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WINTER OF CONTENT: Sara Morley from TAFE NSW and ABC Riverina breakfast host Sally Bryant agree one of the best things about winter is guilt-free eating.
Children fear many things – dentists, werewolves, receiving clothes as presents – but nothing terrifies them like Brussels sprouts.
But on her popular TAFE Buds segment on ABC Riverina this week, Sara Morley from TAFE NSW sprouted a controversial view – we’re just not cooking them right.
During a chat with breakfast host Sally Bryant about eating well in winter, Ms Morley urged listeners to “think outside the square” when preparing meals in the chilly season.
“It’s true that we do get hungrier in winter because traditionally, it was a season when we needed to put on some extra weight to survive the cold,” Ms Morley said, (prompting a reflex response from Ms Bryant - “I’m a traditional kind of gal!”)
“Winter is the culmination of the summer and autumn growing season and there’s so much great produce available,” Ms Morley said.
“Root vegetables, which grow underground so are protected from the cold, are particularly good right now.
“And don’t be afraid to experiment with some of the less fashionable vegetables at this time – things like parsnips, beetroot, turnips and Jerusalem artichokes.”
Which leads us to a vegetable about as fashionable as bell bottom jeans – Brussels sprouts.
“Brussels sprouts are a polarising vegetable, mainly because most people are used to eating them after they’ve been boiled within an inch of their life,” Ms Morley said.
Ms Morley said there were a host of other ways to make your Brussels sprouts sing, including cooking them slowly in the oven mixed with salt and pepper, and a dash of olive oil and maple syrup.
‘Cook them to the point they almost look like they’re burnt, and they take on this amazing caramelized flavour,” she said.
“Another idea is to roughly chop some of the fatty end of the bacon and throw it into a frypan, add your halved Brussels sprouts and fry it off.” (see recipe here)
And if all else fails, you can even transform your Brussels sprouts into something everyone can swallow – chips! (see below recipe).
If you’d like to sharpen your culinary skills or consider a career in cooking, there are a smorgasbord of courses available at TAFE NSW. For more information, visit https://www.tafensw.edu.au/courses/cookery-and-wine-courses
Sara’s lip-smacking Brussels sprout chips
1kg Brussels sprouts
10mls (2 teaspoons) olive oil
Salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
Other spices as desired (e.g. Chili flakes)
Preheat oven to 150°C.
Remove leaves from Brussels sprout.
Mix the leaves, oil, and seasoning together in a large bowl.
Massage oil into leaves.
Line two large baking trays with baking paper. Divide the leaves evenly in a single layer on each tray.
Bake each tray for 10-15 minutes or until crispy and starting to brown around the edges.
Remove and cool.