Monday, November 29, 2010

How Not to Hate Brussels Sprouts

Cheap Eat Challenge Count Down: 33 Days

I know I promised you a turkey soup recipe today. And I did make turkey soup. Actually a turkey chili. I adapted it from a chicken chili recipe, which is awesome. Unfortunately, the turkey version was not. Like, at all. It was, in fact, borderline gross. I'm not sure why. I like turkey. And the cold turkey tasted great to me. In fact, I was nibbling away on it as I chopped. But once cooked into the chili, the whole dish tasted...putrid--like I was eating the giblets or something instead of some yummy leftover dark meat. If any of you scientists out there would like to explain how/why that happened, I would be much obliged. At any rate, I scrapped any plans I might have had for using the rest of the turkey in a turkey fried rice and plan to go for turkey salad sandwiches tomorrow. If I end up with anything wonderful, I'll let you know.

In order to fill the blogging void, I was forced to gorge myself on pumpkin smoothies. There are worse fates. I still don't have the perfect one, but hopefully by tomorrow I will.

So, today you get to hear about the one thing I made today that was just right: brussel sprouts. You heard me. Until one week ago, I had had brussel sprouts twice in my life. And I'd lied about having them once to my mom (sorry mom) because she bought some frozen ones thinking they were peas (you know how those packages look--especially when you've got several screaming kids in a cart--grab, go, grab, go). My dad hated brussel sprouts so we were excused from eating them if we tried them and didn't like them. I sure didn't want to try the nasty looking things so I said I'd had them at school and didn't like them. Now my mom wasn't an idiot; I'm sure she was smart enough to know that school lunch served things like tater tots, not brussel sprouts, but she let me out of it anyway.

As an adult, I tried them twice at buffets, and that sure didn't endear them to me. But a few weeks ago, I found a link to these gorgeous-looking brussel sprouts from a less gorgeous-looking adaptation on cheaphealthygood. I chose to make the prettier, but not-quite-as-full-proof version. And this is what you get by judging a book by its cover.

They were so pretty. But I had to choke them down. I'm not one that usually has to choke vegetables down.

I would have given up except that I had another half-pound in my fridge and I hate wasting food--even that of the nasticular variety. So today for lunch, I took those brussel sprouts and I chopped them up, following the advice of the folks at cheaphealthygood. They were still pretty, though not quite as much. And they were good, really really good.

The thing about brussel sprouts is that if you steam or boil them, they get a bitter edge at best and a soggy bitter pure nasty taste at worst. And the other thing with brussel sprouts is that it's easy to steam them becase even when you're trying to saute them the insides can steam as the outsides saute if the pieces are too large. They may look pretty cut in half, but keep chopping and your mouth will thank you.

P.S. I tried them raw--something I would have found unthinkable at age 8 or, uh, 25. And they were...good. Quite good, actually. They would have been great shredded into salads. All these years and who know that one of the most loathed vegetables of all time (which incidentally have the initials BS) can be eaten raw to very good effect.

So when making brussel sprouts, think saute, salad, shred (or chop small, but I was going for the alliterative effect you see).

Sauteed Brussel Sprouts
loosely adapted (from something that is barely a recipe in the first place) from cheaphealthygood

1/2 lb brussel sprouts, chopped small
1 T olive oil
1 T butter
salt and pepper to taste

Cut ends and any wilty-looking leaves off the sprouts. Chop small.

Heat olive oil in a skillet. Add butter. Toss brussel sprouts in and add salt and pepper. Mix them about until the edges are a bit golden (shouldn't take too long). Add a bit more butter or olive oil if it soaks it all up and your brussel sprouts start sticking. Do not cover them with a lid ever. Eat warm.

P.P.S. I ate the whole half pound. And they were awesome.


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