Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Brussels Sprouts Breakthrough

Part of the reason it took me so long to learn how to cook is that I was such a picky eater. Why bother cooking when I didn't like the finished result?

As a kid, I somehow managed to survive on plain pasta, candy, and the occasional fried chicken. I don't think I ate a vegetable until I was in my 20s (don't tell my kids).

It wasn't until fairly recently that I began to notice that my taste buds had changed. I am still mad for chocolate (although now I prefer dark over milk), but in general, I favor savory over sweet.

Some credit for my expanding diet goes to Avo, who managed to cook vegetables in ways that made them taste delicious. Sorry, mom, but the canned peas you served me as a kid were pretty nasty (ditto to the packaged mashed potatoes).

My parents are getting a real kick out of the fact that not only am I now eating vegetables, but I'm cooking them as well. Until recently, I never would have tried Brussels Sprouts, but last night, I whipped up a batch of roasted Brussels Sprouts without relying on a recipe.

Here's what I did:

1. Cut off the brown ends of about 1 lb. of Brussels Sprouts.
2. Chop Brussels Sprouts in half and toss them in a roasting pan
3. Pour in a few teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil
4. Sprinkle on a bit of freshly ground pepper and salt
5. Shake the pan to make sure the Sprouts were doused in oil
6. Roasted at 400 degrees (pre-heated, of course) for about 35-40 minutes or 'til they're nice and crispy.
7. Put them in a bowl and toss on some Balsamic Vinegar.

"These are better than my Brussels Sprouts!" Avo said after trying them. Now that's the ultimate compliment since I know how highly Avo thinks of his Brussels Sprouts.

I still need to work on meal planning. As good as the Brussels Sprouts were, roasted Brussels Sprouts alone do not make a meal.

If "Throw a Dinner Party" wins in the Undomesticated Me poll, I might serve Brussels Sprouts. But what else should I cook?


Bernie Bernstein said...

It's Me, Mom - Yeah, I know about the canned peas and the dried potato flakes. I wouldn't serve them now if you paid me. But, in the 70's and early 80's it was all about quick and easy. Remember the TV dinners? Yuch!

As for something to serve with the Brussels sprouts, how about a chicken dish? That is usually a hit. Just make sure all your guests eat chicken. I remember asking a friend if she and her husband ate garlic only to find out, after serving shrimp scampi, that they didn't eat shrimp. Well, you live and learn. There are scads of chicken dishes on line and I have a few I can share also.

Oh, and for those who might be interested, It's Me, Mom - uses Dad's byline of Bernie Bernstein. I've yet to enter my own account.

Bernie Bernstein said...

It's Me, Mom...again - On further reflection, I remembered that I had asked my friend if they ate shrimp (not garlic), and she replied that they did. It turned out that it was the butter that the scampi was cooked in that he wouldn't eat. In any event, it was not one of my better dinners. No biggie, I just never invited them for food again.