Happy New Year with Sugo and Sprouts

OK, over the first days of the new year, I’ve grilled Fatted Calf Lamb Crepinettes while C made this fabulous bar-quality Shrimp Cocktail

b_shrimp_done

Grilled a perfect piece of swordfish

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Slow-cooked a lamb shank braised in red wine and served over peas and noodles

b_lamb_shank

(actually, a lamb shank is very dark and not photogenic after braising for about 5 hours in red wine)

So enough of the “special meals.” I wanted to do something easy and plain. That’s just why I always have some Fatted Calf Sugo di Carne in the freezer. (You’ve heard of that.)

Lolling in the vegetable drawer were some Brussels Sprouts. I have a love/hate relationship with Brussels Sprouts. I like to eat them, but figuring out how to prepare them is always a challenge. And, frankly, leftover Brussels sprouts aren’t that great.

I have a whole bunch of recipes and they’re all different, some great, some just good. Unlike most of my recipes which have their own document on the computer, for Brussels sprouts, I have this one big document with 16 recipes crammed into it.

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Anyway, what popped out at me was Brussels Sprouts with Blue Cheese Dressing. I don’t ever remember making that, but then, that’s why I keep lists.

Here’s the recipe; couldn’t be easier:

Brussels Sprouts with Blue Cheese Dressing
Dressing from what we eat… sprouts from my head 9.09

Dressing
Slowly heat crème fraiche and blue cheese until it melts
Sprouts
Bacon, about 1 ounce in bits
Trim and halve sprouts, Steam for four minutes
Bacon inna pan… brown. Off heat, toss in creme fraisch and cheese, stir for a minute or so to get the flavors going.
Sprouts inna bowl… fold dressing in.

sprouts n spaghetti with sugo

sprouts n spaghetti with sugo

Yum.

And the 5 half-sprouts left over were good with leftover noodles and vegetables. Just add a little broth and toss it all together. (Hey, I’m not a sandwich guy… heat-and-toss is what I do for lunch.)

4 thoughts on “Happy New Year with Sugo and Sprouts

  1. You need to add the Momofuku Brussels Sprouts to your list: roasted until they brown, then tossed with puffed rice(!), a great Vietnamese fish sauce mix, and Shichimi Togarashi spice. However, the bacon and blue cheese probably went better with the Sugo…

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  2. I had no idea what you were talking about so I Googled it. The following is what I found. Now I feel a little bit smarter.

    SEDUCED BY SUGO / Long-cooked Italian sauces captivate chefs and diners
    February 21, 2007|Tara Duggan, Chronicle Staff Writer

    In our collective culinary imagination, there is a mythical Italian grandmother perpetually simmering a pot of ragu.
    This nonna rises early to visit the butcher. Then she heads back to the kitchen to saute the celery and onion in fat, brown the meat, add the wine or broth and, if she’s from Bologna, the milk. By 10 or 11 a.m., the aromas have begun to build in her kitchen, escape through her window, out the balcony and down onto the street, where men chatting on a corner stop for a moment to inhale the fragrance. But the sauce won’t be ready until dinnertime.
    Called sugo, bolognese or ragu — or, sometimes, gravy among Italian Americans — Italy’s long-simmering meat sauces are legendary. And while they may be a dying art among home cooks in Italy, they are in vogue with Bay Area chefs, who go so far as to include the number of hours of cooking time on their menus. These chefs realize that a rich, stewy meat sauce ladled atop buttery egg noodles satisfies a diner’s innermost desires for the warm, reassuring dishes of nonna’s kitchen, even if that diner never had a nonna.

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  3. You are right about leftover brussels sprouts. I buried some very deeply in leftover turkey gravy this evening. It worked after a fashion, though the gravy tasted better than the sprouts. But the bacon I consider cheating.

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