Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Megastore recommends.

more of a diagram, really.
1. A really good recipe. I was cooking a special dinner tonight, and I thought about delving into the deep dark recesses of my cookbooks or the internets for a new swell recipe. Instead, I retrieved an old recipe that I had already tried, a good one. The people: tried and true is a good way to go, sometimes at least. You may even remember some tips and tricks from your previous go-round with said recipe. On the other hand, you may not remember anything about the recipe besides (a) it was good and (b) you once made it. Today fell into the latter camp. In fact, I'm pretty sure that when I made it the first time, I substituted mushrooms for eggplant. This time, I was going to do the same, because eggplant in November? But when I went to the store, there one was, glossy and purple, so I split the difference and used mushrooms and eggplant. Either way, it was good and it was satisfying, and it has two points at this moment in the All-Time Good Recipe derby, which is more than I can say for certain recipes hanging around my recipe file.

look like tiny skulls? not in real life.
2. Brussels sprouts. You know how people speak of the sprout, sometimes, in derisive terms? Call it cabbage-y (which, technically, it totally is) and in general impugn its flavor, ethos, and all-around good character? I am here to tell you that brussels sprouts are pretty much my new favorite vegetable. Broccoli was my old favorite vegetable, and it held that position for so long I can't even believe it--from the time I was a child! I think this speaks more to my loyalty than to my lack of imagination. But right, back to the sprouts: when I roasted them for the first time, that was the moment I began to love them. Up till then, I liked them, but they did not inspire devotion until the roasting, during which they caramelize. They take on a deep, resonant flavor. They love a little slivered garlic up in there during the roasting. Don't stint on the sea salt. So good! So very very good!
We texted all the things.

3. Breakfast with your sister. My sister texted me early this week:
Dear sister, I will be killing time in Sandy on Saturday, November 17 from 8:30-10:30. I request a breakfast rendezvous. Please note that if you are out of town or otherwise engaged I shall be forced to give up. Respectfully, your sister.
Well, (a) I don't want to be responsible for a sister of mine "giving up," not in any sense of that term. And (b) breakfast is good! So we rendezvous'd and had a great time at the crack of 9 a.m., which I think we can all agree is a civilized hour for a Saturday breakfast and a long chat with a beloved. I highly recommend it.

6 comments:

Amelia said...

How lucky to have a sister lunch. I need me one of those big style!

Nik said...

Brussel sprouts are my favorite. Deep fried is best but only a restaurant is that crazy. Butter sautéed is also good. Now, I will try the roasting.

Ann said...

Excellent recommendations, HTMS.

Re Brussels sprouts: I LOVE THEM. I am taking marinated Brussels sprouts to our family Thanksgiving dinner, although (since it's Ken's side of the family) I will probably be the only one eating them. Which is even more awesome than sharing Brussels sprouts with loved ones.

Kristen said...

Re: Brussels sprouts: I've always assumed that I don't like them because I've never really had them prepared in a way that wasn't gross. They always seem to be bitter. Is the bitterness an innate character of the sprout that I should embrace as an Adult trying to have a Refined Palate? Or have all of my sprout encounters been unfortunately produced?

Lisa B. said...

Kristen: I say roast them. You can go for the high heat (like 425) or a more moderate (325). I like them when they're caramelized on the outside and soft (but not mushy!) on the inside. I generally douse them in olive oil and cut up a couple of cloves of garlic to roast with them. And lots of salt and pepper. And then they are divine, after 20-30 min. in the oven. They don't taste bitter at all to me--I wonder if you tried them this way, what you'd think. If you do try them, let me know. (p.s., if you have leftovers, they are excellent with pasta or in a frittata.)

Also: I have separated them into leaves and gently pan-roasted them on the stovetop, with similar accoutrements. Also lovely.

Somehow I feel passionate about the notion that you must have good brussels sprouts!

Lisa B. said...

p.s., I meant 375, not 325. 325 is too slow an oven.

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