Friday, December 10, 2010

Foody Friday: A Savory Side

Why did it take me until my mid-twenties for me to discover brussel sprouts? Ya know - the healthy vegetable that every kid loves to hate, but then you discover when you’re an adult that they are awesome! That is all I want this fall when I go to restaurants. Friends have asked me if I’m preggers with the way I crave brussel sprouts and mushrooms. Huge capital letters just to be clear - I SWEAR I am not (in fact as I type this I’m enjoying a nice glass of pinot - so Mom - I swear, not pregnant and I promise not to announce it on the internet first). But have you noticed that restaurant brussel sprouts are amazing - so amazing that you think, I could never make them like this at home? And, how do you make brussel sprouts anyway?

Liv + Sal recommend these restaurants in DC where we discovered just how yummy they are:

Since I’ve been craving them so often I finally broke down and decided to make them at home last week. Fear not, they were a success!

I wanted this meal to be easy - and I bought the brussel sprouts at the grocery store before I selected my recipe, and I wasn’t about to go back to the store for more ingredients. So the name of the game was mix and match recipes to accommodate what I already had at home.

This is what came out:
- brussel sprouts
- about 1 table spoon of butter
- about 1 table spoon of olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 shallot
- red pepper flakes
- salt & pepper

Start by rinsing brussel sprouts. Let them drain in a colander and then remove any outer leaves that look a little rough. Chop the stem off the sprouts and then halve or quarter them. Chop up your shallot and garlic cloves.

In a large skillet (I used a cast iron skillet because I knew I wanted to finish them off in the oven) add the olive oil and butter and warm over medium high heat. Add your garlic and shallot, mixing with the oil and butter until fragrant, and until the shallots are just translucent.

Add the brussel sprouts and stir well mixing them in with the garlicky shalloty goodness. I cooked them over the heat for about 8 minutes and then finished them off by roasting them in a very hot oven for 10 minutes (like 450 degrees) or until they were just slightly caramelized and the edges were getting brown. Sprinkle on the red pepper flakes and s&p right before you put them in the oven. If you forget, forgive yourself – and just sprinkle over when they’re finished.

I may have gotten a little overzealous in experimentation land with all of the recipes I found. I drizzled a little balsamic vinegar on one half and sprinkled a little parmesan cheese on the other half. You can’t go wrong with either of those additions, but I basically decided that I liked them best just the way they were out of the oven. (probably because I drizzled a little too much balsamic vinegar – but it’s okay – I forgave myself)

Verdit: they were delish - and the good news is that A) of all I remembered to take a picture of them, two) of all, I am no longer scared to do brussel sprouts at home and C) of all, i have another healthy vegetable side option. The bad news is brussel sprouts are another one of those foods the hubster “claims” he doesn’t like. We shall see my friend, we shall see.

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