Saturday, December 11, 2010

Yum . . .

I went out to the fresh fruit and veggie stand today. I still haven't gotten used to the abundance of fresh produce here in California.

The colors and assortment
just cries out for me
to take out my camera.

And I love
how everything glistens right after
they spray it with the fine mister.

But then, I'm easily amused.

I came home with a bunch of Brussels Sprouts. I've written about them before because we love to bake them, which is a wonderful way to eat them.

But lately, rather than heating up the oven, I've been doing something similar on the stove top, and they come out just as good.

I start out by removing the stem and then cutting them in half.

Then melt a bit of olive oil and butter in the bottom of a frying pan and place each sprout half, cut side down, in the pan.

The heat should be medium low.

Now plop a loose cover on the pan and let them go for anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes. Once there's a nice color on them, toss them around in the pan,
add a good amount of salt, and continue to cook (tossing every 5 minutes or so) until they look like this.

They should be a bit al dente. These are slightly crunchy on the outside and sweet and buttery on the inside. You can even serve them to people who don't usually like Brussels Sprouts, they'll be surprised. You may never steam them again.

While I'm talking cooking, I'd like to make a comment on salt, Lately, I've been using a variety of salts, and are they ever a treat.

Here's a photo of the shelf above my stove.

The big box on the left rear is Kosher salt. We keep it in this bamboo box and just grab it by the pinch for cooking. The multi-colored grinder has a combination of dehydrated garlic and kosher salt. The yellow salt is a lemon salt that has a wonderful flavor. The white container on the right has Anglesey Sea Salt. It's a finishing salt from Great Britain. I like to put just a dusting of this on my veggies right before serving.

Since I've been playing with different salts, I'm kind of amazed at the difference they make, so I thought I'd share.


ThE MidLiFe CrUiSeR said...

How do you find the prices of produce in California? I'm hoping that it's cheaper since so much is grown right there. Your brussels sprouts look good! That's how I like to cook mine too. Even better if you add a little pasta to it :) I know, I think everything is better with pasta. I'm Italian...nuff said!

(36 year old fulltime RVer living la vida loca with a cute-butt husband and a stink-butt dog!)

John and Ellen said...

Really liked the colorful pictures. As for the Brussels Sprouts, they looked great. We are going to try your recipe the next time the opportunity presents itself. Thanks.

Traveler said...

Love the produce pictures - the colors, textures, contrast- all wonderful. Just don't think I can eat the Brussels sprouts though (tee-hee). Off topic - I thought I had read on your website about a thermal cooker (not solar) but now I can't find it. I want to try one but there are so many out there I'm not sure where to start. Any ideas? Maybe I read it on Andy's site but can't seem to find it there either. Anyway, if you have any info or insight it would be appreciated.

-Heidi said...

You've made me vary hungry! grrrr

Kate said...


Like everything here in California, the produce is high. The difference os the sheer variety. We actually eat a pretty limited diet (low carb) so new items are always welcome.


WE had a thermal cooker, but found we just don't use it all that much and sold it. We don't travel enough to use it for that and when we want a slow cooker, we much prefer the solar oven, much less hassle.