#5: brussels sprouts with pecans and cranberries

first let me say that i know that brussels sprouts are the “in” food to be cooking/eating/serving etc. well, that is fine, i don’t mind jumping on the bandwagon, but first i needed to try them. i mean, years ago when they were served to me as a kid, they were steamed and we dunked them in ketchup (disgusting, i upchucked at the sight of them). so, brussels sprouts and i don’t have the best relationship—but, it’s a new year, a new age, and since i was the cook, i could make them however i wanted—this meant the ketchup was absent (mom & dad, what were you thinking?).

from what i could tell, there are a lot of variations on this dish. the one i first saw, included blue cheese, barley, and balsamic vinegar; others call for almonds, you get the picture. those variations led me to a general idea of the dish, and of course, i took it upon myself to modify and not go exactly by the recipe.

this is one of alton brown’s—another personal favorite. but, sorry, alton, i wanted to experiment!

1 lb fresh brussels sprouts, rinsed and trimmed

3 oz coarsely chopped pecans


3 T. unsalted butter

¼ t. salt

¼ t. ground pepper

4 oz. coarsely chopped dried cranberries

(if you’re me)

several “splashes” of balsamic

small handful of blue cheese

slice the brussels sprouts using the thinnest slice option on your mandolin.

in a saute pan over medium-high heat, toast the pecans. cook, stirring gradually, until the pecans darken in color and begin to give off a toasted aroma. add the butter to the pan and stir. once the butter has melted, add the brussels sprouts, salt and pepper, and cook, stirring continuously until the color brightens and the sprouts are tender. add balsamic vinegar for some added zing as you desire. remove pan from the heat, add cranberries and blue cheese. serve.

we really enjoyed this one. i think we were both surprised at how flavorful the dish was and how much we both liked it. i’m sure matt’s parents are also just as surprised! so, with our first go around i think we’ve decided we could handle them again. i would like to try some other recipes just for variety–i’m sure there are others just waiting to be tinkered with!



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