The other afternoon, in the supermarket, I performed an unmitigated act of bravery. Out of nowhere, just like that, without any sort of provocation...I bought an entire pound bag of brussel sprouts. What the hell, right? We're all adults here, there's no need to continue to subscribe to these childish fears about health food, or to put any more stock in that old playtime-preventing adage of "not until your plate is clean". I strutted home with my bag of brussel sprouts cast jauntily over one shoulder, prepared to face my demons. I felt a courageous warrior! Once back in my apartment, it only took a few minutes of fast research to find that there are endless methods of sprout preparation aside from the notoriously odorous classic called "steaming". I started off tentatively, using a recipe found at 101 Cookbooks. (I'm not ashamed to admit that I cooked this recipe simply because of the enticing titular use of the phrase "golden-crusted".) The results were a rousing success! My sprouts were transformed into the most tender and satisfying of treats; they were even a little crunchy where they were brownest. Encouraged, I tried again...this time upgrading them from side-dish to front-and-center superstars. The result: Cider Sprouts! They can be made as follows:
You Will Need:
1 Cup Apple Cider
Salt/Pepper to taste
1 Med. Onion
1 Golden Delicious Apple
2 tbs. Olive Oil
Prep the brussel sprouts beforehand by washing them, removing the stems, and slicing each one down the middle. This is also a good time to dice the onion and the apple. Once your food is prepped, heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over med heat. When it's nice and crackling, throw in the onion and the apple and let them sautee for about five minutes. Once they've had a chance to cook down a bit, add the brussel sprouts. Sautee the whole mess for at least 3-4 minutes. Make sure the sprouts are fully coated in oil before tossing in the apple cider. Cover the pan and let the whole bonanza stew for about twenty minutes, or until the brussel sprouts are soft enough to be pierced easily by a fork. Use a slotted spoon to remove the goodies from the juice, and serve warm.
PS: The beauty of this little beast of a French recipe is that the leftovers taste almost better than the original dish. Just save the juices and let the sprouts marinate in them while they wait to be rediscovered. (You know how I feel about left-overs...)
PS Part Two: I also tackled this dish with my Mom, which is partially (entirely?!) responsible for why I enjoyed it so much. Nothing's better than Mom!