Tuesday, October 16, 2012

New Recipes From A to Z: B Is For Brussels Sprouts

 I've noticed that lately I'm in a rut when it comes to the evening meal. I love to cook, but I've just been falling back on the same old recipes, things that are fast, from ingredients I always have on hand.

 I tried to look through cookbooks and cooking magazines for inspiration, but then I would be overwhelmed with all the various ideas. Plus, I'd find something to try, but it would call for a bunch of specialized, expensive things I don't have on hand. I'm cheap, so I'm not going to spend a bunch of money on something I'd probably never use for anything else.

 So the idea I hit on to get out of my rut (without getting overwhelmed) is to focus on one new ingredient at a time. Using the alphabet for inspiration, I plan to go A to Z, finding foods I've never cooked before. Maybe I'll find some new go-to meal ideas.

 For my first new dish, I cooked Brussels Sprouts. (OK, I'm starting with "B" but that's because Brussels sprouts were on sale this week. I told you, I'm cheap!)

Not only had I never cooked Brussels sprouts before, I have not eaten them voluntarily as an adult. I remember them as bitter, mushy and tasteless. But I found an article that said if you don't like Brussels sprouts, it's because you're not cooking them right. Boiling them into submission doesn't work, you have to roast them. So I got a simple recipe off the Food Network website - just trim the ends, dump them in a bowl with olive oil, sea salt and fresh ground pepper, and mix together. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast at 400 degrees for about 35 minutes. Here's a picture of the finished product:

 The verdict: pretty darn good!

They were soft without being mushy, and the sea salt and roasting brought out a much richer flavor than I remember, while minimizing the bitterness. Even the boy ate one without complaint. (OK, I told him it was a zombie brain - but whatever works, right?)

 I probably won't make these that often, but it's a good recipe to have on hand when I'm tired of the standard green beans/corn/carrots vegetable rotation.


  1. We love brussels sprouts around here pan fried with bacon, caramelized onions, and balsamic vinegar. Yum!

    1. Mmmm, bacon. I'll have to try adding some bacon crumbles next time.

    2. Yes, yes, I have a dish of bacon drippings in the fridge at all times. Brussels sprouts, cut in half, gently fried with bacon drippings and onions is a treat we lust for in this house. Kids probably won't like it, but we adults crave it.