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I am a very lucky woman with a husband and son who are smart, witty and entertaining. Our son, B, attended public school for two years, and then we embarked on a new adventure in the Fall of 2010 - homeschooling. We don't have all the answers, but we know B and this has been the best thing for him. I blog to preserve our stories and our memories, share recipes, vent and ramble on about our crazy, yet blessed, life. Would you care to follow along?

Friday, January 27, 2012

Brussel Sprouts Have a Bad Rap

Aren't they beautiful??
Poor Brussel Sprouts.  Poor, poor Brussel Sprouts.  Why do so many people hate you?  Most of those drinking the haterade haven't even tried you and, sadly, never will.  *tsk, tsk*  They're missing out, my friend.  We haven't be friends long, but I intend to make up for that by spreading the word about you.  It's OK; you're safe here.  Nothing but love in our house...

I had Brussel Sprouts for the 1st time last year.  The Wegmas near us has a cooking station in the produce dept. and every weekend the same wonderful chef is there cooking and serving up a vegetable or fruit.  And not your mainstream produce: no green beans, potatoes or apples.  Always the less utilized: patty-pan squash, exotic mushrooms and brussel sprouts.  When I saw the brussel sprouts I was so excited.  I'd always wanted to try them and they looked so delicious.  How can you go wrong with a roasted vegetable?  I took a cup and fork and sniffed.  They don't smell bad.  I hesitantly put a sprout quarter in my mouth.  OK, not instant ick.  I moved it off my tongue and started to chew.  It's not slimy!  OMG, this tastes awesome!  I was so excited, that I poured the rest of the cup in my mouth and grabbed another one to share with my mens.  My face was all lit up like it was Christmas morning of my 5th year.  "You guys have got to try these!  There's awesome!"

The hubs scrunched his face up as if he'd caught a whiff of a rotten diaper.  "No thanks," he said.  "I was forced enough to eat those nasty things as a child and I'll never eat them again."  Nice.  Thanks for setting such a good example for our son.  God bless B, I think he tried them only b/c he didn't want to disappoint me since I was so excited.  Fortunately, he loved them, too.  I grabbed a pound and put them in the cart.  "Just so we're clear, I'm not eating them," said the hubs.  "More for us," said B.

I've made brussel sprouts at least a couple of times a month since then and each time I would offer some to the hubs.  "No, thank you," he would reply.  However, for some reason, he decided to pop one in his mouth behind my back during the holidays and he got quite a shock - these were not his mother's brussel sprouts.  And he loved them.  When we were kids, brussel sprouts were sold in the freezer aisle and, like most veggies back then, they were boiled.  That's why they were slimy, smelly and, served without anything on them, tasted bad.

But not Wegmans brussel sprouts.  Oh, no.  I got the secret and I'm sharing it with all y'all because not only do I care about you, but also I want to rid brussel sprouts of their bad rap.  So, here's the secret to the beautiful vegetable pictured, above:

  1. Pick off a couple of the outer leaves
  2. Wash and dry them
  3. Cut a thin slice off the bottom of the stems
  4. Half each sprout
  5. Toss in Wegmans Basting Oil
  6. Pour out onto a baking sheet in a single layer
  7. Sprinkle with kosher or sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  8. Roast at 350 for 30 minutes, turning once.
Now, I am allergic to olive oil so I cook with Wegmans Basting Oil.  You can substitute it with olive oil and any other spices or herbs you like.  I like that the basting oil is all flavored up for me.  

I usually cook 1-2 pounds at a time and we've never had leftovers.  They're like sweet potato fries; you snack on them the rest of the night and they're gone!  However, this morning I roasted the above batch and pan-fried some pork chops for dinner.  I took some to work with me in my favorite Tupperware. During my dinner break, I popped my container in one of the cafeteria's microwaves and dashed into the little on-site convenience store for a Pepsi before they closed.  As I took my dinner out of the microwave and walked over to a table I thought, "Oh, my. Someone's dinner smells bad!"  As I shook my head at the "poor soul" with the stinky dinner, I removed the lid from my microwaved container and it hit me.  I was the poor soul.  LOL!  It was the 1st time I'd ever reheated brussel sprouts and I learned a good lesson.  Good thing I wasn't in the small break room.  I would have been stoned!  The smell was not really that bad.  Once the lid was off, it dissipated quickly and they still tasted great soggy.

So, please give brussel sprouts a try.  You'll be surprised!  If you want, you can come over and I'll even cook them for you.

3 comments:

  1. I'm sold. I'm going to get me some brussel sprouts and Wegmans basting oil! lol I don't need the oil but when believing someone's reviews I must follow to a tee so I know what they are talking about. I'll let you know how I likes them. ;-)

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  2. A friend informed me that the proper name is Brussels Sprouts, not Brussel Sprouts. I thought about editing my post and correcting the spelling throughout, but decided against it. Life isn't always spelled correctly, especially not mine, so I will leave it as it is. Like me - imperfect.

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  3. I love them too! don't remember having them growing up, but made a batch of them for a holiday dinner at my parents & they were a hit.

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