Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A Time For Change


Wow, so much has happened over the past year since I last wrote a post here. I feel like I've come such a long way in such a short amount of time. First, I got promoted at work; a change that I'm still getting used to. I went from being a worker-bee to fulfilling a supervisor role. This is a position I've been striving to get promoted to for a long time, so it feels great. Second, my husband and I got transferred to Yorktown, VA. We've been here for a couple weeks now, and it suits us well. I love that I don't have to take a freeway to work, my commute is 17 minutes from my driveway to the parking lot at work, and there are so many little things that we're falling in love with everyday. Sitting on the back porch drinking wine and watching the fireflies (which we've never seen before in our lives). We learned how to break apart whole blue crabs, rather than just eating their leg meat like we had learned on King crabs when we were in Kodiak. We're looking forward to going running through the battlefields around where we live once the heat wave breaks.

The recipe I've chosen for this post is one that doesn't really make sense to cook during a heat wave, but we had a craving for it since we hadn't had it since the holiday season. My main reason for coming up with this recipe is it features an ingredient that I used to always think that I'd hate, but was pleasantly surprised that I love.

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Raisins and Almonds

-5 strips of bacon
-4 cloves of garlic, peeled
-4 cups (or 1lb) brussels sprouts
-1/2 cup raisins
-1/3 cup sliced or chopped almonds
-1 cup of chicken stock or cooking wine

Instructions: Remove all yellowed leaves from brussels sprouts, then cut off the stems and cut sprouts in half. Cook bacon over medium heat until well done and crispy; set aside on a paper towel to cool. Turn heat to medium-low, then add the garlic. After a minute or two, add the brussels sprouts, raisins, and almonds. (Note: I like to add a bit of pepper as well, but try to stay away from adding salt since the bacon provides enough saltiness.) Stir ingredients together, adding a bit of chicken stock slowly to help steam the sprouts. Continue to stir occasionally for 10-15 minutes until the sprouts are well-steamed.

What I love about this dish is you can adapt it to the season. For summer, you could add a squeeze of lemon and some fresh herbs. And when I made this as a side dish for Christmas dinner, I used pecans instead of almonds, and cranberries instead of raisins. I also love that the different flavors play off each other really well to create this wonderful harmony of taste. The sweetness of the raisins, the saltiness of the bacon, the bite of the garlic, the bittery-butter flavor of the brussels sprouts, the crunch of the nuts. It's just an all-around fun thing to eat. I've actually considered just serving this for dinner with some romano cheese dusted on top, some crusty bread on the side and a nice bottle of wine (of course).



Ashlee Christopher said...

What a cute blog! LOVE! Thank you for sharing so excited I found you!


Anonymous said...

Great post. The heat waves have been crazy this year. My air conditioner broke during a heat wave and not having air conditioning in Louisville is unheard of. It was so hot we didn't even want to cook any thing. Now that it is getting cooler we can start cooking. Thanks for sharing, I will have to send this to my husband. He love cooking new things!

Direk Tac said...

There are many things in life that you can do and deal with everyday. But what's good is cooking with all your heart. Nice masterpiece.

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