Thursday, February 25, 2010

Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Apple and Cream

Unusual for me, I had some rendered duck fat in my fridge the other day.

It was the remnants of the duck legs I got for enriching one of the dishes plus the soup for the family's Chinese New Year. The fat I trimmed off the duck I fried slowly to melt out the grease that is so appreciated in France.

I made two dishes with it, fried potato slices (yum) and shredded Brussels sprouts sautéed in manner of southwestern France.

Not having duck fat available very often, I could also have done this with butter.

This is a side dish, so I don't propose a specific wine just for it. But in the style of southwestern France (which despite all the duck and goose grease and fois gras they consume has some of the best cardiac health in Europe), there should be a dry, slightly hard red wine with the meal that includes this dish. The one I think of in particular is Cahors, from the region of Toulouse, but Minervois or Corbières would serve well too. The cheapest, readily available counterpart here would be a Malbec from Argentina, made from the same grape as Cahors.

Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Apple and Cream

1/2 pound Brussels sprouts
3 tablespoons rendered duck fat or butter
1/2 apple, peeled, cored and chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons sour cream

Cut off bottom 1/4 inch of sprouts. Slice sprouts top to bottom 1/8-inch thick.

Place in large frying pan with grease or butter. Fry quickly until just starting to brown. Reduce heat. Add apple and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.

Fry over low heat, with pan covered, stirring from time to time and adding a bit of water if too dry, until sprouts are tender and apple breaks down when gently mashed. Taste sprouts and add salt as needed.

Stir in sour cream. Fry gently several minutes, until cream is hot. Remove from heat.

Taste a final time and add salt, if necessary.

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