My husband has this funny thing about food. Mostly, he thinks he doesn't like it.
This is hilarious to me because he is Italian and Italians love everything food-related. But maybe he's a little broken, because he doesn't like really important things like bacon and Brussel sprouts.
The first time I made Brussel sprouts after we got married, he looked at them with a look that I can only describe as deep and abiding disgust.
I encouraged him to taste them, take a little nibble and then decide if he truly hated them or just hated how these miniature cabbages had been prepared.
He took the fork to his mouth like a good adult and popped half of a pan-seared sprout in is mouth. He chewed hesitantly, his face braced for the impending gross-out that did not come.
"Babe, those are kinda good. Can I have another one?"
He ate the whole bowl. And that was the moment that I fully accepted that there are no bad foods, just bad preparations and maybe terrible executions. I mean, who couldn't love a perfectly seared Brussel sprout with loads of ghee and salt and pepper?
I've perfected my BS game over the years and I am pleased to say that I have converted many more people to Team BS. I want you on my team, too. I know the best way to get anyone on any sort of team is to entice them with bacon. I also know that you are probably a little bit fancy like me and watch too much Top Chef and think that doing small things to "elevate" normal dishes is just about the best thing you can do to food.
I am thinking about what I will serve around my holiday table this year and these little green guys are always a staple. The key, and this is gospel truth, is to get them nice and caramelized. This happens with a healthy helping of oil, perfectly heated sauté pan, and a little bit of attention to timing. And I do mean a little. These babies are pretty forgiving.
1 lb Brussel sprouts, trimmed and sliced in half lengthwise
3-5 tbsp oil or ghee
4 oz prosciutto, roughly chopped or torn
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large sauté pan, (which is fancy speak for frying pan), heat a tablespoon of ghee on medium heat. Sear prosciutto pieces until they are a little bit crispy and then transfer to a dish. DO NOT CLEAN THE FRYING PAN. I mean it.
Toss Brussel sprouts with a little more ghee, a dash of salt and a healthy dose of pepper, and place in sauté pan with the flat side down. They will start to kind of pop when they are ready to be stirred, and they will turn a gorgeous shade of golden brown.
Cover and continue cooking for about 3 minutes to steam them soft. This is an important step because this is how they become tender. And you need more tenderness in your life, trust me.
Once the BS have completed their journey into caramelized love, add cooked prosciutto and pomegranate seeds and toss thoroughly. Maybe add a little pepper. Or don't. Your call.