I’m on a Brussels sprouts kick, as I should be this time of year. You should too. Because they are yummy!
I wasn’t always a fan of Brussels sprouts. I only recently became a convert. The Brussels sprouts of my past were just…not very good (sorry mom). They were boiled or sautéed and tossed with margarine, which made them sort of soggy and mushy and bitter cabbage-y tasting. I tried to eat them years later, and bought the frozen version that you cook in a microwave. They were also soggy and mushy. So I gave up on poor little Brussels sprouts. They were not for me.
But they were all along. Now that I know how to cook them! Roasted and caramelized, Mr. Sprout is sweet and delicious. They come out soft (in a good way) and delicate. Those cute little things are fun to eat, too. I posted a recipe recently for balsamic glazed Brussels sprouts, and have a few more up my sleeve.
This Brussels sprout soup is really easy to make and has simple ingredients like cream and chicken broth. If you want to make it fancy like I did, garnish your soup with a few Brussels and roasted chestnut toast. I didn’t actually peel the chestnuts for this recipe, but you can if you want. I found a bag of pre-roasted and peeled chestnuts in the grocery store. They taste pretty good, and make a great spread.
Toss the Brussels sprouts in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and arrange in a single layer in a roasting pan. If you are using store-bought, packaged chestnuts, add them to the Brussels sprouts and roast them too.
Roast in a 375° F/190° C oven for 15-20 minutes, until soft and lightly brown. When they are ready, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Sauté the onion for about 5 minutes, until soft. Add 2 garlic cloves (chopped). Add the roasted Brussels sprouts, reserving some for garnish (2 halves per person) and stir.
Add the chicken broth and season with salt and pepper. Cook on low heat, covered, for 15 minutes. Uncover and stir in the cream. Cook for an additional 5 minutes on low heat.
Remove from the heat and use an immersion blender on high to puree the soup until smooth. If you don’t have an immersion blender, pour the soup in batches into a blender and puree. Season again to taste.
Toast the baguette slices. Using a food processor, pulse the garlic clove until finely chopped. Add the chestnuts, parsley, salt and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Pulse until the chestnuts are chopped but not pureed. Pour in 2-3 tablespoons of oil, pulsing until the mixture is combined, but still chunky. Taste for seasoning.
Spread the mixture on toast and serve along with the soup.
This Caribbean goat stew goes a little outside of my comfort zone, but I’m glad I took the trip. After all, trying new things is really the point of all this cooking and blogging. With the onset of Fall, I’m deep in comfort food mode, making soups, stews and chowders, which remind me of living up North. Living in downtown Miami, we see a lot of Caribbean influences in the cuisine (and it still feels like summer). Just a few minutes from my home, you can get authentic Haitian goat stew, Cuban whole fried snapper and Jamaican callaloo.
The organic farm I purchase my meats and dairy from offers goat stew meat by the pound, so I decided to try some, stewed in rich Caribbean flavors like allspice, scotch bonnet peppers and Indian curry. The resulting stew is complex and delicious. The goat was very tender and flavorful. More flavorful than beef and free from any gamy flavor.
Curried goat is typically served with white rice (you need it with the heat of the peppers). I added lots of stew vegetables we are familiar with, like carrots, celery and potatoes. Because it was so spicy, I couldn’t share this dish with the baby, but between my husband and me, the leftovers disappeared fast. If you are able to find goat meat in your local grocery or a specialty market, I highly recommend it. It’s low in saturated fat and delicious. We will definitely be enjoying this dish again soon.
Note: I used boneless goat meat for this recipe, but it also works with chunks on the bone (probably better!). Use 4-5 pounds of bone-in meat.
Yield: 6 servings
Season the goat meat with salt and pepper and pat dry. Using a heavy skillet, brown the goat (in batches) in olive oil over medium heat. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add onions and ginger to the pan and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, carrots, celery, scotch bonnet pepper (if using), curry powder, bay leaf, allspice and cinnamon. Cook and stir another 5-10 minutes.
Add the tomato paste, stock and water (or wine) to the pan. Return the goat meat to the pan. Bring to a simmer, then cover and cook for 40 minutes on low heat.
After 40 minutes, add the potatoes and tomatoes. Cook for an additional 30 minutes. Taste for seasonings and heat. Add salt and freshly ground pepper as needed. Sprinkle with parsley before serving.