About This Blog
This is, as the title indicates, my kitchen notebook (the header is actually a scanned image of the cover of a notebook that I started using about 25 years ago and the background is a stained page from that book). I am not a professional recipe writer. If you try any recipe here, please keep that in mind, these recipes have not been tested by an independent tester. The "recipes" are often not even really recipes but rather a list of ingredients that I've noted after preparing a dish on the fly that I thought came out well. Perhaps I've also added some instructions, but I rarely keep accurate track of what I've done in terms of time or temperature, I've just noted to the best of my memory (feeble) what I did.
Please feel free to take some inspiration from here, but on the other hand, please give credit where it is due. I also welcome any constructive comments that you might have if you are inspired to try a recipe. Questions are welcome, but keep in mind that I may not remember specifics. The dishes do evolve over time...
Thank you and enjoy!
Basic Recipe for Cast Iron Roasted Brussels Sprouts
This is my basic method for roasting Brussels sprouts in a cast iron skillet. I don't specify exact amounts because I've never measured. The key to this preparation is to not crowd too many sprouts into the skillet. Use enough sprouts to fit in one layer in the skillet, this ensures that the sprouts get nicely browned on one side and that they don't steam too much in their own juices. The sprouts get nice and browned but not overcooked when they get started in a HOT skillet. Adding the condiments half way through insures that those don't get burned.
The recipe is really flexible. When sweet onions are available I like to add some thick slivers to the mix at the start so that they become brown and tender. Parsnips and/or carrots are great additions. The bacon or pancetta is totally optional, as are the nuts and pepper flakes. Pumpkin seeds are a nice substitute for the pine nuts. Experiment with different vinegars, balsamic vinegar is tasty although its dark color stains the veggies. Chunks of fresh apple added to the mix from the beginning add a nice sweetness and some apple cider vinegar reinforces the apple flavor. Add some dried fruit, such as cranberries or tart cherries to the condiments. The variations are endless.
About 1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Some chopped onion, shallots, scallions and/ or garlic
A few slices of pancetta or bacon cut into small pieces
A handful of pine nuts
A pinch of pepper flakes
Vinegar to taste
Preheat a 12-inch cast iron skillet in a 400ºF oven. Toss the sprouts with some olive oil, salt, and pepper. Turn the sprouts into the hot skillet and use some tongs to turn as many of them cut side down in the pan as will fit so that the cut side browns nicely. It's important to not crowd the pan too much or the sprouts will steam in their own juices and you won't get that nice brown side. About half way through the roasting, about 15 minutes, add the chopped onions (I'itoi is great), bits of pancetta, pine nuts, and pepper flakes, without stirring the sprouts. After another 10 or 15 minutes remove the skillet from the oven and toss the sprouts in the skillet with some good quality vinegar. One of my favorite vinegars to use for this is the Late Harvest Honey Viognier from Katz, it is both sweet and tart with a nice honey flavor.
Makes about 3 or 4 side dish servings.