And speaking of food - man did I do something good last night - if you like Brussels sprouts. Maybe even if you don't like them. Me? I love them - but after having fresh ones last night - I can see how the frozen ones are substandard - and if I were going to introduce someone to this vegetable, I think I'd make sure their first taste was of fresh ones.
One thing I never see mentioned when people talk about disliking the sprout is any reference to the role genetics plays. Seriously! Did you know that? Why do I seem to be the only person who was listening to their professor in Anthropology 101 back in the dark ages. Well anyway - your genetics can influence the way your taste receptors interpret "bitter". If you are the (un)lucky recipient do to events beyond your control - there is nothing I can do to make brussels sprouts taste better to you. Indeed, I am sad to admit defeat - but then, you can't argue with science can you?
So last week our grocery store had a special on fresh sprouts. 2 bags/$3.00 - which really IS a great deal. And of course, they're on special 'cause Brussles Sprouts are a fall food. For Heather, fall means "spiced desserts" - like muffins (pumpkin or apple spice) and Pumpkin Spiced Creme drinks. What is "fall food" for you?
Taste of Fall:
Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Orecchiette Pasta
2 lbs fresh Brussels Sprouts (trimmed, cut in half)
1/8 cup Olive Oil (or bacon/pancetta grease)
Kosher/Sea Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper
4 garlic cloves peeled, smashed or whole
1/4 cup diced ham or cooked & crumbled bacon or crispy pancetta
1 lbs cooked Orecchiette (reserve 1/2 cup pasta water)
1/4-1/2 cup Pecorino cheese
Preheat over 425-450 degrees
(If you don't have leftover cooked ham on hand)
Fry bacon/pancetta - remove from pan to drain. Save grease!
Cut B'sprouts in half - THEN cut off stem. (Cutting in half and then chopping off the stem should take care of needing to peel off the lose outer leaves - and save you LOTS of prep time.)
Place b'sprouts in bowl - drizzle with olive (pig) oil. Toss/mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add garlic cloves - and mix one more time.
Pour onto baking sheet - turn all cut sides down.
Place in oven - cook 30-45 minutes until tender. (I'd check after 25 minutes. Some edges will get brown/papery and others will caramelize. You want this to happen. Which is why frozen will never work in this recipe - too much moisture.)
For last 5 minutes of b'sprout cooking add pork product.
Start well salted water boiling for pasta. Cook pasta (about 10-12 minutes or until al dente.)
Remove 3/4 cup pasta water.
Drain pasta - return to pot. Remove b'sprouts from oven - remove roasted garlic and set aside.
Add b'sprouts/pig product to pasta. Smash garlic into paste. Add teaspoon (or two) of pasta water to create liquidy paste.
Dump garlic smash into pasta/b'sprout mixute.
Add small amount (1/8 cup) of pasta water - stir vigorously 1 minute. Look to see if there is any sauce. Keep adding water and stirring until sauce appears.
Mix in cheese - taste for salt/pepper.
Serve in warm bowls.
Suggested additions: fresh ground nutmeg/no garlic; red pepper flakes (no nutmeg); buttered/toasted fresh breadcrumbs.
I got my "business plan" for the career search done yesterday. It felt good to set goals. I also added in non-career goals (write 500 new words day (these don't count), read one chapter of the Bible, exercise, house cleaning chore & yard work chore each day.)
NO WONDER I don't ever feel like I'm getting anything done! Holy Moses! When I put it in a schedule - and then start assigning time frames??? It is looking like too much to get done in 8 hours. Which is kind of good news. That means I have DEADLINES - and that will keep me from straying down the evil path of procrastination.
It also means next week I will return to getting up around 5:00-5:30 am - AND we're moving our walking time up. An hour of exercise that doesn't finish until 8:30 just RUINS the morning. (If you're a morning person, that is!)
And I've now spent far too long on my daily post - so I better skedaddle - Happy Food Wednesday everyone!