Wednesday, January 7, 2009

New Years Resolutions are boring. Fact. That doesn't mean that they aren't useful or meaningful, granted, but there is nothing interesting in platitudes about healthy eating or renewed devotion to exercise or diligent housework. And by boring I don't mean that I'm just embarrassed to admit that a week of houseguests back to back with an exhausting headcold and many extra hours at work have left my apartment in a state unfit for company, just that there is nothing inherently electrifying in a discussion thereof.

That being said, I do hope to do all those pedestrian and grownup things in 2009: eat out less, cook in even more, put my laundry away after I do it and not just pick clean underwear out of a pile on my floor which badly needs a vacuum, put more vegetables and less fried food into my body, attempt to have a much lower percentage of my bloodstream be comprised of diet coke and beer, read more novels and watch fewer bret michaels based reality tv shows, blah blah blah, etc.

Killing several birds with one green leafy stone, I made amazing roasted brussels sprouts this week. This recipe is adapted from a crappy recipe I found on The Kitchn. My mom and I decided to serve brussels sprouts on Christmas Eve, and I foolishly prepared this recipe for the meal without giving it a test run first. Bad call. Barely blanched brussels sprouts sitting in a cold soup of lemon juice and olive oil are just not very good. The flavor combinations were a good idea, but the execution as a cold salad doesn't come close to working. We repurposed the leftovers the next day by roasting the whole mess in the oven with plenty of butter and had a much better dish at Christmas dinner. Since then, I've prepared this sprout recipe as a hot dish two more times to great happiness and success.

Lemon Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Preheat your oven to 350. Wash, trim and halve a pound or two of brussels sprouts straight into your dutch oven. Add a shallot or onion thinly sliced and several cloves of garlic chopped as finely as you have the patience for (I barely chop mine in half; peeling and chopping garlic is my very least favorite kitchen task). Zest a lemon and squeeze the juice over the mixture and salt and pepper generously. Add a glug or two of olive oil or softened butter and stir everything to coat. I also added some shredded zuchinni because I had it lying around. I like preparing roasted vegetables because they are especially forgiving of experimental vegetable combinations.

Cover the vegetables and place in the oven for 30 minutes. At that point stir and put back in the over for another 20 minutes or so. This dish keeps well and can be served alongside most things. I ate it plain the night I made it, for lunch a few days later with leftover sausage and potatoes, mixed into black bean soup the day after that, and on Friday night I threw whatever was left of it into the crock pot with a pot roast. Delicious and magical.

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