Guest Author - Jason Hodge
I'm an avid foodie with a deep love for Brussels sprouts. I love their color, fragrance and the way they melt in your mouth when cooked just to tenderness, while the colors still retain their vibrant green nuance. This evening, however, I was put to the culinary test. My wife wanted Brussels sprouts, but not in my traditional way.
I was in the middle of finishing up a proposal and didn't have a lot of time to devote to cooking. I needed something that could be done in 5 - 10 minutes, so I could get back to work.I also wanted something that could pair well with a light protein and have a refreshing, earthy sweet and hearty flavor.
I grabbed my trusty skillet. Lit the stove under it. Added some water and extra virgin olive oil, 2 lemon slices, threw in some seasonings [Italian, paprika, crushed garlic, cayenne and smoked sea salt]. I let it 'moist' fry and added a little marinara sauce [tomato puree, tomato chunks, basil, garlic, onion, sea salt, rosemary, oregano and mint] to it, swirled it around and immediately added the 1 lb. frozen Brussels sprouts and a little more boiling water, before letting it all sauté.
Every so often I'd swirl it around to make sure the 'sprouts' were coated with all of that saucy goodness.
The house was aromatic with the fragrance of Italy. My wife was happy and my world was at peace. This was the first time that I made my Brussels sprouts this way, but I tell you what...
It won't be the last. ;~D
They still maintained a little bite to them, yet the flavor made it through to the core, without masking those pungent notes the 'sprouts' impart on the taste buds. It was a great experience and it reminded me of why my kitchen will remain my castle inside of my castle.
If you haven't done something new with at least one of your tried and true dishes, break those sacred molds NOW and reinvent your recipes. Mix and match your culinary principles and bend a dish every now and then -why don't you!
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