Brussels sprouts have always gotten a bad rap, and unfairly so. They’re the cruciferous renegades of the vegetable world for whom few hold in pleasant regard. You may recognize them from such adjectives such as “disgusting”, “bitter”, and “get that away from me”, but these are spoken from the lips of ugly sprout haters. The fact that they smell faintly of pork shit when cooked does them no real favor, either. But I’m here to clear Brussels sprouts of these unjust accusations and prove that they can be delicious with the right preparation.
The only way I had eaten Brussels sprouts prior to learning the tried and true method I am about to teach you was steamed with salt and pepper. This is an effective cooking method, but does little to draw out the right flavors of the sprouts. This being a sub-par cooking method has never really bothered me much, but then I would eat Brussels sprouts covered in dirt. And by “would eat” I mean “did eat” when one fell on my dirty kitchen floor and was then stepped on by a very clumsy cat. I read somewhere in a blog I wrote that if you ignore the germs, then they don’t actually exist.
Chances are that you have also eaten Brussels sprouts this way (steamed, not dirty) and have found them to be dull and leave a taste of soggy remorse in your mouth. But it doesn’t have to be this way. If you want to make a batch of bangin’ Brussels sprouts then follow my simple rules and you’ll never again cry over a putrid dish of previously frozen sprouts again.
First thing’s first: ditch the frozen Brussels sprouts. For best flavor, you absolutely must buy them fresh. I go to Whole Foods where you can buy them on the vine. It sort of looks like a fucked up centipede, but tastes so much better.
Secondly you will want to peel away the dark, loose, outer leaves of the Brussels sprouts to reveal a bright green, tightly formed ball. Trim the very end of the stem, but be sure to not cut too much off otherwise the Brussels sprouts will fall apart. Slice the sprouts in half.
Take the halved Brussels sprouts and place them into an oven-safe dish, coat lightly with melted butter or coconut oil and sprinkle generously with kosher or sea salt and a few turns from a pepper mill. Use your hands and get really personal with the sprouts to mix them up well.
Bake in a preheated oven at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, add two or three cloves of garlic, mix well (but don’t use your hands this time, idiot!) and place back into the oven for another 5 minutes.
Remove from the oven and you’ve got yourself Brussels sprouts that are crispy and perfectly browned on the outside, and tender on the inside. The taste will still be distinctly Brussels sprouts, but in a way that will be easy to appreciate and enjoy without cringing. You can also add sauteed shallots, fried bacon or lemon zest if you want to amp up the flavor a little. It’s a new year, so why not resolve to try and give these poor, dejected veggies a chances?
Speaking of which, this is the perfect segue into MY new year resolution, which is less a resolution than it is a perfectly-timed conscious effort toward changing a bad habit: I’m giving up sugar. At least for the next three months, to start. After consuming a cake (A WHOLE CAKE), a pint of ice cream and two cookies in one day, I’ve concluded that I am king of sugar addicts. I really can’t remember the last time I ate something savory without chasing it with a sugar-loaded treat. I’ve substituted healthy stress management activities I used to enjoy, like running, with binge eating whole effing cakes. I may or may not have also pulled out a bag of chocolate baking chips and ate the entire thing like popcorn while watching Walking Dead. If you’re judging me, don’t worry. I’m judging me.
New year resolutions are kind of a joke, and I don’t really know anyone who makes them with any intention to keep them. I’ve truthfully never understood the swell of elation around the new year where everyone plows forward into that fresh, new annum with steady determination to change their old, sinister ways only to find their new year to be wrought with overwhelming sameness. Mostly because a lot of these people don’t resolve to eat more Brussels sprouts. But even so, I’m going to resolve to change this habit, which could result in fewer items under the Sweet recipe tab up at the top. Right now I’m three days in and it’s not so bad, but talk to me again after two weeks and we’ll see where I stand.
Hello. My name is Kerry and I’m full-blown sugarholic.
What have you resolved to do this year and how are you going about meeting those goals?