The food abides…

Archive for June, 2014

Roasted Baby Brussels Sprouts with Feta Cheese and Smoked Sundried Tomatoes

Everybody has that one food that’s like a culinary arch-nemesis. No matter what you do or how many times you try it, you just can’t get on board. For me, that food is the Brussels sprout.

To be honest, I’d never even tried them until I was well into college. It just wasn’t a veggie that my family ever made. But that very first time left a lasting impression. For some reason, and perhaps it’s just because Brussels sprouts are so earthy, they just always seemed to taste like dirt to me.

I’m fully aware that over time your tastes change and your palate evolves, so I’ve made it a point to keep trying them again periodically. But every time… still dirt. A few weeks ago I was at a restaurant and their steamed veggie of the day was Brussels sprouts. After not being able to get the dirt taste of out my mouth for the rest of the meal following two measly bites, I resolved to do something about this.

I was going to overcome this culinary Joker to my epicurean Batman if it killed me. Here is the result.

brussel sprouts

Rather simple, I just coated some baby Brussels sprouts extra virgin olive oil and minced garlic, then roasted them in the oven for about 10 minutes. Steaming hot, I added just a little more olive oil and tossed them with some feta cheese, smoked sun-dried tomatoes and some salt and pepper. I think it’s the sun-dried tomatoes that bring out the flavor.

Many people are skeptical about sun-dried tomatoes but there isn’t really any reason to be; I don’t think this variety tastes like regular sun-dried tomatoes at all. Since I don’t eat red meat and therefore don’t cook with bacon, smoked sun-dried tomatoes are my go-to item when I want that meaty smokey flavor. They just work really well as a substitute. I suppose you can make this with bacon instead and it would be just as good (or possibly even better as I’ve noticed bacon has gained almost a cult-following in the last few years).

Not a bad dish at all and I may tinker with it over time. I still think Brussels sprouts taste like dirt but if I had to eat plain dirt or dirt with cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and spices, I’d prefer the latter.

Have a favorite way to prepare Brussels sprouts? If not, what is your culinary nemesis food? Leave a message in the comments!

And remember… the food abides…

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New Beer Friday! – Shiner Ruby Redbird

Today begins the first day of my vacation and I intend to sample a lot of brews during my time off. Summer beers tend to get overshadowed because of my preference for Fall and Winter seasonals so I plan on doing them a little bit of justice this week. I’m going to start with Shiner’s Ruby Redbird.

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Like most summer brews made with citrus, I was expecting something sweeter. This is not a bad thing and it’s definitely not some kind of a citrus-ade masquerading as a beer like you’d get if you were drinking a shandy.

Ruby Redbird pours a solid orange amber color; what little head there was dissipated very quickly and there was no lacing at all. You can smell a feint hint of ginger as soon as you put your nose to the glass.

Although it’s not a very fruity beer, this is a very crisp brew. You get a solid blast of grapefruit peel right off the bat. That carries directly into the strong ginger note on the back end and both flavors blend together really well.

For a summer offering this a little weightier than typical summer beers which I really dig. This would probably pair well with some grilled margarita shrimp kabobs or any kind of lime infused chicken. Perfect brew for chilling out somewhere outdoors and kicking back with some reggae, Jack Johnson or Jimmy Buffett music.

Tried Shiner’s Ruby Redbird? Leave a message in the comments section!

And remember… the food abides…