Brussels, mon ami

Brussels Sprouts Digital painting created with ProCreate

Brussels Sprouts
Digital painting created with ProCreate

Last week I posted a still life of Brussels sprouts to Instagram (along with work-in-progress).

My local grocery store had these usually pretty sprouts with a bit of purple in the leaves. I arranged a few on my countertop and took a reference photo for a still life. I completed the digital painting over the course of two train commutes to Seattle. As a caption I included my typical technique for cooking Brussels sprouts:

I like to brown them in butter then add a little salt and chicken stock, then finish in a hot oven.

My old friend Todd was a QA Engineer at a previous job and a culinary school survivor before that; Todd left a comment with his approach to Brussels sprouts:

I blanch mine - roast garlic first in clarified butter - strain the Brussels till they are dry (ya don't want steam) then salt em with the said butter and into the broiler - done in a flash with crispy edges!!!

And then Todd schooled me on cooking greens in the French fashion:

Blanching greens in general will make for even cooking and will brighten up veg - it's the French method I was taught in culinary school - I do the same with asparagus - but secondary cook on the grill or cast iron skillet - you can serve them hot or use cold on top of a green salad - pretty versatile really

I love that a simple, a picture of a vegetable triggers passions and memories.

Michael Barrett

Tacoma, WA 98402