About This Blog

This is, as the title indicates, my kitchen notebook (the header is actually a scanned image of the cover of a notebook that I started using about 25 years ago and the background is a stained page from that book). I am not a professional recipe writer. If you try any recipe here, please keep that in mind, these recipes have not been tested by an independent tester. The "recipes" are often not even really recipes but rather a list of ingredients that I've noted after preparing a dish on the fly that I thought came out well. Perhaps I've also added some instructions, but I rarely keep accurate track of what I've done in terms of time or temperature, I've just noted to the best of my memory (feeble) what I did.

Please feel free to take some inspiration from here, but on the other hand, please give credit where it is due. I also welcome any constructive comments that you might have if you are inspired to try a recipe. Questions are welcome, but keep in mind that I may not remember specifics. The dishes do evolve over time...

Thank you and enjoy!

Stracciatella Soup with Brussels Sprouts

The Brussels Sprouts Challenge continues. Stracciatella is an Italian soup that in its most simple form is hot broth into which you stir a mixture of beaten eggs and parmesan cheese. The eggy mixture form shreds or rags, i.e. stracciatella. I've seen riffs on the soup that add spinach or basil or pasta or white beans, or rice, or bread crumbs, or semolina, even tiny meatballs. You get the drift, it is endlessly adaptable. So why not Brussels Sprouts?

I used the sprouts that I had on hand in the fridge which came out to 7 ounces after shredding them on a mandoline. It was probably about 8 ounces before shredding them because I keep the stems long to use as a handle when slicing them on the mandoline and then the stems go into the compost bucket. My homemade stock tends to be a bit concentrated so I added water. Plenty of Italian recipes I read use bouillon cubes instead of stock. Do whatever works for you. I love the flavor and umami of Vietnamese fish sauce (Red Boat is the best IMO), but it's totally optional here. Lot's of recipes added some lemon zest to the egg mixture as well as nutmeg, I thought a hint of cinnamon might be nice instead and I did like it.

2 tablespoons butter
About 1/3 to 1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots (I didn't actually measure)
7 ounces, more or less, Brussels sprouts sliced 1/8-inch thick on a mandoline
1 quart stock, chicken, meat, or veggie or use instant bouillon
1 cup water
1 tablespoon fish sauce (totally optional but the extra umami is great)
3 large eggs
1 1/2 ounces grated parmesan cheese, plus additional
freshly grated nutmeg
pinch of ground cinnamon, optional
freshly ground black pepper

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots and saute until the shallots are soft. Stir in the Brussels sprouts and add the stock, water, and fish sauce. Bring to a boil and then turn the heat down to a simmer and cook until the sprouts become tender or are done to your liking. Taste the broth for salt, remember that the parmesan is salty so don't add too much.

Beat the eggs with a whisk and then whisk in the cheese, nutmeg, and cinnamon if using it.

Bring the soup back up to a near boil. Slowly pour the egg mixture into the soup while stirring the soup with a whisk. Continue stirring until the eggs are completely cooked. Serve immediately with grinding of black pepper over each bowl, top with additional cheese if desired.

Makes 4 to 6 portions.

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