Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thanksgiving? It's About the Sides.

Jim Dixon of Real Good Food has a way with vegetables, and his sides are always fabulous. Here's one I'll be doing this holiday.

I think the key to keeping these little cabbages delicious is cooking them on the stove over high heat. They brown nicely and get tender without becoming mushy. Use a heavy skillet, preferably cast iron, and plenty of extra virgin olive oil. This has the added advantage of keeping the oven free for that other Thanksgiving dish. Here are two different recipes, both starting with the same stove-top approach.

Caramelized Brussels Sprouts Two Ways

Cut a pound sprouts into quarters lengthwise. Some of the outer leaves may come off, but keep them with the quartered sprouts. Let the oil heat over medium-high for about a minute, then add the sprouts. Stir frequently and cook until the sprouts have browned nicely on all sides. I like mine fairly dark, right at the edge of being burnt, so I cook them for about 15 minutes.

With Stoneground Mustard:

I learned this from Ned Ludd’s Jason French and David Padberg, now at Raven & Rose, when they cooked at Clarklewis here in Portland.

After the sprouts are browned, add a chopped onion, a healthy pinch of salt, and cook for another 10 minutes. Stir in about a quarter cup (more is better than less) of stoneground mustard. Cook for another 10 minutes or so, taste for salt and serve.

With Honey & Sage:

When the sprouts are caramelized, add a chopped red onion, a healthy pinch of salt, and about 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh sage (maybe 8-10 leaves, depending on the size). Cook for about 10 minutes, then add about one tablespoon each of honey and Katz Trio red wine vinegar. Cook another minute, adjust the salt and serve.

If you're looking for those special Thanksgiving supplies, then head over to Jim's "warehouse" to get extra virgin olive oil, Katz Orleans method vinegars, Necton flor de sal and other goodies. He'll be open Saturday from 11 am-3 pm and Monday from 3-7 pm at 833 SE Main St., Suite 122, on the ground floor on the NE corner of the building.

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