Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Baked Brussel Sprout Gratin

For the most part, I try to prepare well-balanced and healthy meals for my family.  However, there are times where we splurge.  And when I say we splurge, I mean we splurge.  Add the butter, pack on the cheese and of course there are the sweets.  Don't even get me started on the sweets.  I think if I threw everything reasonable and healthy to the wayside I would bake numerous times daily.  Yes, daily.  But for the health of my family and everyone around me, I try to bake in moderation.  I said, try!

Normally when I cook veggies, I don't over do it with the additional sauces or toppings.  My family, even my 3 year old, loves all vegetables.  So I'm blessed in the fact that I don't have to do a whole lot of disguising or covering up to get my family to eat their vegetables.  However, it's fun to dress things up and play with them a bit from time to time.  And yes, even douse them in a ooey-gooey, cheesey sauce that is beyond delicious. 

This brussel sprout gratin is an example of a splurge.  Delicious brussel sprouts, smothered in creamy, buttery, cheesy sauce then baked.  Only to be topped by even more cheese and baked for a moment again, to deliver a perfectly crunchy and gooey crust.  Yes, it's just as good as it sounds. 

We've enjoyed this gratin I don't know how many times.  We enjoy other brussel sprout recipes, but this seems to be one of those guilty-delicious pleasures we always go back to.  It's so easy to put together, it's practically effortless.  Factor in some time for a little baking and then you have a delicious, cheesy dish that truly could be consumed by itself.   

Baked Brussel Sprout Gratin

1 1/2 Pounds brussel sprouts
1 Small onion, diced
2 Cloves garlic, minced
4 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
1 Cup heavy cream
1/2 Cup milk
1 1/4 Cups shredded Gruyere cheese
1/4 Cup grated parmesan
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 Cup Mayonnaise


Preheat oven to 350.

Spray a 2-3 quart baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

Fill a large pot a third of the way with water.  Place over high heat and allow to come to a boil.  Fill a large bowl with ice water and set aside.  Meanwhile, clean brussel sprouts, remove stems and cut in half.  Place the brussel sprouts in the boiling water for about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, immediately remove from the boiling water and transfer to ice water. 

Place 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over low-medium heat.  Once the butter has melted, add the diced onion and saute until translucent, about 3-5 minutes.  Add the minced garlic and cook an additional 30 seconds, until fragarent.  Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to the onion mixture, then add flour and stir continuously until a lump-free paste forms. 

Add the milk and cream and stir continuously, until combined and there are no lumps.  Allow to simmer for 2-3 minutes, until slightly thickened.  Add the mayonnaise and one cup of Gruyere cheese, stir to combine.  Leave mixture over heat until the cheese has melted.  Season with salt and pepper. 

Spread the brussel sprouts evenly into the prepared pan.  Pour the cheese mixture over the brussel sprouts.  Sprinkle with a touch more salt and pepper.  Place in preheated oven and bake for 30-45 minutes, until brussel sprouts are tender.

Combine the remaining Gruyere and parmesan in a small bowl, toss to combine and set aside. 

Sprinkle the top of the brussel sprouts with the cheese mixture and return to oven for an additional 10 minutes.

Recipe source: adapted from White on Rice Couple    

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