Today I unearthed this year’s first Swedish Brussel sprouts; a moment I look forward to every year. Unfortunately they weren’t my homegrown variety -they never even showed their heads above ground in my vegetable patch- but they were Swedish nonetheless: from a small farm outside Helsingborg on the West Coast of Sweden.
Simply put, I love Brussel sprouts. From October to February, there is no better vegetable. Starting small and sweet, culminating, peak-season, as a bitter-sweet, almost floral centre-piece to the great British Christmas lunch, there is nothing that comes close to this iresistable, compact mini-cabbage-like piece of green perfection. So say I.
The ones I bought today were early season, even by Swedish standards, so hadn’t been ravage by the first frost that Brussels so desperately need to give them the perfect flavour. Because of that, they are not quite right to serve at their best: boiled for three minutes and eaten un-adulterated with an almost-raw crunch. Instead, I dressed them up a bit.
And today being a perfect autumn day I decided to give them the full seasonal treatment: rosemary and lingon fried chicken with bacon and cream stewed Brussels.
A deceptively simple dish which is just divine: Wednesday luxury of the highest order. I don’t have recipe, as such, because it came out of my head. But it goes a bit like this.
Remove the outer layer of the some sprouts and cut in half
Boil in salted water for two minutes and refresh in cold water
Half 4 chicken breasts lengthways, to create full size, thin schnitzel-like pieces
Mix these with a little olive oil, two teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
Fry the chicken until just coloured, transfer it to an oven dish, sprinkle with some sugared lingon berries then place I an oven at 120 whilst you make the rest
Chop and fry 4 slices of bacon till crispy and add three chopped shallots and the Brussel sprouts. Fry for two minutes
Pour In 2 dl of thick cream and boil gently for five minutes
Serve it all up with oven roasted or boiled potatoes