Shout Out to Brussels Sprouts!

Okay, I know what you’re thinking: “Eeew, gross.  Brussels Sprouts.  How can you even suggest–?”  Well pipe down, pipe down, people.  Actually, they are like wittle teensy cabbages and ACTUALLY they are awesome.  So as a tasty and STUPIDLY EASY punk rock side dish, I now present to you: Cabernet-Steamed Savory Brussels Sprouts!

Green!  Purple!  Purple!  Green!  Ahh...

Green! Purple! Purple! Green! Ahh...

Yeah, I know, who’d a’thunk it, right?  Brussels Sprouts!  I swear I had never eaten one in my life until recently, when my good pal, and occasional Farmer’s Market companion, Brooke saw them gleaming on a table and went “Ooohh” and “Aaaah” and cooed about how great they are.  I was like, “Whaa???  Who likes Brussels Sprouts?  Who can even SPELL “Brussels Sprouts”?” But Brooke was adamant.  So I tried them a few nights later at a restaurant and realized they ain’t so bad.  In fact, they might even be GOOD, if made differently than how this particular restaurant had made them(!).  Because this is what they look like in the “raw”:

brusselssproutsraw11

And how great is THAT?  Little peppy bright green and yellow happy pods – that’s what they are, I tell you!  So take a deep breath, open your mind, and here we go…

TOOLS:
Big knife
Strainer/salad spinner
Baking pan
Tin foil

INGREDIENTS:
Brussels sprouts (about 6 per person)
Red Wine (Cabernet, Shiraz, whatever you like to drink is what you will like on these!)
Salt/pepper
Olive oil

RECIPE:
Heat the oven to 425º.  (AGAIN with the 425º!  What is this Punky Chef ON, man?  What does everything she makes need to be at 425º?  SHEESH.)

Cut each ‘sprout in half and then in half again (like vertical quarters – are you feeling me on this?) and throw everything into the strainer or salad spinner to rinse.  When the outside leaves fall off, just keep them in the mix.  They taste yummy on their own and often get a little crispy which is so nice, let’s face it.

Spread everything out in your baking pan and coat lightly with the olive oil, musheling them around with your hands.  (Remember the fun asparagus experience?)  Add a pinch of salt and pepper.  And now the last trick!  Pour the red wine over them, using enough so that they are all sitting in a little puddle of wine on the bottom of the pan.  Now place a sheet of tin foil LOOSELY over the top, and put them in the oven for 20 minutes.  The wine will literally steam its way through the Brussels sprouts, turning some sides purple, and bringing a tangy sweetness to the whole situation that will really rock your world.

Last step: after the 20 minutes, remove the sheet of tin foil but leave the pan in the oven for another 5-10 minutes, so they all crisp-up a bit.  (You’ll see the wine is long gone, except for a little goo on the bottom of the pan.)  And then…

SERVE and ENJOY!  We had these with the grilled asparagus and turkey meatloaf burgers the other night.  They make a fantastic and very healthy side dish that will surprise people and help spread the Brussels Sprouts Gospel!  Your friends’ll be like, “Really?!?!  You’re serving me Brussels sprouts?!?”  And you’ll be like, “Oh man, you gotta try it.  This Punky Chef chick told me about them and they’re like a sex pistol in your mouth!”  Or maybe you won’t be like that, but whatever.  Just eat these.

VARIATIONS:
The type of wine and the temperature are somewhat variable on this, too.  Try them at 450º or even 525º for only 15 minutes for a crispier, crunchier texture.  And as far as the wine thing goes, I first made them with Shiraz, which is a slightly sweeter flavor than the drier Cabernet I made them with the second time – it’s really up to you.  Just make sure, as my all-time cooking idol
INA GARTEN always says, make sure you use a wine to cook with that you would also want to DRINK – why would you go substandard just because it’s mixing with your meal OUTSIDE your body instead of INSIDE.  Am I right?  Can I get a HELL YEAH? 

wuv,
Sam 

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