Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Brussel Sprouts

I know, I know, brussel sprouts have a reputation as being less than desirable. The poor vegetable strikes fear into the hearts of both the young and old. I am here to tell you, though, that they really are delicious if prepared properly. My three year old likes to ask me almost every day if I am "Sam I am" and over the course of writing this post, I am! I am going to convince you to "try them, try them, you will see!" I was once afraid of them myself. Then, I tried them at a couple of nice restaurants (if you're local, try them at Bastille - YUM!) and was converted. They are actually easy to prepare, and no, you don't boil them. Please. Do not boil them.
First let me tell you how to choose proper brussel sprouts at the grocery store. It is very simple: choose the tiny ones. The one pictured is sitting inside a teaspoon. Those are the best ones because they cook fast and the leaves are tender.
Now that you've got them home, here's how you cook them:
1) Cut off the ends and remove any leaves that are wilted.
2) Slice them in half if they are small or quarter them if they are larger.
3) Saute them. Here's how I do it (and it's not all that unhealthy either - doesn't even require bacon which is how we usually get through undesirable veggies):

Danielle's Sauteed Brussel Sprouts

4 cups of trimmed, halved brussel sprouts
1 tbls butter

2-3 tbls Olive Oil (enough to coat the bottom of the pan)

1-2 cloves garlic (depending on how much of a garlic fan you are)

1/2 cup white wine

1 healthy sprig of fresh rosemary

salt & pepper to taste

Heat olive oil on medium heat, add butter and melt. Add crushed or finely diced garlic, stir around briefly - do not burn. Add brussel sprouts and turn heat up to somewhere between medium and medium-high depending on how hot your stove is (on my electric stove with numbers this is about a 6 or 7). Pour in wine. Let wine boil and the alcohol burn off - simmering for about 5 minutes or until all the liquid has soaked into the sprouts. Season with rosemary, salt and pepper (remember that if you are cooking with cooking wine, it is already salted so be careful how much you add - I prefer to use regular white wine and add my own salt). Saute an additional 2 to 3 minutes until the sprouts begin to brown, but not burn.
If you brown them too long at the end, they will get dry, so make sure to keep the heat up and watch them closely taking them off the heat when they start to look like the picture. See? Don't they look good? Don't you want to try them?
When sauteed like this, they are not bitter or mushy. Throw out your preconceived notions! Eat and enjoy! Tonight I even got my three year old to take about 3 bites. This is huge! We will convert him in no time!
(If you're not a rosemary fan, fresh thyme works as a great herb-substitute and toss in a spritz of fresh lemon too.)

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