Christmas ’til King’s Day: Chesnuts and Brussels Sprouts

This year I found out that in Spain, Christmas isn’t as much a holiday as a two-week festivus. I like this plan, and pretended it was still Christmas until Jan. 6, the days the three kings supposedly came to offer their gifts to Jesus.

As last Friday was Epiphany, complete with King’s cake, I figured it was time to put the last of the roasted chesnuts to bed. If you’ve never had roasted chestnuts, they have a surprisingly sweet, meaty taste, and I didn’t want to just throw them into oatmeal or on salad.

I love when they look like hearts.

Two lbs of unadultered sprouts.

So out came the Brussels sprouts. Brussels sprouts have gotten a bad name from kids and sitcoms for years, but I love them. I’d easily eat them roasted with just oil and garlic alongside cauliflower, but this recipe is probably easier for even the doubters among us… because it has cream and butter. The French might even eat this! Especially if you add some ham, or serve them with eggs. Which I did, coincidentally.

Eggs and probably about half a baguette.

Brussels Sprouts with Chesnuts (Adapted from Epicurious)

2 Tbsp unsalted butter
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 1/4 c water
2 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved lengthwise. About 8 cups
1 cup heavy cream (I used whole milk, but would suggest at least half cream)
2/3 c roast chesnuts, crumbled. Bottled will suffice, mine were fresh.

Bring butter, salt, pepper, and 1 cup water to a boil over high heat in a deep 12-inch heavy skillet, then add Brussels sprouts and simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender, 6 to 8 minutes.

Remove lid and boil over moderately high heat until water is evaporated and sprouts are lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes.

Add cream and remaining 1/4 cup water and bring to a boil, stirring. Add chestnuts, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 2 minutes.

Not too bitter, nice and warm for winter nights! And for the record, I was the king on King’s Day! Hip, hip, hooray.


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