Saturday, November 1, 2008

I really want to talk about brussel sprouts.


I know they aren't winning any popularity contests. I mean, they are tiny cabbages. I think most Americans have had them once. Or twice if your mom was way into "eat your vegetables." I had them once as a kid. I don't think it was because my mother made me eat them, though. I think it was the fault of one of my grandmothers. Or maybe an aunt. I can't remember. Anyway, a couple of years ago, back when we were eating at Genie's a couple of times a month and I was trying everything she sat in front of me, she made brussel sprouts. I tried to make my usual disclaimer, "do I eat brussel sprouts?" And then, after tasting them, "I do eat brussel sprouts." I don't remember what she did to them. I'm pretty sure it involved butter. I hadn't had them since.

A few weeks ago, in an organic gardening magazine my mom sends me, there was an article on how to grow brussel sprouts. I meant to do that, but I forgot and now it's too late. There was another article on how to cook them. They are in season in the midwest. Had I remembered to plant some, we'd be harvesting them right now. So I figured it wouldn't be too bad to just go to the plain old grocery store and buy some to try this new recipe out on. I love it. I tried to follow the recipe, but as usual, about halfway through I got a culinary epiphany and veered away from the page.

Go get some brussel sprouts and do this:

Buy brussel sprouts. I can eat 6 (cut in half) before I'm sick of them, and I really really like brussel sprouts. Plan accordingly.

Cut the stem end off and half the brussel sprouts. The leaves are connected to the stem, cut them in half so you are splitting the stem end. Keep the leaves that fall off. Rinse everything in a colander and leave it to drain.

Place a large shallow pan over medium-high heat. When the pan has heated up, add 1/4 cup of olive oil and dump in the brussel sprouts and their loose leaves. Turn them so they are cut side down and put a lid on the pan. Check them after a few minutes. When the cut side is lightly browned, turn them over and cook 2-3 more minutes. Add 1/2 cup water to the pan (this will be a splattery steamy mess) and shake the pan gently. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/2 tsp of hot pepper oil and 1/4 cup soy sauce. When the majority of the water has evaporated from the pan, drizzle the soy sauce mixture over the brussel sprouts. Serve warm, topped with sesame seeds.

Hooray for brussel sprouts.


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be nice...