Story last updated at 11/28/2012 - 3:16 pm
When I was growing up, we weren't made to clean our plates because of starving kids in third world countries. We were made to clean our plates because my mom worked hard to prepare that meal and by gosh we were going to eat it. The plus side of that is my mom was and still is a fantastic cook.
Just about everything she made was amazing. Up until she introduced Brussels sprouts. These little baby cabbage things were well...gross. Ordinarily, baby veggies are so cute you just know you're going to love them. Not so with the Brussels sprouts, or BS as my brothers and I called them. They were bitter and hard and no matter how much cheese or butter sauce you put on them they still tasted bitter.
I strongly dislike bitter foods. I tend to avoid dark leafy greens and I really don't like coffee. I know what you're thinking. How can one survive with out coffee? Alas, it's true. Coffee is bitter and the smell doesn't entice me at all. So naturally Brussels sprouts aren't going to be at the top of my dining choices.
About a year ago I tried them again, hoping that perhaps my childhood aversion had waned and that I had grown into liking them. I bought a pack of frozen ones in some kind of cheese sauce and cooked them up following the package directions. Not only did I still not like them very much, but Alex felt so strongly about how much she hated them, I was forbidden to ever serve them again.
Recently I started subscribing to the mail order service that delivers fresh organic vegetables to Juneau. Many of my friends were subscribers and after hearing such positive things I thought I'd give it a try. The first box was great. I made some amazing salads with the fresh lettuce, carrots, cauliflower and pears. I was really excited to receive this week's box.
I eagerly retrieved my box, which I cherished like a child with Santa's present on Christmas morning. Hurrying home I opened the box and to my surprise the primary vegetable this week was, you guessed it, Brussels sprouts. Oh my goodness! I had failed miserably with the frozen ones, what would I do with the fresh ones.
I gave this much thought and contemplation. I soon remembered that sometime last year I had seen a television show that had shown how to cook these elusive vegetables. I busted out the creative cook's hat and got to work.
Generally when I'm trying something new I keep it simple. Not too many ingredients so that I can really taste the flavors of the main ingredient. My favorite way of cooking vegetables is to roast them. I decided this will work. And goodness did it. Roasted Brussels sprouts are amazing. They have a wonderful nutty, yet earthy flavor and they weren't bitter at all.
Using simple ingredients such as garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper I was able to really taste the wonderful nutty, yet earthy flavor.
I use frozen vegetables frequently, especially in the winter months. However, I learned from a special box of goodies that fresh Brussels sprouts are a winner. This week I present to you a vegetable not even my mom could make me eat, until now: Roasted Brussels Sprouts.
Until next time...
Eat and enjoy,
ROASTED BRUSSELS SPROUTS
1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pre-heat skillet to medium high heat. Add oil and garlic. Sautee' until garlic is golden brown. Toss in Brussels sprouts. Sprinkle with sea salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Put pan in oven and roast for 12-15 minutes, until edges are browned.
Kelly Moore, a.k.a. Midgi, writes and cooks from Juneau. Visit her blog, www.mealswithmidgi.com, for additional stories and recipes. She may be reached at midgi@ mealswithmidgi.com.