December 26, 2011
When Nick was little, Brussels Sprouts were the only vegetable he would eat. I’ve never really understood why, but as a consequence I’ve cooked them in every conceivable fashion. (The one way he hated them – still does – is boiled.)
A couple of days ago I needed a quick dinner after a movie. Before we left, I put some big potatoes into a slow oven to bake, washed and shredded a few handfuls of Brussels Sprouts, until they were nothing but ribbons, and diced an onion. Just before walking out the door I put some locally-raised lamb chops on the counter to come to room temperature.
When I came home I checked the potatoes; they were soft, pliant and quite perfect. I tossed the diced onion into a pan with a glug of grapeseed oil, a smashed clove of garlic and waited until they become almost impossibly fragrant. Then I added salt and pepper, some chile pepper flakes and a few generous tablespoons of miso. Finally I added the shredded sprouts and tossed them about.
While the sprouts cooked I salted the chops and threw then into a hot pan, cooking them until they were really crisp on the outside, but still bright pink within. When they were ready I sprinkled some Vietnamese fish sauce into the sprouts, adding a final layer of flavor.
It was a wonderful meal: crisp lamb chops, potatoes baked almost to the melting point with sweet butter, and those sweet, salty spicy Brussels Sprouts. Even Michael, who has no love for either lamb or Brussels Sprouts, had seconds.
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