Cheesy Brussels sprouts and tangy mustard enhance this grilled dinner dish

I gave in to the idea that meals don’t have to be such a production. That a talented cast and team of ingredients and equipment can produce a satisfying, inexpensive dinner. I’m not really new to this “less is more” thing (and I doubt you are either). But I mean officially I’m now okay with just being the casting director, sitting in a lounge chair while the dinner is cooked to perfection for the kids. Did I just become my father?

That’s why I kiss toast again for dinner.

Honestly, it’s been a while. Something about the avocado toast trend put me off relying on the medium (even though it’s legitimate delicious toast).

However, I returned to bread as the basis of my meal. This time around, it’s a heartwarming version that makes Brussels sprouts, cheese and that half-full pot of tangy mustard the star talent. Brussels sprouts (grown in Belgium hence the name) are at the start of their season, which runs from about now until April. They are delicious and can be prepared in almost any way.

In this week’s recipe, I like to thinly slice these little cabbage look-alikes (belonging to the Brassicaceae family) before simmering them in butter, garlic and white wine. These fine chips become silky and tender like braised cabbage – another fall luxury.

From there, things stay simple. I make a quick roux (melted butter and flour) then a béchamel (roux plus milk and cheese) with strong and spicy aged white cheddar. This mixture envelops the sprouts and soaks in one of my favorite condiments: hot mustard.

The hot mustard, which I usually buy, contains ground brown mustard seeds and sometimes yellow mustard seeds, turmeric and sometimes vinegar. It’s distinctly the taste of fire like fresh horseradish or wasabi – exactly the kind of flavor contrast I want from the rich cheese béchamel.

I like toasting an already crispy baguette, preferably sourdough for its yeast flavor, but a classic sweet-style French baguette works too. This extra crackle keeps these toasts from going soggy too quickly. They’re also the perfect size to be picked up by hand, which also makes them ideal party appetizers, if you’re looking for a bit of a hearty appetizer.

In my apartment in South of Market, the toast is back for now, ready for the big meal.

Christian Reynoso is a chef, recipe developer and writer. Originally from Sonoma, he lives in San Francisco. Email: [email protected] Instagram: @christianreynoso Twitter: @xtianreynoso

Toasts with cheese, hot mustard and Brussels sprouts

For 4 people

These toasts are a meal anytime of the day, a snack or even a party appetizer if you cut them smaller. The filling is made from Brussels sprouts which receive the bechamel treatment with aged cheddar and spicy tangy mustard. If you have hot ground mustard, you can easily make the prepared version by whisking equal parts hot mustard powder and cold water and letting it sit for about 15 minutes before adding it to the béchamel sauce. Brussels sprouts.

1 baguette, preferably sourdough

1 delivers the Brussels sprouts, trimmed

3 unsalted butter

4 finely chopped or grated garlic cloves

Kosher salt

?? cup of dry white wine

2 all-purpose flour

1 cup of milk

5 ounces aged white cheddar, coarsely grated

1 plus 1 teaspoon hot mustard prepared like Coleman’s

1 chopped fresh thyme leaves

Freshly ground black pepper

Crushed pepper flakes (optional)

2 chopped chives (optional)

Instructions: Cut the baguette into 4 equal sized pieces. Then cut each of these pieces in half lengthwise. Either under the broiler or in a toaster, toast the baguette until the inside is lightly browned, but not completely dried out. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the baguette pieces cut side up.

Thinly slice the Brussels. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the garlic and leave this bloom until fragrant, about 1 minute. Lower the heat and add the Brussels sprouts and season with salt. Add wine, mix well, then cover with a lid and cook until tender, about 5-7 minutes.

Turn the fire up to medium-low and stir in the flour. Cook for about 2-3 minutes, then slowly stir in the milk, about ¼ cup at a time, until incorporated and the mixture looks thickened. Then add the cheese so that it melts in the mixture of Brussels sprouts. Stir in hot mustard and thyme until well incorporated. Season with salt and black pepper and turn off the heat.

Preheat the grill. Place the Brussels sprout bechamel on the cut side of the toasted baguettes, making sure to completely cover the bread. Slide the baking sheet under the grill and cook until each piece is covered with blisters with golden spots.

Sprinkle with chili flakes and chives, if using. Use immediately.

About Francis Harris

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