Brussels sprouts is one ingredient you won’t necessarily get in the Caribbean, unless it’s in a package in the frozen section of the grocery store. However, we’ve perfected the art of cooking cabbage so I thought I’d use one of the methods we employ to prepare cabbage and adapt it for brussels sprouts. The goal was to come up with a recipe which will encourage my family (and yours) to at least give brussels sprouts a try. Gone are the days of bland soggy steamed sprouts!
1 lb brussels sprouts
3/4 cup prepared salted fish (cod – shredded)
3 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 table spoon olive oil
1 pimento pepper (aka seasoning pepper)
2 birds eye pepper (or 1/4 scotch bonnet)
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
Note: I used my fav curry powder, a madras blend out of the Caribbean. If using scotch bonnet peppers, don not use any of the seeds if you’re concerned about the raw heat.
Wash the sprouts with cool water, pat dry, trim off any stems and cut each one in half. Also dice the garlic, seasoning pepper and onion.
Heat the oil on a medium flame and add the onion and garlic. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 3 minutes.
Now add the salted cod bits (remember to prepare the salted cod by boiling in water to remove excess salt and to rehydrate – watch this video: How To Prepare Salted Fish) and cook for another 3 minutes.
You’ll now have a wonderful flavor base with the salted cod, garlic and onion. Toss in the seasoning pepper and bird’s eye pepper and cook or 1 minute to release it’s wonderful oil… then add all the other ingredients (including the brussels sprouts) and give it a good stir. With your heat still on low, cook for 12-15 minutes. You will get some golden edges on the brussels sprouts.. that’s what we want. Do NOT cover the pot or you’ll welcome moisture and it will go soggy.
You’ll notice that I didn’t add any salt to the dish as the salted cod will still have enough salt (even after we boil it), but do taste and adjust as your tolerance for salt will be different than mine. Squeeze in the lemon juice at the end to brighten up the entire dish and serve warm.
Dare I say that this will be the BEST brussels sprouts you and your family have ever tasted? I recall being invited to a friend’s home when I first move to Canada for dinner and the wet socks scent coming out of the serving dish with the brussels sprouts had me rethinking why I accepted his invitation. Moms could COOK (I later found out), but that wet socks scent stayed with me for years!