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Don't flame me - are FROZEN brussels sprouts an option (have reasons!) ?

(23 Posts)
Beachcomber Fri 19-Dec-14 10:16:22

Am not in the UK, will be doing Christmas dinner for 9 people and have a very small cooking area (eating area big enough thankfully).

We are doing a combination of French/British Christmas dinner so there will be many courses and I will be doing most of it alone as in France the big meal happens on the evening of the 24th and DH will be working until 5ish (although we plan to do some prep together on the evening of the 23rd).

Fresh sprouts are hard to find here as they are not really a thing at Xmas. I wanted to do roast spouts however as a green veg that I don't need to steam last minute and keep my eye on whilst serving a 5 course meal to French family who are all amazing cooks.

Will roast (have nice sounding recipe with maple syrup) frozen sprouts be nice or bloody vile?

Thank you!

JamesAndTheGiantBanana Fri 19-Dec-14 10:20:30

Roast frozen sprouts? I was about to come on here and say nothing wrong with frozen sprouts in a pinch, but I'm not sure about roasted from frozen. Can you not roast some carrots or parsnips instead and steam the sprouts?

Poor you, sounds hectic, maybe you can enlist some of those "amazing cooks" to help, while you drink wine.

acharmofgoldfinches Fri 19-Dec-14 10:23:00

if you had time to find/prep and freeze your own and then cook with them I think you'd be fine. if you were relying on supermarket frozen then you would do much, much better not to bother! If you are in Paris or somewhere else with a Marks and Spencer then you could buy ready prepared sprouts from them, to save a bit of time?

AuntieStella Fri 19-Dec-14 10:23:21

The one time I've had frozen sprouts (bought by mistake in an online order) they were vile (just boiled though, not roasted).

ElizaPickford Fri 19-Dec-14 10:23:38

I was coming to say that I actually prefer frozen sprouts (so much less faff and I actually think they taste sweeter!) but I've never tried to roast them so can't comment. I'd imagine if you cooked them in advance and then roasted them it might work? confused

ElizaPickford Fri 19-Dec-14 10:26:00

(**disclaimer - should add that my most recent experience with fresh sprouts was a bit hideous, they came in an organic veg box and despite cleaning and prepping them vigorously, there was still a hideous assortment of dead bugs and the like floating on top of the water after I cooked them and I had to bin the lot.) sad

Beachcomber Fri 19-Dec-14 10:40:40

Hmmm thank you for helpful comments on this vital matter fgrin

Will probably do carrots too but wanted something green that didn't need precise cooking the way steamed sprouts do if they are to be nice. Really it is because French Xmas involves many courses and i want to be able to enjoy the first ones and not be fretting over when to put the green veg on. I have streamlined the meal massively and dropped a couple of the usual courses as it is a ridiculous amount otherwise. Family won't mind as they are nice and delighted to be invited. Usually MIL always ends up doing Xmas as she has the biggest house/kitchen.

I will probably have loads of offers to help but my cooking area is really small (sort of wee alcove off main kitchen in traditional old French style) so not much room for helpers.

Might do a trial run with frozen sprouts (happy to blanch them first) and see if they are nice or VILE.

Please keep any experiences with frozen ones coming! I imagine they are horrible boiled/steamed but thought I might get away with slow roasted maple syrup recipie....

Beachcomber Fri 19-Dec-14 10:45:58

Am not near a marks or Paris but in middle of nowhere French countryside. If I do see some fresh ones I will buy them and try the freezing myself idea. Thank you for that. I did see some in a Lidl the other day but they were very poor specimens going brown and sweaty in a plastic bag.

I could just do broccoli or green beans but am back to steaming/juggling timing issue. Plus its Xmas, I want sprouts!

mynameisred Fri 19-Dec-14 10:46:21

I love sprouts but, believe me, frozen sprouts are FOUL. It's like putting soggy loo paper in your mouth.
Couldn't you use green peas instead? They are nice frozen and easy to prepare.

iseenodust Fri 19-Dec-14 10:58:32

If you can find them at a market this weekend buy them on the stalk as keep longer. Chef on TV said nearly cook/blanche sprouts on xmas eve & then on day very quickly reheat in a frying pan with splash of white wine & spoonful of apple sauce.

iseenodust Fri 19-Dec-14 11:00:09

It really was just a splash to glaze not make a sprout sauce !!

Beachcomber Fri 19-Dec-14 11:14:17

Right. We seem to be veering towards them being vile school dinner fare. No good then for Xmas dinner with excellent cook French foodies (their father was a chef!).

I seenodust I like the sound of that. Am happy to reheat just don't want to juggle actual cooking times as it will be hard to know how long the first two courses go on for. I have peas as back up (could posh them up "a la franchise" which is easy and can be reheated).

Am off to shops in local town for stocking fillers and will maybe pop in to specialist veg shop and see if they have sprouts. It is a massive shop which sells maniac/plantains/veg you've never heard of from the French Caribbean islands. But will they have the humble sprout....?

Beachcomber Fri 19-Dec-14 11:18:16

A la francaise even!

I can speak French, honest!

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Fri 19-Dec-14 11:20:46

How about red cabbage instead? You can slow cook that in advance, then just reheat it in a dish in the oven? I know it's not actually green but, you know, needs must...

bambinibop Fri 19-Dec-14 11:22:07

I always have frozen sprouts and I prefer the taste! One less thing to prep as well just open bag and steam them.

Beachcomber Fri 19-Dec-14 14:45:14

Red cabbage is a good idea, thank you. I actually have one in the fridge as it happens.

Bambinibop and ElizaPickford, you have convinced me to have a trial run this weekend with frozen ones. Will steam some and roast some with fancy maple syrup and posh mustard recipe and see if either are at all nice. Will keep red cabbage and peas in reserve as a plan b.

Massive exotic veg shop did have them fresh but they were 3€ for a tiny bag. I would need 5 or 6 bags but I don't think I can bring myself to spend that much on something only I am bothered about having!

French family won't mind, in a traditional French Xmas meal there is very little veg (usually just a very rich pumpkin gratin or cardoons in goose fat or summat).

Thank you for helping with research and for alternative ideas.

GooodMythicalMorning Fri 19-Dec-14 14:48:37

I prefer frozen too. Doing iceland's brussels with bacon this year.

BlueChampagne Fri 19-Dec-14 15:18:33

Ah, so not brussel sprouts that sing "let it go" then ... <slopes off>

AtlanticDrift Fri 19-Dec-14 17:41:41

Frozen sprouts are my guilty secret for years! I boil until they are cooked but still have bite a good hour before serving, drain and leave uncovered. Then after I serve starter I stir fry the sprouts with bacon or pancetta

ElizaPickford Fri 19-Dec-14 19:28:34

I love stir fried Brussels sprouts with sweet chilli sauce, bloomin lovely. grin

Beach- let us know if the roasting works, sounds lush in theory! Will try it myself if yours come out well...

Leeds2 Fri 19-Dec-14 19:48:37

What is your maple syrup recipe? I love sprouts!

Beachcomber Fri 19-Dec-14 23:16:25

Afraid they are not performing sprouts BlueChampagne!

Maple syrup recipe is supposed to be for the slow cooker but I was going to do them in the oven as I have roasted fresh sprouts before and they were very nice. I know in the recipe she says she prefers them in the slow cooker but I don't like the idea myself. Prefer the oven.

Beachcomber Fri 19-Dec-14 23:29:04

Last time I roasted sprouts I just did them with salt, pepper and oil. Like this

But that was with fresh ones in the UK. Thought maple/mustard idea might help frozen ones to achieve some sort of yumminess. Am heartened to see quite a few posters saying they like frozen ones.

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