Sunday, January 31, 2010

An Appreciation for New Tastes
I’m sure we all remember our parents’ well-meaning efforts to get us to expand our
culinary horizons as we were growing up.
Liver and onions?
Beef heart?
Pork and Saur kraut?
Stewed tomatoes and bread?
Canned spinach with vinegar?
Hm, guess my parents weren’t very successful with me at the time.
On the other hand,
they ended up being successful far beyond their wildest dreams as I did eventually learn on my own to embrace the new and unusual in food tastes and textures.
As I have grown older I have actively sought to expand my culinary horizons.
That has meant trying new ethnic restaurants in our Big 10 college town
as well as many new dishes.
Now, there are certain foods that I have decided
that I just don't like and don't have to like.
Foods such as saur kraut,
sushi (I just can't stand nori),
cooked spinach,
ham and bean soup,
chili with beans
(notice a trend here? I admit it, I really don't like beans),
and I'm sure that there are others that escape my grasp at the moment.
One food that I have tried in the past and really haven't liked is Brussels sprouts.
But this has been one food that I have been determined to conquer as I could sense that it had potential, if just given the chance.
I have, of course, blogged about Brussels sprouts before,
but I still felt that there was room for improvement.

My mise en place consists of
4 Brussels sprouts
2 slices bacon, cut into lardons
1 teaspoon sugar
1 pinch kosher salt
1 dash ground black pepper.

I had earlier discovered that separating the leaves of
the Brussels sprouts makes for a dish that is more palatable to me as this allows more of the sprout to be caramelized.

This takes some time, so I typically do this in the afternoon.

In fact, I often take the sprouts, a cutting board, a paring knife and a bowl

into the library so I can work on the sprouts at my desk while I watch the Food Network.

Once it is time to cook the dish, I first brown the bacon before adding
the Brussels sprouts leaves.

Then the seasonings are tossed in and
the Brussels spouts are caramelized.

All in all, this is a very quick and easy dish to prepare.
Of course, if you wish, you can simply cut each sprout in half before sauteing.

These sprouts were the perfect accompaniment to
Mustard Beef Short Ribs and homemade applesauce.

And the addition of the sugar was just what was needed to make this dish even better.


Rosie Hawthorne said...

What? You didn't leave a few raw sprouts on your plate like Melissa d"Arabian?

Marilyn said...

Face*palm. Uh, no. I think I'll pass on that one.