Sabot L'ours (sabotlours) wrote,
Sabot L'ours

Ode to Brussels Sprouts

I had never really cared for that particular vegetable mainly because it was kind esoteric to me. What exactly were they? Weren't they like little cabbages or something? It's not that I didn't like them. It was just that I was never really exposed to them nor did I have any interest in cooking with them. There was nothing driving me to want to learn to cook them. That all changed last year. First there was my trip back from FC in January. Al, Dex, and I stopped at a little roadside market just outside of Gilroy. Al found a whole vine of sprouts that he wanted to buy. Dex said no, so that was that. I was intrigued by them, however. Perhaps I should look up how to properly cook them.

Then came our trip to Las Vegas. We had dinner at the Paris, and they had sprouts on the buffet. Al and I tried them and we both LOVED them! OK. It was time to get serious on learning how to cook them. It seems that most people hate them because they have to be cooked just right. If you overcook them, which is the common mistake, they start to release sulfur compounds which effect the flavor. Most kids hate the taste of them and then carry that hatred into adulthood. I can't remember if Mom ever cooked them for me. It just so happens that sprouts are now becoming the latest hipster superfood, so our market has been carrying them fairly regularly. I decided to take the plunge. Another key is to buy uniform sized sprouts that are tightly packed. I've noticed a lot of supermarkets tend to have overly-ripe ones. My first attempt wasn't too bad. I roasted them in the oven with a little olive oil. I was so afraid of over cooking them that I slightly under-cooked them. They were tasty, but a little crunchy. My second attempt was on the grill, wrapped in foil with a little olive oil. This time I burnt them, but I knew I was getting close because even the burnt ones were mighty tasty. Finally I dialed in the right time and temp and they came out wonderfully. I tried to spread my knowledge to Al and Dex the next time I visited. They came out pretty good.

A few weeks ago our local supermarket had frozen veggies on sale for $1. That included Brussels sprouts! Let's try the frozen ones! Surprisingly they were pretty good! Now we could add another veggie to our rotation of beans/corn/peas/broccoli. Last week I took Kitty out for her birthday dinner at a local steakhouse. They had sprouts as a side. She ordered them and they were delicious! They were cooked with balsamic vinegar and BACON! Yesterday I decided to try it on my own. I used the electric wok to cook 2 strips of cut up bacon. As soon as it started to cook I threw in a teaspoon of garlic and about 1/4 cup of red onion. About a minute later I threw in the sprouts and stir fried them for just over 10 minutes or until they started to get a nice char on them. The verdict...AWESOME! I forgot to hit it with the balsamic, but it didn't matter. So either the lesson is to not be afraid of new things or that everything is better with bacon!
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