Monday, January 7, 2013

Brussels Sprouts for the Soul

One thing I have learned about my husband of 1.5 years (we hit that mark five days ago, although I am just now realizing it. Is that bad? Do you celebrate your "monthly" anniversary each month? What are the rules???? I must know!)

Ok I must start again. Too much in the parenthesis and I lost my train of thought. Happens all the time. 

One thing I have learned about my husband of 1.5 years is that he will eat anything. Not only eat but also truly enjoy anything I put in front of him. So it was sort of a happening when we once had steamed brussels sprouts served to us and Michael was less than thrilled about it. I think this was before we were even married. Perhaps. As a result, I never was that tempted to bring brussels sprouts home and try to make Michael eat them. In fact, I really wasn't that crazy about them myself. 

Until. Until that fateful day when we were with some dear friends who had us over for a salmon and brussels sprout dinner last May. We were actually at their house on the Hill the night that her baby was due. Wow! Talk about daring. But of course, babies like to stay put - there was little fear of any water breakage that evening. (It was her first child.)

Little did we know how that night would instantly and unexpectedly change our lives forever. Our friends made brussels sprouts (BRUSSELS SPROUTS, really??) taste like healthy candy. What's not to love about healthy candy. Why nothing, nothing at all. We sung their praises (both our friends and the sprouts) and we learned the art of roasting them up so nice (the sprouts, not our friends). 

The key: Resist the urge to stir. One of my best friends and old roommates never really liked to cook, but she always loved to stir whatever I was cooking. So these sprouts wouldn't be fun for her.

Resist. The urge. To stir! 

Who knew so much could be written about this weird cabbage-like vegetable. Leave it up to yours truly. Here is how it goes:

First, you want to cut the ends off. And then slice them in half length-wise. 

Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and put a lot of olive oil in it. Like enough to cover the whole skillet and then a little extra just for fun. And add a scoop of crushed or chopped garlic (I do the store bought jars although that is probably terrible and I am losing points as we speak. Oh well.) 

Ew. Oh dear. That picture is like looking at your face in a magnifying mirror and seeing all of your blemishes that you didn't know existed. Or in this case, the dirty skillet marks. But I think this is ok because you are never supposed to use soap on a cast-iron skillet. Or something like that. 

After the pan and the garlic get super hot but before the garlic starts to burn, add your brussels to the skillet and stir them around just enough to get coated in garlic and olive oil. 

It is good if you get them all to lay flat so that the flat sided "face" of the brussels sprout is against the skillet to get browned, but that is sort of tedious so don't worry about it. But definitely add some salt... a little goes a long way. 

Ok once they are coated in olive oil, here is where the "don't stir" part comes in. Just don't stir. Just let them sizzle! For at least 4 minutes or something crazy like that. 

Resist the urge to stir.

After a good long time, you can finally stir them around just a bit, and then let them sit again. Oooo starting to brown...

After letting them sit for another 3ish minutes, give them another stir. See how they get sort of charred? That is perfect! 

As soon as they are done, get them on your plate. Or if you have to wait a few minutes, cover them with a lid. At this point, you can do whatever you want to add some pizazz to your brussels, although they taste good just as is. I added some parmesan this time around. Delicious. You can also add pinenuts, walnuts, almonds etc into the mix. And bacon! And pomegrantes! And coconut flakes! And seriously anything. If you do decide to add something, throw it in toward the very end of the roasting just to warm it up.

This dish is perfect with just about anything. Chicken. Beef. Sweet potatoes. Watching football. Like the BCS National Championship. Which is tonight!




Jk, roll tide!

Jk, I don't know who to cheer for. Just make the brussels sprouts. 


  1. I just followed this recipe and the Brussels sprouts were amazing! My mom cooks them a similar way but this is easier to replicate. Thank you!