Cheesy Brussels Sprouts Gratin

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If I were to confess some of my guilty pleasures in life, then these brussels sprouts photographs would convey much of what I’m already about to say. Warm melted cheese, gooey-salty-decadent-calorie-laden cheese on top of perfectly fresh and healthy vegetables should be illegal. I think of this often when a gorgeous bowl of green veggies gaze back at me with fresh, vibrant eyes. Instead of reaching for the steamer and ideas of a raw salad, I reach for the rind of parmesan cheese, cream and block of butter.

Over 98.6572% of the time I prepare my vegetables very simply in a light saute or raw, crunchy salad. This is how I appreciate my vegetables the most and sums up the way I ate as a vegetarian for almost twenty years. But when the air begins to crisp up to cooler embrace, I sense that Fall is near. That’s when I’m guilty of killing my vegetables in a casserole pool of cheese and cream.

Thankfully I don’t eat my vegetables like this every day, but when I do, I really appreciate every bite of dreamy, rich decadence. And then I always try to remember that there’s vegetable hidden somewhere in all this cheesy mess.

Sometimes a girl needs a few bites of gratin pleasure and I’m always willing to treat myself to a dish like this. Unfortunately, now comes my second confession: I could eat this whole casserole dish of brussels sprouts gratin all by myself. This is not a good thing.

Portion control has always been one of my struggles when it comes to food. With each amazing bite comes the desire to eat ten more bites. My mind is always thinking it could eat more and my stomach is always too slow at catching up to know that it’s full. It’s not until I’ve devoured two huge helpings that I realize my sense of control never existed.

Knowing when to stop eating is something I’m still lacking at. Aside from the fact that I do love cooking, eating and everything associated with food, my will power is incredibly weak for portions. Yes, I’ve tried all the talk about eating slower, only eating small portions, walking away, using smaller dishes…..whatever. My mind tells me that if the food is delicious, eat another plate before it goes to waste.

Balance is something I’ve always been thoughtful of and with all the travel we’ve been on, I realize that I’ve ignored the gym more than I should. Perhaps it’s the lack of fitness and exercise that makes eating two portions of food laden with guilt. I’m putting exercise back on my priority list before the holiday season feasting begins.

What’s your strategy for portion control? If it has anything to do with yoga, I don’t need to hear it because I’ve tried that too.

My goal for the next few months is to get back on cardio track again so that I can enjoy more of these warm, cheesy casseroles. This recipe for Brussels sprouts gratin is one of my favorite Brussels sprouts dishes for the fall because there’s comfort in every bite. Guaranteed this will be at on our Thanksgiving menu because it’s so simple, wonderful and a pleasure to eat.

-diane

More of our Favorite Brussels Sprouts Recipes:

Brussels Sprouts Gratin Recipe

Yield: Serves 4

Total Time: 1 hour

Sizes of Brussels sprouts can vary dramatically from small to extra large. This quantity difference can affect the results of this recipe. So I've used a weight measurement for ensure consistency with my results. And of course, add more cheese if you like!

Ingredients:

  • about 1 1/2 pounds (680g) Brussels sprouts, halved
  • 2 Tablespoons (30g) butter
  • 2 Tablespoons (15g) flour
  • 1 1/2 cups (360ml) milk
  • 1 cup (100g) grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) mayonnaise
  • black pepper to taste

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.

  1. Clean, trim stems of Brussels sprouts. Cut in half and keep all of loose leaves. Fill medium stock pot half way with water, bring to boil. Add Brussels sprouts, stirring in hot water and blanch quickly for about 2 minutes or until they turn bright green. Immediate drain. Do not cook Brussels sprouts and make them soft!
  2. In large pan melt butter, then add flour and quickly stir with whisk to combine and remove clumps. Turn off heat.
  3. Add milk, salt, cheese, mayo and black pepper. Stir until cheese is melted.
  4. Add Brussels sprouts and combine with cheese mixture. Pour into baking dish and bake for about 30-45 minutes or until Brussels sprouts are tender.
  5. For extra cheese crust, sprinkle cheese on about 10 minutes before Brussels sprouts are finished.
Recipe Source: WhiteOnRiceCouple.com.

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