Saturday, January 15, 2011

Brussels Sprouts with Ham and Pecans

Just after the holidays it is likely you'll have some left-over ham.  This recipe makes use of those last tasty morsels and combines them with brussels sprouts, which are in season this time of the year.  If you have loved ones that say they don't like this vegetable, get them to try this.  They may well change their mind!

Trim any remaining stalk ends from the sprouts and remove any spotted leaves. Using a food processor fitted with a thin slicing disk (2-4mm preferred), process the sprouts into shreds.  (You can also do this with a sharp knife if you don't have a food processor.  This step can also be done up to one day ahead if you cover and refrigerate them after processing.)  Once you start the cooking process below, you need to move ahead on the timetable provided to ensure the sprouts stay green and a bit crisp.  As such, prepare this side dish last when you are certain they can go directly to the table when they are ready.  The entire cooking process takes only 10 minutes.

Melt butter with olive oil in large deep skillet over medium heat. Add ham; sauté until lightly browned, about 3-4 minutes. I used more ham in the photo here, as I was trying to use it up.  You can use more or less than the recipe indicates. Add garlic and stir 30 seconds. Add shredded Brussels sprouts and broth; turn to mix the contents.  Sauté until crisp-tender but still bright green, approximately 3 to 5 minutes over medium-high heat turning the food periodically. Season with salt and pepper. Remove to serving dish.  Add pecans (or walnuts or other favorite chopped nuts you have in the house) to skillet and stir to warm.  Sprinkle nuts over sprouts and serve.

1 pounds Brussels sprouts
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/4-inch-thick slice of smoked ham (about 6 ounces), cut into chunks
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/3 cup chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup pecans, toasted, chopped (or walnuts)

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