Compiled by Chuck Martin
My Brussels sprouts usually look dull and dingy, no matter how long I cook them. How do I get the sprouts to stay bright green?
Try dunking them into ice water immediately after cooking, suggests Elizabeth Schneider in Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini (Morrow; $60). Soak briefly, then drain thoroughly. Serve cold or reheat gently before cooking.
Sprouts suggestions: Still stumped with what to do with those little cabbages after cooking them? Here are ideas from Schneider:
Saute sprouts in brown butter or nut oil, and toss with toasted nuts.
Saute bacon and brown sprouts in the fat. Sprinkle with bacon bits.
Boil heavy cream in skillet with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Add sprouts and cook to heat through and coat with cream.
Combine sprouts with cooked sliced carrots, roasted diced pepper or small cherry tomatoes. Toss with vinaigrette and chopped fresh herbs and chill.
Slice or quarter sprouts and add to Asian stir-fries.
Steam it good: The electric Black & Decker Flavor Scenter Steamer cooks Brussels sprouts and other vegetables fat-free with a steam bowl for flavor-enhancing herbs, and it features a 7-cup rice bowl with a timer. About $29.99 at Amazon.com and department stores.
Midwinter's feast: Celebrate the approach of the winter solstice at "Waiting for the Light," a dinner served 5-6:30 p.m. next Sunday at Grailville Environmental, Education & Retreat Center in Loveland. Tickets are $15 for adults; $8 for children. Reservations: 683-2340.
Book look: If this is your week to gift shop, here's a look at the top five cookbooks of the year, as chosen by the editors of Amazon.com:
The Gift of Southern Cooking: Recipes and Revelations from Two Great American Cooks (Knopf; $29.95) by Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock.
Tom's Big Dinners: Big Time Home Cooking for Family and Friends (Morrow; $32.50) by Tom Douglas.
Jamie's Kitchen (Hyperion; $39.95) by Jamie Oliver.
Cookoff: Recipe Fever in America (Viking; $24.95) by Amy Southerland.
The Balthazar Cookbook (Clarkson-Potter; $37.50) by Lee Hanson.
Contenders vie for comics page
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