Sunday, November 22, 2009

Christine's Recipe For Shaved Brussels Sprouts With Shaved Ham, Valencia Orange Juice and Chopped Walnuts

Brussels sprouts recipes abound among my food blogging friends this fall. And no wonder. These little Thanksgiving favorites are packed with goodness and cheerily allow themselves to be prepared in a plethora of ways, from roasting, old fashioned steaming, grilling, or sautéing.

Well I couldn't let myself be left out of the symphony of Brussels sprouts dishes now, could I?

So yesterday, as our local farmers market was celebrating its season finale and a wheelbarrow full of bright green sprouts was quickly disappearing into shoppers hands, I elbowed my way in, claimed my own, brought them home to my kitchen and came up with this recipe.

Wanting mine to be different from anyone else's recipe that I'd seen, I decided to shave my sprouts on a mandoline. Not stopping there, I added some shaved, uncured ham, and some shaved shallots. Lots of shaving went on in my kitchen, with nary a hair in sight.

After sautéing the shallots and ham, add the shaved sprouts and sauté, tossing with tongs, until they are wilted but still a bit crunchy. Add juice, toss some more, season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. You're done. It's that simple. You can even make this a day ahead, allowing the flavors to deepen. Reheat in a low (300) until warmed through. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts if desired and serve.

Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Shaved Ham, Fresh-Squeezed Valencia Orange Juice, and Chopped Walnuts
Christine's original recipe
2 dozen Brussels sprouts, cleaned and thinly shaved on a mandoline (yield approx 3-4 cups)
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 cup shaved ham (see Cook's Notes)
1/3 cup fresh squeezed orange juice with pulp (Valencia is best for flavor)
olive oil and butter for the pan
Kosher salt and freshly ground black peppercorns to taste
Sauté shallots over medium heat in about 1 tablespoon each olive oil and unsalted butter. You can use more or less of the oils according to your taste.
When shallots are slightly golden, add the shaved ham and sauté until edges of the ham curl and become golden.
Add the shaved sprouts, toss to blend, and sauté until the sprouts are tender-crisp, about 4 minutes.
Add the orange juice and, using tongs, toss the sprouts well so the juice is evenly distributed throughout for another 2 minutes. The pan will be dry and all the juice absorbed.
Remove from the heat, adjust the seasoning with kosher salt and black pepper.
Sprinkle with fresh chopped walnuts and serve.

Cook's Notes:
The flavors of this dish deepen if made a day ahead. Leave out the walnuts, keep in the fridge then warm in a slow oven. Just before serving, sprinkle with the walnuts.
The orange juice not only compliments, but marries the ham and sprout flavors delightfully.
As I shaved the Brussels sprouts, using my very old mandoline, I made sure the stem end was facing up so I didn't shave it into the bowl. See photo.
Uncured applewood smoked ham steaks, my favorite, are made by Niman Ranch. No nitrites.

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