Oh no! It’s sprout time in December’s kitchen


It had to come! The time to do some sprout recipes! Personally I can’t stand them but every Christmas I grit my teeth and have one on my plate – until I can sneak it onto Martin’s without him seeing!

This year I’ve decided to face my demons and try some recipes with them. I have to say I wasn’t exactly pleasantly surprised but I managed to eat more than 1! Martin assures me that these 2 dishes are really tasty and a must for our Christmas dinner.

Both these dishes can be prepared ahead and will stand being reheated in the microwave which is always good for saving space on the hob on the big day.

Don’t forget to add some into your bubble and squeak on Boxing Day too!

Sprouts with bacon & chestnuts

Smoky Chestnut Brussels

Serves 6 Takes about 20 minutes

Prepare ahead

70g pack smoked lardons

50g cooked chestnuts, chopped small

70g butter, room temperature

500g sprouts, trimmed

Lots of black pepper

  • Heat a frying pan and add the lardons. Fry until brown and crispy then add the chopped chestnuts and continue to cook for a few minutes. Tip out onto kitchen roll and pat away any excess oil. Leave to cool.
  • Beat the butter in a bowl until smooth. Add the cooled bacon, chestnuts and plenty of black pepper and mix well.
  • Wrap in clingfilm and store in the fridge for up to 3 days
  • .Keep in fridge till ready
  • Boil the sprouts until just tender and drain. Cut into halves then return to the pan and pop back on a very low heat. Cut the butter into chunks and add to the sprouts. Toss to coat then serve immediately.

If preparing ahead then make the butter log and cook and cut the sprouts. When ready to cook just reheat the sprouts or microwave them till hot then melt the butter with them in a frying pan and toss to coat

Creamy sprouts

Sprouts - creamy sprouts web

Serves 6 Takes about 15 minutes

600gbrussel sprouts, trimmed

1 large onion, finely chopped

Small glug of oil and small knob butter for frying

15g butter

1 garlic clove, crushed

¼ vegetable or chicken stock cube

150ml double cream

2 good pinches of ground nutmeg

100g pine nuts

  • Pile the sprouts into a pan of boiling water and cook for 3-4 minutes until just tender. Drain and rinse immediately in cold water. Drain and set aside.
  • Heat the oil and butter in a frying pan and fry the onions gently for about 10 minutes until softened but not coloured. Crumble in the stock cube and add the garlic and cook together for a couple of minutes. Turn the heat down low.
  • Whilst the onions are cooking chop the sprouts or slice them then add into the onions along with the rest of the butter, the double cream and 1 pinch of nutmeg.
  • Add cream to sliced sprouts & onions

    Add cream to sliced sprouts & onions

  • Increase the heat slightly and bring to a gentle simmer to warm through and season to taste.
  • Add in the pine nuts and serve with an extra sprinkling of nutmeg.

To get ahead cook and slice the sprouts, cook the onions and mix together. When ready to serve simply heat through and add the cream.