Recipe: roasted brussels sprouts
Generally, when I don’t feel so hot, I find comfort in spicy or acidic food. I know that seems counterintuitive to many people. Jeremy is the opposite – he says dairy settles his stomach. Good lord, dairy would have a disastrous effect on me, seeing as I’m lactose intolerant. I didn’t figure out I was lactose intolerant until I got into college, believe it or not. That probably explains a lot of evenings spent lying on my side, unable to move. Like my father, I treated my stomach like it was made of iron. Unlike my father, I couldn’t stomach everything I put down my gullet. I could stomach most things, just not *everything*, like the time I was six years old and mixed vanilla frosting in 7up and wound up with a stomach ache that lasted for two days. Crazy kids, huh? I know!
I’m all for food safety, really. Just that, growing up in the 70s and 80s, my family didn’t practice that whole food safety thing too closely… or at all come to think of it. When I began to cook, I was the one who urged my mom to take care when handling raw poultry and raw pork. She was pretty nonchalant about the whole thing for a looooong time. I definitely have a strong constitution when it comes to salt, spice, and sour. No problem. Iron stomach! There have only been a couple of occasions when I was laid out in serious stomach pain and I think they both involved Jimmy Dean sausage, a trip to the ER, and drugs that knocked me out for several hours (probably to shut me up from moaning). So yesterday… yesterday I scarfed down three Chinese dumplings that had been sitting out for a few hours. I mean, I’ve done this for decades with no ill-effects. And yet, my tummy felt progressively worse and worse until I was lying on the couch all yesterday afternoon, staring at the dog trying to telepathically convince her to let herself out to potty.
It got progressively worse throughout the night. Gas cramps is all I can identify it as. I tried to read my email, but staring at the computer made me feel like I wanted to throw up. Guess what? At 2 am, I did just that! Felt much better, although still horrible. By 3 pm today, I can actually move again. Needless to say, not a lot of cooking going on lately. But I did make one of my favorite dishes a few days ago, and I guarantee it was not responsible for my food poisoning!
Brussels sprouts have always intrigued me because they look like miniature cabbage heads and I love food in miniature. The actual stalk is something straight out of a Dr. Seuss landscape. I first tried them at a friend’s house – boiled, doused in butter. I always liked vegetables growing up, so I figured Brussels sprouts were just another southern green cooked to death. Two years ago, my issue of Fine Cooking arrived in the post. There is nothing quite so exciting as receiving packages, personal mail, or Fine Cooking! A recipe for roasted Brussels sprouts, potatoes, and bacon was featured in the issue. I *loved* it. Jeremy *loved* it – and that’s quite a feat. You could say that anything with bacon tastes good (this is a fact), but even without the bacon, it’s delicious.
just brussels sprouts and shallots
I changed the recipe recently because I noticed that my butt isn’t getting any smaller… *snort* This healthier version has the sprouts, shallots, olive oil, salt, and pepper. See? super simple. I find the roasting brings out a wonderful nutty flavor to the Brussels and they’re crunchy instead of squishy. Plus, since they are brassicas, they release a sulfur compound when boiled and this, my friend Bondy tells me, reminds people of farts. Agreed. Not appetizing at all.
cut the base and peel off the outer leaves (into the compost!)
toss with olive oil, shallots, salt, and pepper
Even if you are a sworn enemy of Brussels Sprouts, I encourage you to give it a try. I’m always looking for great vegetable dishes and this one has become a favorite in our house during the winter months.
pairs beautifully with roasts
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
adapted from Fine Cooking #70, Feb/Mar
1 lb. Brussels sprouts
2-3 medium shallots, peeled and sliced
3 tbsps olive oil
1 tbsp butter (optional)
1/2 lemon, juice of
Preheat oven to 425°F. Trim the base of the Brussels sprouts with a knife. Peel off the outer leaves and cut the sprouts in half. Toss sprouts, shallots, olive oil, salt, and pepper together. Pour into a large enough baking pan so that there is a single layer of sprouts on the pan. Roast for 15 minutes and remove from oven to toss the sprouts around. Roast another 15 minutes and repeat. Roast a final 10 minutes and remove from oven (total time should be about 40 minutes). Stir the butter into the sprouts and then add the lemon juice and toss. Serve hot.