2005: TABLE TALK: The Father: [Sniffs. Pokes plate with fork. Stabs a sprout. Takes tiny bite. Speaks with plaintive voice.] "Your mother used to put cheese on these so I would eat them." The Cook: [laughing] "Would eat them? Or could eat them?"
My poor old dad. If I'd known about his lack of appreciation for Brussels sprouts, at least I'd have made a batch with a better chance of changing his mind. I've been binge-ing on fresh Brussels sprouts; the only downside is the time required to clean and trim, 15 - 20 minutes per pound. So tonight I tried frozen Brussels sprouts, thawing them for a few hours so they could be cut in half before roasting (this is a good trick!) and then, since I was being sparing anyway, tossed with no oil, just mustard and garlic and malt vinegar.
Did my Dad eat them without cheese? He did. Did he go for seconds? No surprise, he didn't. But me, I was some impressed by the frozen sprouts and will definitely return to them. The texture is good, the flavor is good, the size is good. The convenience is perfect.
2008: I roasted fresh Brussels sprouts tossed in nothing more than olive oil and salt and pepper -- delicious!
IMPORTANT: If you've ever wondered about how long to roast Brussels sprouts, take heed. So many recipes call for roasting them at 45 minutes at 450F. I've done that -- and it's lucky the house didn't burn down for the sprouts burned to nothing. I suspect that the issue is oil: the less oil, the shorter the cooking time, the more oil, the longer food can sustain high heat.
OPTION ONE (2005): RECIPE for ROASTED BRUSSELS SPROUTS using FROZEN BRUSSELS SPROUTS
Time to table: 50 minutes
1 tablespoon good mustard
1/2 tablespoon garlic
Splash of malt vinegar
16 ounce bag frozen Brussels sprouts, thawed, sprouts halved length-wise
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400F. Whisk the mustard, garlic and vinegar in a medium bowl. Add the Brussels sprouts and stir very well to fully coat. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes, turning after 20 minutes.
RECIPE for OPTION TWO (2008): ROASTED BRUSSELS SPROUTS for FRESH BRUSSELS SPROUTS
Time to table: 40 minutes
1 pound fresh Brussels sprouts, trimmed & halved
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400F. Toss the Brussels sprouts, oil, salt and pepper til all surfaces are coated. (I do this in a bowl with a spatula, otherwise it's hard to really toss these guys with so little oil.) Arrange on a baking sheet cut-side down. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes.
~ Lemony Creamy Brussels Sprouts ~
~ Brussels Sprouts with Maple Walnut Vinaigrette ~
~ Brussels Sprouts Gratin ~
~ more Brussels sprouts recipes ~