Thursday, October 31, 2013


So next week is the last CSA pick up. WAAAH! Oh, how I will miss those glorious fresh organic veggies every week. In fact, last week I bought tomatoes for the first time in months! It felt strange to say the least. This weeks (and last weeks) share we were gifted with stalks of brussel sprouts. Such a strange looking veggie. Now, I am still on the fence when it comes to these things. I WANT to like them. They look like little cabbages and I adore cabbage, so why do I find it so hard to like these? My mother makes them every Thanksgiving and try as I might I can't seem to get past the bitterness. Well, let me tell you these sprouts were NOTHING like my mothers! First of all they were very small, maybe the diameter of a dime with the larger ones at about quarter size. Size must matter because they were not bitter like I remember my mothers giant Thanksgiving brussel sprouts to be. Because they came straight from the farm, I  soaked them overnight in cold water with a splash of cider vinegar. I am not sure if the vinegar did anything or not but it sure smelled good. Then I boiled them in salted water until they looked done and drained them in a colander. While they were draining I made a quick sauce using a half a block of reduced fat cream cheese, about 1/4 of a container of sour cream and maybe a half cup of milk. I melted this all together over very low heat in a saucepan and added most of a packet of ranch dressing mix - not all of it. I didn't want it too salty. Then I returned the brussel sprouts too the pan and stirred it all together. It was rich but really, really good! In the future I think an addition of crumbled bacon would really elevate this dish to another level. But, I have to say it went well, as is, with last nights meatloaf.

Brussel Sprouts in Creamy Ranch Sauce

2-3 cups small brussel sprouts
1/2 cup cider vinegar
3Tbs salt
4 oz cream cheese (reduced fat will work)
1/2 cup sour cream
half cup milk (any fat content is ok)
1 package ranch dressing mix
Cooked crumbled bacon (optional)

Place Brussel sprouts in a large non-reactive bowl and cover with water. Add cider vinegar, weigh brussel sprouts down with a plate and soak overnight.
Drain and transfer to a medium sized saucepan. Add water to cover and salt.
Boiled them in salted water until tender and drain.
Return saucepan to stove and over low heat combine cream cheese, sour cream and milk. Stir frequently until cheese is melted and mixture is smooth.
Add ranch dressing mix in increments, tasting for desired level of seasoning..
Return brussel sprouts to the pan and stir to combine.
Add crumbled bacon if desired.

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