Friday, February 26, 2010

Show me your brussels

After reading over some of my earlier posts, I realized I haven't done a very good job of showing you what really goes on in my kitchen. In an attempt to lure you in with sweet treats and breakfast cravings, I neglected to demonstrate my real passion for natural, wholesome ingredients.
Oh, don't get me wrong, I love me some darker-than-dark chocolate and I'm famous for curling up on the couch with a bowl of Häagen-Dazs coffee ice cream while catching up on episodes of Big Love, but my true love is for vegetables. And I have a particular sore spot for brussels sprouts. Yup, that's right... brussels sprouts. These little guys have had to endure years of scrutiny as the "yucky" food that, in order to eat, you had to pinch your nostrils together in an effort not to taste them (something, by the way, that should not be performed by any person over the age of eight).

But brussels sprouts are truly delicious, when cooked properly. Slightly bitter and uniquely soft, I love the way these bite-size "cabbages" crunch in my mouth. This classic recipe is really easy and is so good as a side dish or as a mid-day snack on its own. I usually opt to keep it simple when cooking veggies, allowing the actual taste of the vegetable to come through in the dish. Finishing them under the broiler gives the brussels sprouts a subtle crispness that gives the flavor a little more depth.

I specify using fresh garlic in this recipe, but that goes for any recipe really. I just finished reading Anthony Bourdain's impossibly funny and twistedly brilliant Kitchen Confidential and he says to treat your garlic with respect--if you can't take the time to chop your own garlic, then you don't deserve to eat it. I couldn't agree more. Always go fresh with garlic, the minced mess in a jar has a chemically funky taste that will just ruin a dish.

Sautéed Brussels Sprouts

1 10-ounce package of brussels sprouts
3/4 tsp sea salt
3 tbsp water
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp fresh garlic, chopped (see above)

Cut brussels sprouts into quarters by cutting off the ends and removing any yellow or spotted outer leaves. If brussels sprouts are small, just cut them into halves. Give them a good rinse.

On medium-high, heat a sauté pan that has a metal handle, one that you will be able to put directly into the oven. Allow the pan to heat up and then add the water and the rinsed and cut brussels sprouts. Cover and cook for 3 minutes. Remove lid and cook until basically all water is evaporated. Place brussels sprouts on a plate and set aside.

Lower heat to medium and, in the same pan, heat olive oil, chopped garlic, and salt and cook until garlic just begins to brown. Add brussels sprouts again and cook for about 8 minutes, using a wooden spoon to stir occasionally.

Turn broiler on high and place entire pan under broiler for about 3-4 minutes, until brussels sprouts are slightly charred and they look good and crispy.

Serve immediately. If you like, you can add some freshly grated Parmesan cheese or a squeeze of lemon for some extra pizazz. (Cue Emeril's POW!!!)

1 comment:

  1. This is delicious! I never thought to put the brussels sprouts under broiler... great idea.