Mean green

Posted on | Saturday, January 22, 2011 | 1 Comment

As a kid you couldn't get me to eat a Brussels sprout if you tried. They would sit on my plate uneaten, looking like a bitter tasting bright green eyeball. Or so I thought. As an adult I've maintained a moderate phobia of this miniature cabbage, avoiding the vegetable if at all possible. But as I have learned to cook I've discovered there are a lot of foods I never tried in my youth that are really delicious. So I took a deep breath and added a container of them to my shopping cart this week.

Apparently there are a lot of ways to cook these guys. Who knew? You can cook them in butter, with brown sugar, sauteed, boiled, fried, roasted, grilled, in a salad, as a side, as an entrée... I was a little bit bamboozled as I looked for a recipe. I thought the best option would be a side, one that didn't make them taste like bitter mooshy blobs. According to the internet sauteing with a little bit of brown sugar and mixed with either caramelized onions or pecans was the way to go.

I didn't have any onions, but I did have a surplus of pecans. Bingo!

I started off with a container pre-packaged sprouts, a store across town has them on their stem but since I didn't even know if I'd like Brussels sprouts I went with the easiest route. According to the back of the package you are supposed to rinse them and take off any loose leaves (they do call them leaves, right?) and the stumpy bit at the end. Not sure why, but I am assuming they taste gross.

I was ridiculously excited over finally having the opportunity to use my steamer. I've used the large pot that comes with it loads of times for pastas, soups, and the like; but I haven't used the steamer before. It was an exhilarating experience. And their color turned into a bright luscious green after being steamed.

While the green guys were in their sauna I took out my biggest skillet and went about sauteing the pecans with a bit oil, butter and brown sugar until they turned a pretty shade of brown and smelled like heaven. Can I say it was almost painful not eating candied pecans as I waited for the Brussels to finish cooking? Because it was.

I took the sprouts out of the streamer before they were finished steaming and transfered them to the skillet for a few minutes until they became slightly golden and were coated in the oil mixture. And tada! Gorgeously cooked Brussels sprouts! And amazingly they tasted good.

The entire experiment with miniature cabbages has made me wonder why I had always heard such awful things about Brussels sprouts. Or better yet, why I was so adamantly terrified of them as a child. They had been put on the disgusting list with things like canned sardines (I refuse to eat anything that has a spine in it upon serving, ew) for so long that I didn't even take the time to see if I liked them. True they are a bit bitter and I think if they were just steamed -- or heaven forbid boiled -- without adding something extra I wouldn't like them all that much. But as it stands they aren't the mean green vegetable I have pegged them to be for two decades.

I even have left overs in my fridge to munch on tomorrow. Yum.


One Response to “Mean green”

  1. --Sharon
    January 22, 2011 at 7:58 PM

    You trim off the end because it's tough. And, if you have a choice (which you rarely do), smaller sprouts are more tender than larger ones.

    I made some for Christmas dinner. Sauteed diced bacon, browned the sprouts in the bacon drippings, added chicken stock to finish cooking the sprouts and when they were done I tossed in some raisins and the bacon. Yum.

    Pecans are divine. :)


Photobucket I was born and raised in California. I have also lived in Hungary, Texas, Alabama, Oklahoma, and I will be moving again this summer. Kael is my incredibly awesome kiddo who is growing up far too quickly, and Alex is my fiance who makes me happier than should be legally allowed. I write about them a lot. I'm mildly obsessed with cooking and photography. I write about those things, too.