 ~