In South Louisiana, we truly have a penchant for taking healthy foods, most notably vegetables, and smothering them in some of the least healthy members in the food kingdom. This month we offer two Brussels sprouts recipes (one with pancetta and another with cream and oregano) that keep the smothering to a minimal but are quick and easy enough to whip up before rushing off to a party and require very little time gathering ingredients at the store.
Grab a stalk of Brussels sprouts, or a pre-packaged one-pound box if you’re in a rush. One pound feeds about four people, making it easy to double or triple a recipe for larger groups of people. Trim discoloration off the sprouts by chopping off the brownish parts near the stalk. For the recipes, visit www.theind.com/brusselssprouts. — ER
Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta This recipe creates a salty and savory side dish of sprouts baked in the pancetta drippings. Minus the cheese, a serving is only 90 calories, making it a delicious dish without a next-day bloat. Serves 4.
Ingredients: 1 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed 1 T kosher salt 1/4 C chopped pancetta (or thick-cut bacon) fresh ground black pepper 1 t apple cider vinegar
Instructions: 1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. 2. Blanch Brussels sprouts. Cook the sprouts in boiling water approximately 6 minutes, or until tender, drain and place in ice water. 3. Fry pancetta over medium-low heat in a skillet until crisp. Separate the pancetta from the drippings and save both. 4. Cut Brussels sprouts into halves lengthwise and place flat side down on a baking sheet. Pour the pancetta drippings over the sprouts and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 15 minutes, stirring once after 10 minutes. 5. Combine sprouts, pancetta and vinegar in large bowl. Serve warm.
Brussels Sprouts with Cream and Oregano This recipe calls for fresh oregano (not dried), and the difference is immediately apparent. The cream is not the star of this dish but adds a distinct smoothness while the golden pine nuts provide a slight crunch. It’s surprisingly simple and requires very little effort. Serves 4.
Ingredients: 3 T butter 1/4 C pine nuts 1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half lengthwise 3/4 C chicken stock 1 shallot, minced 1 T fresh oregano, chopped 1/4 C whipping cream
Instructions: 1. Melt 1 T butter in large skillet and add pine nuts. Stir until golden, about 5 minutes. Remove from skillet and reserve. 2. Melt 1 T butter in same skillet and add sprouts. Stir 1 minute, then add broth, cover and simmer until sprouts are almost tender, about 5 minutes. Uncover and simmer for until the broth evaporates. 3. Push sprouts to the side of the skillet and melt 1 T of butter in the middle. Add the minced shallots and sauté until tender. 4. Stir in oregano and cream. Simmer and stir until all sprouts are covered with cream. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. 5. Transfer to serving platter and stir in half of the reserved pine nuts. Sprinkle the remaining nuts on top and serve warm.
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APR 16 Lamar Parmentel writes about the latest forecast for Louisiana's future - and it ain't rosy. The fiscal experts in the budget office are predicting a shortfall of nearly $1 billion for the 2015-16 fiscal year, he writes. This is what the "dead beat" governor is going to leave us as his legacy, Lamar says.
APR 16 The extended controversy surrounding Louisiana College may begin to wind down now; the Town Talk reports here that embattled president Joe Aguillard has been reduced to a professor position. It's likely that soon we will begin to see the post-mortems begin -- this story isn't over.
APR 16 Clancy DuBos writes about the McAllister affair in this post, commenting on the moral confusion of a state that votes to "free the sodomites" on Monday and then to make the Bible the state book on Tuesday, as well as the hypocrisy of the Reps, the Dems and our fearless leader. Clancy says he's "not even sure if Jindal's hypocrisy has a limit."
APR 16 The fence blocking the public from Newcomb Boulevard in NOLA came down Tuesday morning, The Lens reports in this post. The fence was put up by neighbors who didn't want just anybody walking on a public street, but there's a big ole picture of a city worker cutting it down in this post. The general public should be able to drive on the street (which they own) in about a week, the story says.
APR 16 Here's a movement to get behind. NOLA Defender reports that there's a push to have A Confederacy of Dunces named Louisiana's state book in lieu of the Bible, which is the current contender. Although there is plenty of sin and politics in the Good Book, it's probably a lot easier to read the more contemporary (and more Louisiana-specific) prose in John Kennedy Toole's book.
APR 16 When you report on something as important as a historic local building, you need to get it right. According to blogger Lamar White Jr., that's just what an Alexandria TV station did not do. In this post, he tells us about a historic ball field that the station reported as targeted for demolition. Apparently, that's not even close to true.
APR 16 Here's a link to ALEC's annual competitiveness report, which ranks states according to that shadowy organization's opinions of good and bad. (Louisiana's on page 23) You can read a very brief lead-in, with a sentence or two about what ALEC is, in this Advocate story.
APR 16 DIG Magazine's Cody Worsham blogs about the Baton Rouge bus system in this post. Although the system has been the focus of extreme controversy, he's focusing instead on his own recent (and pleasant) experience taking the bus. In the end, he didn't turn in his SUV keys for a permanent bus pass, but it sounds like he'll be taking the bus more often.
APR 15 Blogger CB Forgotston is writing in this post about the newest hire by Gov. Bobby Jindal, a press secretary whose only means of contact is (apparently) Twitter. (Yeah, because that worked so good for Kyle.) CB has done a little digging on the lady, but wants more info -- and he's not getting it from the source, because she won't return his twits. Twerps. Uh, tweets.
APR 15 Blogger Elliott Stonecipher has his say on the McAllister mess in this post on Forward Now. Looks like the architects of the plan to oust McAllister are getting a little blow-back, Stonecipher opines, and it reminds him of an old cliche about revenge.
APR 15 Not one to walk past a golden opportunity, Democrat John Bel Edwards says his piece in this Picayune post on the GOP's issue du jour. The hypocrisy of the GOP calling on McAllister to resign and staying silent on Vitter is so massive there's not even a word for it, Edwards says, and so he came up with his own: hypo-hypocrisy.