Friday, July 8, 2022

 

Brussels Sprouts Glazed with Balsamic Vinegar

 

While my wife and I are quarantined at our house with Covid infections, time has turned slow. Fortunately, both of our infections are mild, since we were fully vaccinated and boosted. But there have been several days of fever, cough, mild headaches and lots of sleep. Mostly it’s that our schedules are suddenly totally disrupted, plans tossed aside. We can’t see the kids or grandkids except waving out the door, and our appetites are down. 

This is the first cooking I’ve done in four days. And it’s possible that my taste is slightly distorted. Having Brussels sprouts in the fridge, I braised some to go with reheated mac and cheese, itself left over from the cancelled (“postponed”) family Fourth of July dinner we were going to host.

Not exactly hot weather food, but since we’re stuck at our house for another seven days, I might as well use up what’s in the fridge. And no American regrets losing a few pounds as a rare benefit of the pandemic.

Here’s a quick way that I cook Brussels sprouts. A variant is to use a little sour cream at the end of braising rather than balsamic or wine vinegar. Sprouts have a little bitterness in them, which is offset or neutralized by the vinegar or the sour cream. 

The recipe serves four as a side dish. (Today I did a half recipe since no one can join us.)

 

1 pound (about 24-26 medium) Brussels sprouts

2 tablespoons finely shredded onion (optional)

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more as needed

1/4 teaspoon grated black pepper

Water as needed

3 teaspoons balsamic vinegar di Modena (or 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar)

 

Trim the ends and any spoiled leaves off the sprouts. Cut the sprouts in half lengthwise. 

Place cut sprouts, onion if used, and olive oil in a wide frying pan. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper and stir and fry for about a minute until pale golden fried spots appear. Add several tablespoons of water, cover the pan, and fry on lowest heat, stirring occasionally. Add a little more water as needed so the bottom of the pan is wet and the sprouts get steamed as well as fried. 

When sprouts are nearly as tender as you prefer (test with a toothpick or eat one), add salt to taste plus the balsamic or red wine vinegar, and a tiny bit more water. Stir and fry another minute or so. Check for salt, and if needed add a little more. 

Serve warm.

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