Wednesday, October 21, 2009

in season: brussels sprouts

Right now. Right this very second. Forget all the scary and unmerited preconceived notions you may have regarding the devastatingly adorable little brussels sprout. Because you know what? You're all growed up (or somewhere in between) and it's time for you to give them another shot with your now mature (or somewhere in between) palette. Brussels sprouts are fabulous. They take exceedingly well to a variety of different cooking preparations; roasting and braising being two of my favorites, which bring out a smokey, nutty quality to them that turn this vegetable into something nearing surreal.

Last Thanksgiving, I tried this recipe from Food + Wine for Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries and the next morning I awoke to emails in my inbox, requesting the run down of the dish. It was the star of the spread (so much for brining the turkey for 24 hours). The recipe says to reconstitute the dried cranberries in Riesling and while it sounded like a lovely idea, I prefer the cranberries to retain some of their chew and integrity so the second go around, I neglected to soak them. But by all means, go for the Riesling hot tub method if you like your dried fruit plump. No judging here.

Thanksgiving aside, brussels sprouts are great alongside any fall dish. Slice up a few shallots, saute them in a butter and olive oil combination (if you're a bacon fiend, add some chopped bacon to the shallots. it will turn any hater into a lover.), then toss in halved brussels sprouts. Allow them to brown up a little and then pour in a splash of chicken broth (or white wine), put the lid on and let them braise for a good 5-6 minutes or so. Along side some simple roasted chicken and a hearty fall salad with dried cranberries, crumbled goat cheese, and maple balsamic vinaigrette and you'll forget all about those awful yet baseless childhood memories about these little guys and will consider them a new favorite.


Yep. I promise.


Linds said...

I love, love, LOVE brussels sprouts. My bro-in-low cooked these babies up last night. Browned them in a lil olive oil, then threw in some veggie stalk for flavoring..OMGoodness. Heaven. Red wine to boot (paired with Twenty Bench Cab, good bang for your buck). Most underrated veggie...great post!!!


Kiira Leess said...

mmmmm they are the BEST! going to look into that cab...

have fun tonight at the tasting! so wish i was there.


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