Sunday, October 19, 2008

Quick Dish: Brussels Sprouts

Well, we're back. And weirdly enough, it feels like we never left. Rory and I have gotten right back into our pre-wedding/honeymoon routine, including sexy activities such as buying groceries and cleaning the bathroom. In fact, the only thing that really seems to have changed (besides my name and some pesky legal details, of course) is the weather here in my fair city. When we left at the beginning of October, the days were still fairly warm. Now, walking to the neighborhood Harris Teeter this Sunday, my requisite t-shirt and flip flops ensemble was just not cutting it. So apparently summer left while we were gone. Bummer.

The only cure for my the-honeymoon's-over-and-now-it's-cold-out blues? Fall comfort food, of course. Brussels sprouts are one of my favorite fall vegetables, and believe it or not, they're real comfort food to me (which probably has something to do with the amount of butter and garlic I always use with them).

Brussels sprouts are super versatile, both to cook and to pair with other fall flavors. One of my favorite ways to prepare them, which happens to be my mother's way, is a great verion for purists: simply boil the brussels spourts whole for about 15 minutes, then add butter, garlic powder - yes, I said powder - and s+p to finish. In recent years, though, I've been branching out in my cooking methods. Roasting, for example, brings out a wonderfully nutty flavor to the sprouts - just halve them and toss with olive oil and salt and pepper, place on a lined baking sheet, and roast at 450 for 45 minutes, and see for yourself.

Sauteing is probably the quickest and easiest way to cook Brussels sprouts. Tonight, that's the version I chose. I took a bunch of whole Brussels sprouts, about 20 or so, cut off the bottoms and removed their loose outer leaves, and sliced them finely. I added a tablespoon of olive oil to a hot nonstick pan and added two cloves of finely chopped garlic and 2 slices of finely crumbled fake bacon. (You could add real bacon, too; Ijust didn't have it on hand). After a minute I added the sliced sprouts to the pan and tossed to coat with the flavored oil. I sprinkled with salt and pepper, added 2 tbsp of butter to the pan, and continued to saute, tossing often on medium high heat, until the sprouts were tender but firm and beginning to caramelize. Served alongside some skin-on mashed potatoes, I was in my happy place - and definitely looking forward to the bounty of fall.

So, what's your favorite way to cook these little beauties?

1 comment:

Priya said...

This website has some really cool dishes. Look forward to eating at some of your recommendations. :)

PS: the Pentagon is lacking some good sweets... feel free to put Rory to work.