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Saturday, October 1, 2011

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

   October 2011

   I guess everyday can't be the best. Was feeling a little out of sorts today, and as a result I have not been very productive. Let's see if I can redeem myself with some insight on the coming month of October.
   October has many food celebrations. First of all it is National Apple Month. Hmmm, apples, huh? Well I'm all about that and I have been all over apples for the past few weeks due to the bumper crop I have right in my own  backyard. Then there's National Applejack Month, National Caramel Month (oh, yeah); National Chili Month, National Dessert Month, National Cookie Month, although I would think December should be that one, myself, but I digress. It's also Eat Better, Eat Healthier Month, National Seafood Month, Vegetarian Awareness Month, I guess that goes along with the eat better, eat healthier idea.  Let's not forget National Pickled Pepper Month,  National Pizza Festival Month, National Pork Month, National Popcorn Popin' Month, and National Pretzel Month.
   Wow, that's just the celebrations for the month, then we have the first week is No Salt Week AND National Chili Week, what a combo, and a tough one for my house, the salt capital of upstate New York, at least when we're talking about my husband and eldest son.
    The second week gives us four separate celebrations, besides the daily celebrations, that are: American Beer Week, I'm sure to get some feedback from friends on that one, National School Lunch Week, National Food Bank Week, and National Pasta Week. Geez, Jesse's birthday is this month, and he's my Chili and Pasta Champion, I wonder if there is any correlation? And the Second Thursday is National Dessert Day--remember you spell it with two esses (s) because you want two desserts but can do with only one desert, or something like that.
   The Third week brings us Pickled Peppers Week and National Kraut Sandwich Week. It will be interesting to examine those celebrations. The third Saturday brings us Sweetest Day, which I would have thought was more like February 14, but I am not the one who designated these days, I only report them.
   Finally the fourth week is Chicken Soup for the Soul Week, and we have all month to get ready for that week, chicken soup is good for the body and soul, that one should be fun
   The only thing I see is that, like last month, the celebrations run the gamut, from the really common to the well, borderline weird, with the pickled peppers, but I am sure Peter Piper will appreciate our look at the fare.
   October 1st opens with World Vegetarian Day, so in celebration we'll look at some different, or updated ways to prepare vegetables. What comes to mind immediately is the roasted Brussels sprouts we had a few months back. I am not a very big fan of Brussels sprouts, but get me really small ones and roast them to bring out an underlying, and quite understated, sweetness and they can be rather tasty.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts
  • 1-2 lbs. fresh Brussels sprouts (I usually look for the smallest heads I can find, as they tend to be milder and more tender)
  • 3-4 tablespoons good olive oil--leave the extra virgin out of this 
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt and pepper to suit your own taste
   Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare the sprouts by cutting off the stem edge and remove any outer leaves that are yellowing or look funky. Split the sprouts in half vertically--that's up and down, not across. Toss them with the olive oil and salt and pepper. spread the sprouts on a jelly roll pan that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Slip the pan in the oven and roast for about 40 minutes shaking the pan every 10 minutes or so to evenly brown the sprouts. When they are fork tender they are ready. Sprinkle them with salt, and serve immediately.  I think you will be surprised.

   Oh, I guess this is not a recipe for the first week of October, with all that salt. Some things just need the addition of salt: beef, potatoes, macaroni water, and roasted Brussels sprouts. Okay, so we'll wait for week two to make them.

I am looking forward to your review!

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