This is the reason I watch Good Eats.
Okay, that’s not really accurate. I also watch it because it’s entertaining and I like learning. So let me rephrase that: this is how watching Good Eats pays off in tasty, healthy ways.
I wanted to make beets the other night, but Chris couldn’t find any fresh beets at the grocery store. What he did find was Brussels sprouts on the stalk, and, remembering that Alton said that’s the best time to get them, he picked them up. And, not quite remembering how to store them and how he recommended cooking them, I went back and watched the episode to get the low-down on this little cabbage. I then used inspiration from Alton’s show (and the recipe we made before that was so tasty) and combined it with the best preparation of Brussels sprouts that I’ve ever had, a fried sprout with bacon and balsamic glaze at Root 174. I tried to recreate it–and while I was only partially successful in duplicating it, I did come up with a pretty tasty side dish!
Yesterday, I was feeling adventurous, so during my trip down the street to the grocery store, I picked up two pomegranates. And then I went back and watched Alton’s episode on them to refresh my memory on how in the world I was supposed to get to the edible bits. (They were delicious, by the way. Every time I walked by the kitchen while they were drying on the counter, I ate another handful. And another. And I’m looking forward to a bowlful at lunch today.) I like feeling handy in the kitchen. And I like feeling that, even with an infant and a minimal amount of time/flexibility to cook right now, I’ve still “got it.”
Here’s my Brussels sprouts preparation:
- Cut sprouts off of stalk, if necessary. Trim the end so it’s a perfect little sphere, then peel off any leaves that are brown, withered, etc. Cut in half.
- Put the sprouts and 1/2 to 1 cup of water in a pot (Alton recommends 1/2 for 1 pound of sprouts). Cook over high heat so that the water boils for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, drain. (This can be done ahead of time–like, during the morning when the little one is more amenable to being worn in her wrap.)
- When you’re ready to cook the sprouts, cut 3-6 rashers of bacon into small pieces. Cook over medium-high heat until crispy. Remove bacon from pan and set aside; drain some of the drippings, leaving about 2-3 Tbsp in the pan.
- Return the pan to the heat. Toss in sprouts, cooking 5-10 minutes or until the sides are browning (and, ideally, a little crisp).
- Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and toss with the reserved bacon. Serve immediately.