perfect Christmas dinner veg; how to avoid grey sprouts? And what else?

(16 Posts)
Rooobs Tue 11-Dec-12 13:46:35

We'll be cooking for 13. BIL is in charge of meat and roasties, leaving me to prepare veg.

I love sprouts, but how to avoid over cooking them when there will be so much else going on?

Any ideas on things I can prep the day before?

Ruffello Tue 11-Dec-12 17:45:44

I would peel and blanch them the day before, drain and put into a large bowl of iced water (to stop the cooking and keep them bright green), drain again, cover and keep in the fridge. Then on the day, fry some lardons of bacon or pancetta, add the Brussels and a knob of butter and heat through. Mmmm... I love sprouts!

oddslippers Tue 11-Dec-12 17:49:52

One tip I've heard is if it grows above ground put into boiling water if it grows below ground put into cold water. Part boil roasties give a good shake when drained to roughen the edges then put into sizzling hot fat.

Rooobs Tue 11-Dec-12 17:50:05

That's a good idea. How long would you blanch them for?

Rooobs Tue 11-Dec-12 17:51:22

<wonders sprouts grow above or below ground> grin

Ruffello Tue 11-Dec-12 17:55:11

I guess about 5 mins in boiling water should be enough blanching time.

BikeRunSki Tue 11-Dec-12 17:55:30

Bicarb in water to keep sprouts green.

Sprouts grow above ground.

I have always used that above/below ground rule for cooking veg.

Rooobs Tue 11-Dec-12 19:53:22

right I've got some tester sprouts blanched, plunged and in the fridge. I think I should've kept them whole rather than cutting in half though, as they're falling apart a bit.

Anyone know how cauliflower cheese freezes; does it turn to mush or separate?

I don't know re cauliflower but red cabbage freezes beautifully, and there are some lovely Christmas spiced red cabbage recipes that are delicious and make ahead for the big daysmile

Rooobs Tue 11-Dec-12 20:27:50

brill! I'll have a look for red cabbage recipes then.

ScienceRocks Tue 11-Dec-12 21:10:36

The Jamie Oliver red cabbage recipe that involves balsamic vinegar and fennel seeds is great. Freezes well too.

ScienceRocks Tue 11-Dec-12 21:11:21

Add some cooked chestnuts to the sprouts when you do the bacon. Fabulous.

DewDr0p Tue 11-Dec-12 21:13:07

Oh that JO red cabbage recipe is divine People eat less sprouts if you make that ime.

I'd try steaming the sprouts, whole.

Wallison Tue 11-Dec-12 21:19:56

I see all of my sprouts wisdom such as it is has already been covered. Yes, blanch them beforehand and then fry with bits of smoked bacon and chestnuts. To me, they seem to go an even more shade of vivid green when fried.

Carrots are nice if done in 1/2 pint of veggie stock with 2oz of butter and 2oz of light muscovado sugar. You just throw it all into the pot and boil as normal taking the lid off half-way through and adding 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar so it doesn't take any extra time but they've got a nice glaze on them.

2cats2many Tue 11-Dec-12 21:22:26

I love over cooked sprouts. Its the taste of my childhood Christmases blush

ppeatfruit Wed 12-Dec-12 13:48:19

To get the best\freshest sprouts firstly buy them on their stalk and put it in cold water somewhere cool (like cut flowers trim the bottom of the stalk). They keep fresh like this and taste totally different to the horrible sulphurous yellow balls that our DMs used to cook.

Just pull them off the stalk when you're ready to cook them. I would cook them on the day you're going to eat them and steam them lightly (other veg you can parboil previously etc.)

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