Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Cooking with Mollie #3: Spicy Brussels Sprouts Pickles
You either love Brussels Sprouts or hate them. If you're in the second category, it is my life mission to convert you to the Cult of the Sprout. I love them. I love them steamed, boiled, roasted, shredded into confetti and sauteed...but until this week, I had never loved them pickled. It's simple. You start with about half a pound of fresh sprouts. Peel off the ugly outside leaves. I always peel the outside leaves even if they aren't ugly, because that's where dirt and aphids hide. Cut them in half if they are large (and most sprouts that I can find lately are large). Then you cook them for just a couple minutes in a large pot of boiling, salted water. I always cook vegetables in heavily salted water because Thomas Keller does, and well, THOMAS KELLER. Drain and rinse them in cold water: They will be a beautiful bright green. Enjoy that color now, because it's about to change. Ah well, c'est la vie. Then you submerge them in a pickling liquid that is made of 2/3 of a cup of hot water with 1 tbsp of honey mixed in (you could use sugar, too) and 1 tsp of salt. Mollie says to use seasoned rice vinegar, but I had a better idea! I used my spicy peppered vinegar from the Asian market. The spicy vinegar (the one on the left) was perfect. It added a nice zippiness. Someone suggested you could include these sprouts in a Bloody Mary and to that I say yay, yes you could. If you can't find spicy vinegar, you could probably just toss in a teaspoon or two of red pepper flakes, depending on how spicy you wanted them. I put a plate on top of the sprouts to ensure they stayed submerged in the pickling liquid. A few hours later, they looked like this: They are a great little snack. You don't want to eat too many at once, just one or two with a sandwich or cheese plate. Store them in their liquid in the fridge in a glass or ceramic container. Recipe adapted from Mollie Katzen's "Vegetable Dishes I Can't Live Without."