Slow-Cooked Brussels Sprouts with Lemongrass
Aside from cranberry sauce, most Thanksgiving foods are desperately lacking in bright flavors. If you want to mitigate that, keep some lemons and a zester on hand; for something even (a little) more unusual, try these Brussels sprouts, which use the Malaysian technique of boiling down coconut milk until all that remains is coconut oil and milk solids. The resulting dish is called rendang, which usually contains meat but is fantastic for Brussels sprouts. I know it’s outside the box, but surprising flavors (lemongrass, lime, turmeric, ginger, chiles) can be such a welcome presence on the Thanksgiving table.
Makes: 4 servings
Time: About 1 hour
2 thick fresh lemongrass stalks
5 small shallots or 3 large shallots, cut into chunks
3 garlic cloves, smashed
1 1⁄2 teaspoons ground turmeric
2-inch piece ginger, peeled and cut into chunks
1 fresh chile (like thai or jalapeño), cut into chunks
1 cup coconut milk (reduced-fat is fine)
1 cup unsweetened plain non-dairy milk, like oat or rice
1 1⁄2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
1. Remove the tough parts of the lemongrass stalks and discard; chop the tender and aromatic centers. Zest one lime and cut the other into wedges. Combine the lemongrass, shallots, garlic, turmeric, ginger, chile, and lime zest in a small food processor or coffee grinder (or use a mortar and pestle). Pulse (or mash) until the mixture forms a paste, adding a teaspoon of water if necessary.
2. Put the paste in a deep skillet over medium heat. stir and cook until fragrant, just 1 or 2 minutes, then add both milks. Stir to combine and adjust the heat so the mixture bubbles gently but steadily: Cook, uncovered and stirring once in a while, until the liquid is reduced by half, 20 to 30 minutes.
3. Add the brussels sprouts and adjust the heat so the mixture barely bubbles. Cook, uncovered and stirring infrequently, until the sprouts are tender throughout and the pan is dry, 30 to 35 minutes. taste and adjust the seasoning, then serve garnished with the lime wedges.
Recipe from The VB6 Cookbook (Photo: Quentin Bacon)