Brussels sprouts are notorious for being on people’s dislike list. They are one of those foods that when cooked in the wrong way come out very very badly, like mushy, tasteless, farty little balls. I have had them once or twice cooked with spices and liked them, and my partner loves them lightly steamed with lashings of butter, but overall they aren’t a vegetable I would pick. But they are in season right now, and keep coming up in conversation with people who tell me they are actually delicious when cooked the right way, so I thought I would give them another go. The more I try to eat seasonally, the more I end up broadening the range of foods I like….and I never thought I would say this, but after making this recipe I think I can probably add brussels sprouts to the list.
Chipotle peppers are actually smoked jalopenos, and in Australia they are most commonly found tinned in adobo sauce, a dark brown smoky spicy sauce. I don’t find them to be that hot, but I have a pretty high chilli tolerance. You can get them from a lot of “ethnic’ grocers, or I often find them online from Mexican food suppliers like Fireworks Foods. I wouldn’t leave this out or substitute for regular chilli as the smokiness imparts a mid level flavour that is hard to replicate.
This is yet another recipe from one of my cooking bibles Appetite for Reduction, and it’s pretty much verbatim from the book. The recipe does recommend seeding the chipotles but I didn’t. For one thing I like the spiciness, and another, I think it would be tricky to get all the little seeds out. It’s not a fancy meal or a gourmet meal, but it is a great simple winter weeknight’s dish that is full of vegetables, protein, and a good hit of spice to keep it interesting.
Chipotle Chilli with Sweet Potato and Brussels Sprouts
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 red onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons dried oregano
3 chipotles, chopped (seeded if you want less heat)
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into bite sized pieces
2 cups brussels sprouts, quartered lengthwise
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tbsp cayenne
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 cup water
1 16 oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Fresh lime juice to taste (about one lime)
Saute onion in olive oil for about 7 minutes, until translucent. Add garlic, salt, and oregano and saute for another minute. Add remaining ingredients (except for lime juice) and stir through.
Cover pot and bring to a boil, then lower heat to simmer for about half an hour, stirring often, until sweet potatoes are tender but not mushy. Add the juice of one lime, a large handful of chopped fresh coriander, and adjust any other seasonings. I served this with rice, but it would be great in true Southern style with a wedge of home baked cornbread! Perfect for a cold night, a tequila soda and lime, and a new episode of True Blood!