Monday, February 15, 2010

Sprouting Ideas

Where have I been? Under a mountain of sprouts. Delicious and tasty sunflower sprouts and pea shoot sprouts presented to me by our neighbors and owners of SuperCharge! Foods, PT and TJ. My task? To come up with interesting and tasty recipes using the fresh sprouts. I happen to enjoy the flavor of the young stems and cotyledons by themselves, and they also make tasty additions to many dishes. Sprouts a perfect substitute for fresh tender greens such as baby spinach, but knowing these particular sprouts’ freshness and the love with which they were raised, I was also inspired to use them in more creative ways.

The first recipe I made with the sprouts was a Whisker Sandwich. For lunch the next day, I continued with the sandwich theme and made a delicious Smoked Turkey Bagel with Chipotle Cream Cheese and Sprouts. I bought fresh Gotham bagels from the Willy Street Coop, spread on cream cheese mixed with adobo sauce from canned chipotles. Next I added sliced turkey, a thin slice of cheese and—you guessed it—sprouts. I topped it off with a tomato slice and the other bagel half which was spread with mustard and mayo. Yum! Fresh bagels are a must.

Next I decided to highlight the fresh pea flavor of the pea shoot sprouts by cooking them up in a Pea Shoot Sprout Soup. I made a light vegetable stock in a stock pot. In another stock pot I sautéed 1/2 cup chopped onion, then added about 2 cups of cubed potatoes and boiled them until soft. I added some salt, and pepper to taste and added a large handful of pea shoot sprouts right before turning the heat off. After the soup cooled, I blended it until it had a creamy consistency. I served it with a dollop of curry yogurt (plain yogurt mixed with curry powder and a touch of honey). This soup would also be good with some cream or half and half added when reheating. I added red for photographing, but to be honest, am not sure I liked the taste of paprika.

Finally, I wanted to feature the sprouts in a salad. How about a Tender Sprout Salad with Potato Croquettes, Bacon Bits and Balsamic Vinaigrette. I had cooked up some bacon at breakfast and decided that nothing goes better with bacon than potatoes, cheese and eggs. So I made potato-cheese croquettes. I chopped up the bacon, sprinkled that over a bed of sprouts, placed a couple of croquettes on the plate and then dressed it with the homemade ketchup (from whisker sandwiches) and a drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette. Delicious!
I made croquettes by simply mashing potatoes with grated cheese, adding a pinch of salt and pepper, and a touch of cream. Form the mash into balls, dip in egg, then roll in breadcrumbs. Fry in a shallow layer of veggie oil until golden.

Oh, I also included them in lots of my kids' snacks. Sprout and marshmallow forest anyone?


Ellen said...

These look great. love those croquettes! All I ever see at the grocery store are mung bean sprouts and alfalfa sprouts. Been thinking of growing my own sprouts for variety.

RCakeWalk said...

All those sprouts make me want some sprouts right now! I just get plain sprout mixes from the bulk section at the Outpost (I'm in Milwaukee) from time to time, but the ones you were given look truly special! Thanks for the great ideas!

Otehlia said...

I never buy sprouts because they tend to go bad (you know, that wilty, sprouty smell?) before I eat them all. These amazingly held up over a week! And both of them sure beat alfalfa sprouts. The "sunnies" were my family's favorite.

Carolyn Jung said...

I love pea shoots! I love them just stir-fried quickly with garlic and a little sesame oil. I could eat a mountain of them. ;)

Otehlia said...

Garlic and sesame oil sounds simply divine! I'll try that next time...