Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Brilliant Brussel Sprouts

Don't mistake the title of this entry as boasting. The only thing that deserves to boast when it comes to Brussels sprouts are the sprouts themselves. I was introduced to these wonderful veggies by a friend of mine who just swore that I would love them. Now normally I would have smiled and thanked her for the suggestion and continued to fill up on broccoli (my former favorite side/filler dish). However this certain friend had a way of constantly suggesting and cooking food that both my girlfriend Erin and I could not get enough off...so we took heed and discovered Brussels sprouts.

She had schooled me in her method of preparing them and instructed that all she simply sauteed them with some salt and pepper and various other spices. Nothing fancy. Nothing difficult. My first attempt at cooking them yielded an average response from Erin (as you may recall she is my food taster and grader). I believe she may have given them a six. I had cut the bottoms off and allowed the outer layers to fall off. I then sauteed them with some cooking spray, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and a pinch out of my St.Marteen spices bag (as a side note this was a bag of spices labelled "magic spice" on a trip that we recently took to St. Marteen). They were yummy, however a bit al dente for Erin's liking. My next attempt I opted to steam them first, and then follow the above saute/seasoning plan. This was a success! It created a softer veggie, however giving the outside a nice crunch.

We often have these now as a healthy, highly guilty free side dish. Seriously, I have to make sure that I give Erin her share first because if she gets up for a drink I often forget what helping I am on!

For Thanksgiving I am a strong believer of enjoying all of the normal indulgent, traditional dishes that my family cooks. This year when I was asked what I wanted to bring, keeping in mind all of the normal dishes were accounted for, I decided to make Brussels Sprouts with Bacon-Horseradish Cream. Not only did this recipe include my new favorite vegetable, but it also contained bacon and horseradish (which my dad is a huge fan of)! This dish was a hit as well, although not with my dad. He just couldn't get past the Brussels Sprout. No harm though the rest of us devoured it quickly. It was even requested again at Christmas. The only tweak I made was doubling the horseradish and giving it an extra piece of bacon. It was the holiday's after all!

Whenever I Google recipes for Brussels Sprouts the options listed seem endless.
Much like my appetite whenever I know those green little lovely lumps are on the menu.