Booze & Brussels Sprouts

Is there any small child out there, say under the age of 7 who actually enjoys the brussels sprout?

The brussels sprout appeared on our dinner table quite often when I was a child. I believe, like the potato and smoked eel, the brussels sprout is one of the foods of my people. So much the worse for me as a kid. My hatred of the brussels sprout was epic. In my household the brussels sprout was boiled within every inch of its life so that it would emerge from the pot all nasty, mushy and cabbagey. And cooked brussels sprouts smell like farts. It’s a medical fact. As sophomoric as that statement may be. What small child wants to eat something that smells like a fart?!

Barnyard. Wet Dog. Farts.

As an adult I have completely changed my tune. My palate has become more sophisticated. Apparently as you get older you start enjoying foods and wines that smell like barnyard, wet dog and farts. Is that really more sophisticated?

For the record farts will always be funny. I don’t care how old you are or how urbane you may think you are. Farts are funny. And while I still think cooked brussels sprouts still smell like farts I can’t get enough of them. Roasted, shaved in a salad, with a drizzle of a balsamic vinaigrette. Give me more brussels sprouts. Now.

My Love of the Sprout

I have to admit I’ve been in a bit of a brussels sprout rut. Tossing quartered brussels sprouts with olive oil, balsamic and salt, roasting them in the oven for about 30 minutes. Done. While quite delicious hot or cold, I thought perhaps I should up my game. So of course when I came across a recipe for brussels sprouts involving wine my search for the perfect recipe was over. Booze and brussels sprouts. While a seemingly unlikely combination…it somehow works on so many delicious levels.

You know I’m going to somehow find a way to add some type of alcohol to essentially anything I make. This is just the beginning. It will just take time to find the perfect recipes. If you will recall the Bourbon Rice Krispie treat. Complete perfection! I’m on my way!

What’s awesome is that you probably already have all these ingredients in your pantry/fridge. Unless of course you drank all the white wine and need to stock up.

Brussels Sprouts with Pine Nuts and Thyme

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 pound brussels sprouts, stems trimmed and sprouts halved
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts (I have these in my freezer at all times. Buy a boatload at Trader Joe’s. Toast them over low heat. Toss them in a freezer bag or whatever. Roasted pine nuts at your disposal.)
  • 1 sprig thyme, leaves stripped (while I would love to be authentic and use an actual sprig of thyme, I’m not buying an entire package of fresh time for one lousy sprig! dried will have to do.) 
  • Freshly grated Parmesan
  1. Warm the olive oil in a large pan over medium-low heat, add the garlic and let flavor the oil for 3 to 5 minutes without allowing the garlic to caramelize.
  2. Lightly salt and pepper the brussels sprouts in a bowl and toss.
  3. Add brussels sprouts, cut side down into the pan. Increase to medium heat. Add the wine and immediately cover for 10 to 15 minutes without disturbing the sprouts. (there will be no disruption of the sprouts!)
  4. Remove the lid and increase heat to medium high heat. When the liquids have evaporated, sprinkle the pine nuts over the top and add the thyme.
  5. Brown the sprouts, leaving them cut side down and then toss over high heat until the nuts and uncut sides of the sprouts have been slightly toasted, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add additional salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Serve while warm. Top with Parmesan if desired

Enjoy! Until next time Moose out.

Once again this fab recipe is brought to you by the wonderful people at Food52.

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