I was an odd child and even loved brussel sprouts, which my parents usually cooked whole, or cut in half and steamed. We then put butter, salt, and pepper on them at the table to suit our own tastes.
Brussel sprouts are a love them or hate them food. The reason most people hate them is the common way of cooking them is to boil until tender. This usually results in overcooking, which releases sinigrin, which smells and tastes like sulphur. Bleck. I've seen many a cooking show that stresses a light cooking process until they are wilted or lightly steamed, which doesn't allow sinigrin to pronounce itself so greatly.
If you hate them, give them another try and cook them properly! The absense of sulphur-like scents and tastes just might change your mind!
brussel sprouts (5-6 per person)
2 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup white wine
3 Tbsp pine nuts
salt and pepper to taste
Serves 3 as a side dish
To start, remove the outermost leaves of the brussel sprouts and wash them under cold water. Cut off the bottom of the stem and then slice the sprouts very thinly, as if you were shredding lettuce or cabbage. (Johnny walked in at this point and admitted to never eating or seeing brussel sprouts in his life, and his answer was "Barbie lettuce" when I challenged him to guess what they were.)
In a large skillet, add the olive oil and garlic over medium heat. Once the garlic starts to soften, add the white wine and bring up to temperature.
Once boiling, throw the brussel sprouts into the pan in an even coating and let them sit and get some nice color on them, seasoning with salt and pepper. Once they start to wilt, stir fry them around for a few minutes and stir in the pine nuts. You'll only want the sprouts to be on the heat for about 5 minutes, so adjust the temperature as needed, while watching to make sure they're not becoming soggy and overcooked.
They were bright and fresh, with a little bit of a crisp to them still. The pine nuts lend a hearty, nutty background. The white wine was not enough to add that alcohol flavor, but more of a citrussy freshness, which you could easily achieve with some lemon juice if you don't cook with alcohol, or don't have any on hand.
I call them a success because Johnny really liked them! They were also the perfect accompaniment to the ribs and teeny tiny potatoes.