After reading about how nutritous Brussels sprouts are, I picked some up at the grocery store a while back, but then got home and just stared at them. I'd never cooked them before and didn't have a clue what to do with them. As I often do when that is the case, I pulled out my copy of The New Joy of Cooking, a cookbook that I paid only a couple of dollars for from one of my book clubs, years ago. As a matter of fact, that may have been my first cookbook.
In there, I found a couple of tidbits about Brussels Sprouts, and then saw this particular recipe, which included a snippet that said "Ethan Becker was always disappointed by Brussels sprouts - until he tried these." I didn't know who Ethan Becker was, but I tried it and found that he was right. It turns out, this guy is one of the authors, which I might have figured out earlier on if I had bothered to look.
Brussels Sprouts Cockaigne (adapted from The New Joy of Cooking)
- 3 Tbs butter
- 4 cloves garlic, cut in half
- 1 lb Brussels sprouts, cut in half lengthwise
- Kosher salt
- Warm the butter in a medium skillet over medium-low heat.
- Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until beginning to brown.
- Remove the garlic from the skillet with a slotted spoon and discard.
- Place the sprouts cut side down in the garlic butter.
- Cover and cook over low heat until tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Arrange on a warm platter and drizzle with any remaining butter.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
The only thing about this recipe that troubled me was the name. I had no idea how to pronounce the word Cockaigne, and had even less of an idea what it meant. Was it French? If I tried to brag about this recipe, it ended up sounding like "Brussels Sprouts Cocaine." How perfectly distressing. I certainly can't talk about my strung-out brussels sprouts at church, for instance.
I asked mom, but she was no help. So I did the obvious and Googled the word. Apparently, Cockaigne is a place. In the U.S., no less. Who knew? And, according to Dictionary.com, it is pronounced 'kah-KAYN,' not 'ko-KAYN.'
What a relief.