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My Sprouts Bring all the Boys to the Yard


Proving the 7 year old me was wrong one sprout at a time.

As a kid, I absolutely loathed Brussels sprouts. Let's be honest, a plate full of those round balls of childhood loathing is akin to a plate of armadillo kidneys. I just could not would not support them in any measure. If that phobia has followed you into adulthood, I'm not here to tell you that you are wrong. But, you are wrong.


Let me begin with my vegetable philosophy. I always expend most of my cooking efforts on the main course. I'll take an hour or two make a good lasagna or meatloaf. Yet, I'll bemoan the time it takes to open, properly moisten and nuke any variety of frozen vegetables. I'm not opposed to vegetables. Nor do I believe it is impossible to imbue said vegetable with awesomeness. I’m just saying with a lot more effort I can coax a little bit more flavor. Normally, in our culinary befuddlement, it's not worth the dirty dishes.


This rule does not apply to corn or potatoes. Those I will put a fair amount of extra dirty dishes into - finding I receive a much larger bang.


For the rest, I find that other vegetables are required to sustain life. I can boil an edible green bean, carrot or piece of asparagus. I can steam and get a decent bite. Both methods are simple and yield passable stuff.


As an example, when initially courting, you pull out all the stops to be the impressive little peacock to which you endeavor. After time, that all ends. You become happy with the simpler pleasures. You no longer have to spend every night dancing. You do still have open doors and carry all the heavy stuff at the mall.


I require internet, beer and a life of leisure far more than I require bean almandine. I go out to eat where incredible, well trained chef’s make amazing dishes for me to sample. I cook at home because it's quick, decent, simple and cheap. I'm a good cook. I'm not a great cook. Neither are you. We know our limitations. Cook within those boundaries.


AND YET


All give thanks to the child-bane, leisure granting Brussels sprout. Now, I've said I won't put much effort into vegetables. Really good Brussels sprouts take no effort. Here we go:


Get a couple of handfuls of fresh Brussels sprouts. They can be kept in the fridge a couple of weeks. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Rinse Brussels. Cut off the ends like you would the stalk of a head of lettuce. Not the round part, the flat end. Place them in a cast iron skillet. Toss with olive oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Bake for 25 minutes, stirring every 10.


That's it. I always add a plus one to the party before cooking. Today, it was garlic powder. You can use balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, bacon…whatever. You'll see little blackened leaves in the skillet. That's ok. Those are fantastic. Again, you can get more involved sprouts in a nice restaurant. Don't hesitate to try those. We're at home. Go easy. Drink a beer, pet your dog, put your feet up. Our work is done here.


My sprouts bring all the boys to the yard. And my sprouts are better than yours. Damn right they're better than yours. I could teach you, but I'd have to charge.

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