I don’t like to brag (well maybe I do), but Sunday night I quite possibly made one of my BEST Sunday afternoon comfort meals. I served a spinach salad with goat cheese and blood oranges topped with a blood orange vinaigrette. The main course consisted of roast turkey, caramelized Brussels sprouts, fluffy yeast rolls. I rounded off the meal with homemade chocolate mousse for dessert. The husband said the whole meal was like a treat. I was so proud!
So that this whole post won’t just be about me and my fabulous meal, I will share a few recipes. About a month ago I was given the opportunity to write an article for a local magazine on a home cook with a passion for good food. I was introduced to Holly and Bucky Crystal, a fun couple with good taste in music and an even better taste in food. I’m sure it was nerve-wracking to invite a complete stranger (and her husband who begged for days to be invited) into your house, feed them dinner, let them photograph you and your meal, and then hope they write a positive story on you. Don’t worry Holly, I did!
The Crystal’s also have good taste in wine. At least that’s what I hear. It’s not like I could actually have any, but dear sweet husband made sure I knew what I was missing.
The one recipe I made her turn over to me (as in I twisted her arm until she yelled “Uncle!”) was for roasted Brussels sprouts with caramelized shallots. Brussels sprouts and I have had an ongoing battle. I’ve tried preparing them before with high hopes. They are something different from the run of the mill peas or corn or green beans. They are cute. And they just look sophisticated. I’ve tried braising, I’ve tried roasting, I’ve tried everything and they always ended up completely unpalatable and destined for the trash.
Holly roasts her Brussels sprouts with a little bacon (Bacon makes everything better, doesn’t it?), shallots, brown sugar, and vermouth. They come out tasting slightly sweet, a little tangy, and not at all like little cabbages.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Caramelized Shallots
- 1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts halved
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 shallot thinly sliced shallots
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 ounce finely chopped bacon or pancetta
- 4 teaspoons brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons vermouth or cider vinegar
- Serves 4-6
Preheat oven to 400°.
Arrange Brussels sprouts on a jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray. Drizzle with oil; toss to coat. Bake for 15 minutes.
Add shallots, pepper, salt, and bacon or pancetta to pan; toss well. Return to oven and bake for 10 more minutes.
Mix together sugar and vermouth until sugar is dissolved. Pour over Brussels sprouts and toss to coat. Bake an additional 10 minutes or until caramelized.