International Recipes and Cooking Around the World

Brussels Sprouts Gratin

Fresh Brussels sprouts

(English roasted Brussels sprouts with cheese sauce)

Image Creative Commons by pixabay

5
Average: 4.3 (13 votes)

Brussels sprouts get a bad rap. Undercooked they can be bitter. Overcooked they turn into nasty mush. But if you cook them just right they have a tender, nutty sweetness that will make you a convert.

This recipe pairs Brussels sprouts with a delicious cheese sauce in an easy-to-prepare dish.

6 to 8 servings

Ingredients

  • Brussels sprouts, trimmed -- 2 pounds
  • Butter -- 2 tablespoons
  • Flour -- 3 tablespoons
  • Milk, cream or half-and-half -- 2 1/2 cups
  • Grated sharp Cheddar cheese -- 1 1/2 cups
  • Salt and pepper -- to taste
  • Breadcrumbs -- 1/2 cup

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Steam the Brussels sprouts or boil them in salted water for 4 to 5 minutes, or until a sharp knife can just pierce them. Drain and rinse briefly with cool water. Drain again and set aside.
  2. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium flame. Stir the flour into the butter and let it cook and bubble for about 1 minute.
  3. Whisk in the milk, cream or half-and-half all at once, stirring to remove all lumps. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for another 3 or 4 minutes. Remove the sauce from heat and stir in 1 cup of the grated cheese. Adjust seasoning to your taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Butter or grease a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish and sprinkle the bottomwith a bit of the breadcrumbs. Add the Brussels sprouts to the dish, and pour the cheese sauce evenly over them. Sprinkle the remaining cheese and breadcrumbs evenly over the top.
  5. Set in the oven and bake, uncovered, for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the dish is heated through and the top is lightly browned.

Brussels Sprouts Gratin Variations

  • For more complex flavor, try roasting the Brussels sprouts instead of steaming or boiling them. Just toss the sprouts with a little oil and roast them in a single layer on a baking sheet at 400°F. It should take about 30 to 45 minutes to cook them to the right point.
  • Use a good British farmhouse Cheddar for knock-your-socks-off results. Or you can try using different cheeses like Parmesan or Stilton blue cheese. Or experiment with a mixture of cheeses. Stronger cheeses may not need the whole 1 1/2 cups called for in the recipe.
  • Add a touch of sherry to the cheese sauce if you like.
  • Sprinkle the top of the casserole with chopped hazelnuts or walnuts before placing it in the oven.

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