I decided, on a whim, to cook brussel sprouts because... you know what...there's no good second clause to this sentence. I didn't have a real because. I had never cooked them before, so when I passed them in the grocery aisle at their dirt cheap price and their nutritional facts starting running through my head, I slid those bad boys right in the cart.
Dresden, who is normally a very gracious companion on my culinary adventurers, looked at me and the sprouts with the sort of grieved horror (then resignation) normally reserved for unfortunate hospital waiting rooms. "I bet they're secretly delicious." He was unimpressed by my weak rhetoric.
So last night, we were snowed in and there was a distinct lack of easy dinner options in our fridge. I whipped out the sprouts. 20 minutes later, the picture is what I put on our plates. I caramelized them in 2 tbs of butter with an entire red onion, a healthy dose of cracked peppercorns, a little salt, and finished them with some drizzled balsamic. On the side, I served seedy whole grain bread (its delicious, full of pumpkin and sunflower seeds that leads the nuttiest, most robust trail through your palette) with roasted heads of garlic and herb (thyme, oregano, sage) butter. It was DELICIOUS!
Sprouts turned out to be one of my wiser decisions. OM NOM NOM!
I also received a helpful email from her with a link to an article about food label info. This was after a conversation in which I revealed that I neither knew the difference between trans fats and other fats or soluble or insoluble fiber, nor did I have any idea which ones I should care about, and which ones I should avoid. Ironically, she had called me the day before for help and advice on how to break this info down for the group of 24 five to eight year olds which she is teaching. I think she quickly came to realize I was not going to be the font of wisdom and experience she was hoping for.
It's a shame, cause if she had needed a good recipe for deep-fried Snickers bars, I could have totally hooked her up.