Monday, November 20, 2006

Coming to Terms with Brussel Sprouts

Brussel sprouts? I always hated them. However, Unique Culinary Adventures keeps an open mind as long as freshness and quality aren't a problem. About five years ago, Mrs. Yi had me taste some particularly fresh Brussel sprouts served to her at Wilton's in London, and recalls me being OK with them. Three years later I had come to enjoy them as a once a year special treat when prepared as pictured above according to a recipe on The Food Network web site.

It took more that just freshness for me truly accept Brussel sprouts. Not only did they need to look fresh and be fresh, I wanted them only when purchased still on the branch. That's the way they showed up at yesterday's downtown farmers market, which had to be the best so far this year in every respect. You can pretty much count on the farmers market to always be great every year the Sunday before thanksgiving. It's also as likely a place and time as any to find fresh Brussels sprouts still on the branch. You pick off the sprouts of course once you get them home. After that, the less time wasted before cooking them the better.

I still believe it was this recipe more than the sprouts themselves that truly converted me. The bacon did the trick. Any high quality thick-sliced bacon will work, but the Wellshire Dry Rubbed Black Forest Bacon from Whole Foods Market that we picked up after leaving the farmers market yesterday worked wonders.