Rethink Your Brussel Sprouts

Standard

You don’t like Brussel sprouts, do you?  As a child, I didn’t like them either.  My mother would buy them frozen, them boil them (over cook them, really) in a little water, add salt, pepper and butter. Mushy and yucky!   However, as I’ve gotten older and developed my interest in food, I have rediscovered Brussel sprouts in a whole new way (same with cabbage, spinach and asparagus, but that’s for another post).  First of all, start with fresh not frozen sprouts.  This is important for texture as well as flavor.  It’s sold in the produce section, in 32 oz./2 lb. bags, but if you can’t find them, just buy two pounds of fresh, loose Brussel sprouts.  After washing, cut off the bottoms and cut into quarters then proceed as follows:

  • In a skillet, melt 1 tbsp. butter  and 1 tbsp. olive oil on medium – high heat.
  • Add in cut up Brussel sprouts and 1 1/2 tbsp. chopped garlic.
  • Saute until tender (about 20 minutes), add salt and pepper to taste.

Done!  It is so good in its simplicity. However, if you really want to kick it up a notch try omitting the butter, add a small package of cut up pancetta (a type of Italian bacon), 1 medium chopped shallot, 1 tbsp. garlic.  Saute over medium – low heat until pancetta is slightly crispy then remove pancetta, shallots and garlic from the pan and set aside.  Add in Brussel sprouts and increase heat to medium – high.  Saute for about 15 minutes, until just tender then add back in the remaining ingredients.  Saute for 5 – 10 minutes more until done, but be careful not to over cook.  This right here is the bomb!  This dish stands on its own, you don’t need anything else.

However…

20130519_175246

Brussel Sprouts and Pork Roast…Winner!

My intention with this pork roast was to get up in the morning and put it in the crock pot to make BBQ Pulled Pork sandwiches.  Well, when I put the pork roast in the crock pot and plugged it in, the crock pot didn’t work.  So, I got to thinking, quickly, about what I had in the house that would work as a marinade:

  • Any ready-made seasoning that you like to use on pork  will work.  I use McCormick’s Grill Mates Applewood Rub.
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 tbsp. ground ginger
  • 1 cup Applecider Vinegar
  • 112 oz. can of Ginger Ale

Rub roast (my roast was 3 pounds – I wanted leftovers), generously, with the seasoning mix.  Place in large pan or container and sprinkle with salt, pepper and ginger.  Add Vinegar and ginger ale.  Cover and marinate at least three hours, but over night is fine, too.  When done marinating, take meat out of refrigerator and let come to room temperature.  Preheat grill to about 275  degrees (no higher than 300 degrees).  Place on grill, keeping heat on low.  Carefully check the bottom of the meat every so often to make sure that it’s not burning.  Okay, now listen to me: DO NOT POKE THIS MEAT WITH ANY TYPE OF INSTRUMENT WHILE IT IS COOKING!!!!  Poking it lets the natural juices run out of the meat.  I know that you know this, but I just thought that I would say it again.  When you think it’s ready, using tongs, turn the meat over.  I’d say that it takes about 30 minutes.  Let the meat finish cooking.  It takes about another 20  – 30 min. for a roast of this size and cooking at low heat.  Remove and let the meat rest for at least 15 minutes before cutting.  Tender, juicy and delicious!

What did I do with the left overs? I’m so glad that you asked.

20130520_155559

BBQ Pork Sandwiches with Cole Slaw.

Simple.  Using the store-bought barbecue sauce of your choice, slice the leftover pork roast and place in a pan, cover with sauce and place in oven on low heat (or if your oven has a warming drawer, that’s perfect).  Heat until meat is hot.  Place slices on sandwich buns and top with coleslaw of your choice. Quite honestly, there are so many varieties of coleslaw in the grocery store any more.  There’s the standard cabbage, but then there’s broccoli, Asian, Southwest…pick your favorite.  This is perfect for busy days after school, dance, gymnastics, swim or whatever you have going on.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s