Monday, October 24, 2011

Brussels Sprouts and a Burger

I strayed from the meal plan tonight.  Tim was working late and I didn't have the broccoli that was in the meal plan and I had Brussels sprouts that I needed to use by the end of the week - all factors that made it a good idea to change it up.

I have never cooked Brussels sprouts.  I have only eaten them once in my life, about six months ago, and I was surprised to find that I love them. Why does everyone fuss about them?  I did a bit of internet reading and it turns out that some people don't like the smell, and they are often overcooked which results in soggy gray lumps that smell slightly of sulfur.  That pretty much clears up why people fuss about them.

But, as I suspected, steamer to the rescue, they were delicious.  I steamed them lightly using my double decker steamer and flavored them using guidelines from Sam the Cooking Guy in "just a bunch of recipes."  I wish I could recommend this cooking book!  I just can't get fully behind his style.  He makes some good points and I thought the tone started out pretty funny, but by the 15th recipe or so, I just thought he was being rude.  So, read at your own discretion - I got his book from the library, tagged about 12 recipes to try, and I don't feel the need to own it.  Just in case you want to make Brussels sprouts as tasty as the ones pictured below, I've typed the recipe out at the end of the post.  It was a great dinner!  Tim brought his own dinner home since he knew he would be late, but I saved out a sprout for him to sample.  Sadly, this is one of probably three foods in the world that we don't actually agree on.  But Tim's a great sport, so I'm sure these will find their way to the table once in a while.

Brussels Sprouts You'll Actually Eat
Copied from: Sam the cooking guy: just a bunch of recipes.  (with just a couple of edits by me)

3/4 lb Brussels sprouts
1/2 T olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 T balsamic vinegar
1 T brown sugar

Trim the sprouts to remove any ugly outer leaves.  If the sprouts are large, like big walnuts, cut them in quarters lengthwise; if they're small, like a big grape, just cut them in half lengthwise.

Steam until the sprouts are just beginning to get tender, about 10 minutes.  

Preheat a nonstick pan well over medium-high heat and add the oil.  When it just begins to smoke, add the sprouts, garlic, and pepper flakes.  Stir and keep moving until they begin to brown, maybe 2 minutes.

Add the balsamic vinegar and brown sugar, stir for a minute, remove, and serve.

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