I don't make New Years resolutions. I just don't. It sets a tone of waiting for the other shoe to drop. Besides, don't you think we should constantly be striving to achieve things throughout the year?
That having been said, my goal for myself this year – besides the fact that this year is just straight up going to be all about me – is that I am going to be open-minded to trying new things. Taking cooking classes. Going to concerts and plays and shows and gallery openings. Allowing myself – after a tough 2008 full of a myriad of reasons to bunker down and not let anyone in – to be open to all of the good things that life has to offer. Hopefully, new experiences will enhance the life I have now and bring new (and awesome) people and opportunities my way. It's been 10 days so far and I'm happy with the year so far.
That open-mindedness is something that I constantly try to apply to my cooking, as well. I've always been an adventurous eater and will give anything a go once. In my own kitchen, this often comes in the form of throwing together tastes and textures that some may not think go together.
One of my favorite ways to eat Brussels sprouts (which I realize are usually a love 'em or leave 'em kind of thing for people) is a quick and easy pan saute of them in some really good quality olive oil. Throw in some toasted nuts and pomegranate seeds. I had the hankering to make that recipe today but couldn't find a pomegranate to work with. I spied some red currants and threw them in at the end and it was zippy and delicious. The currants provided some tang and a pop that was similar to the pom seeds but without the sweetness. Either way, it's a great flavor and texture combo that will surprise you and anyone you serve it to. You can also amp this up with some diced pancetta or bacon in the pan before you add the sprouts in.
Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts and Currants – serves 4-6 as a large side dish
- In a dry pan, gently toast the walnut pieces and set aside. Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan until glistening. Add shredded brussels sprouts and cook until softened but still slightly al dente – about 5 to 6 minutes. Add in walnut pieces and stir until thoroughly mixed. Salt and pepper to taste. Take the pan off the heat and add the currants or pomegranate seeds and mix gently as to not break them or discolor the brussels sprouts. Serve immediately.