Last night, I made the most awesome-smelling foodstuff I have ever made - a kind of garlic-basil pesto, which came about when I filled my mini-food-processor (YES I have 2 food processors. I got this little one, a cuisineart mini-prep, for making baby food; my brother gave me its big sister for Christmas a couple years ago.) Anyway, whiz up about 10 cloves of garlic, peeled, a big handful of basil leaves (I buy the fresh and keep them in the freezer). about a tablespoon of sea salt, about a teaspoon of peppercorns, and once all that dry stuff is chopped up, drizzle in 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil. It makes a thick, chunky pale green paste that smells better than any other food item I have ever made.
I made this to stuff into slits in a pork shoulder, before I unwrapped the pork shoulder and found that it was, um, had been in our fridge wayyy tooooo loooong. Geh! So now I have this little bowl of astounding yumminess and no meat to season with it. And...scene.
Well, tonight, after putting the adorable child to bed, I came down to the kitchen to hunt for some food. I was pleased to find some Brussels sprouts. Oh, how I love Brussels sprouts! And incidentally, that bag of sprouts had been in the fridge even longer than the pork shoulder had. But sprouts survive much better than The Other White Meat. Believe me.
So here's something really good to do with Brussels sprouts.
Wash and clear the gross-looking outer leaves from some sprouts - how much? Oh, I don't know, like 3 cups? Anyway, clean your sprouts, cut the stem ends off, and quarter each one.
Heat up a cast-iron skillet over high heat. Reduce the heat a bit (say from 10 to 8) and film the skillet with olive oil. Let that heat up for about a minute, and drop in a tablespoon or so of the chopped garlic stuff.
Stir it around, and drop in the sprouts. Leave them undisturbed for a minute or two, maybe pressing down on them with your spatula, to brown them. Stir, cook, press. Stir, cook, press. Once things are a showing a little brown, pour in a half-cup of water and cover the pan.
Stir occasionally. Cook until you can pierce the sprouts with a fork with a little effort. Remove the lid and keep cooking until the water evaporates. Sprinkle with a little salt and a little grated Parmesan.
I wouldn't even know I liked Brussels sprouts if not for Heidi Swanson's Golden Crusted Brussels Sprouts recipe on 101 Cookbooks. I love the photography on her site, and every recipe I've ever tried from it has been great.