Here we go 2013. It is time. Time to start a new year. Time to reflect on the last one. Time to face what’s ahead. And for most, it is the time to set resolutions.
But this year I have decided not to do that. Every year I say some resolutions during the first week of January and then for the most part I start to forget what they even were. It is amazing how much everything changes in a year. What I wanted at the beginning of 2012 wasn’t even that important to me in December. And it really isn’t about failure. It is about a different direction.
So this year I only have two intentions. #1: To work hard for whatever it is I am wanting at that time. #2: To recognize myself for the things I accomplish.
I like that. I know I can do that.
Alright, let’s talk about these cute little brussel sprouts. Now before all you brussel sprout haters start getting all hatey up on these little guys, hear me out! I have this theory that people who don’t like brussel sprouts haven’t had them prepared right. I have only made this recipe one other time but I converted like 4 or 5 haters with it. So I feel my theory is obviously right 🙂
BUT if you still absolutely can’t stand the thought of giving them another shot don’t just move past this recipe. Sub the brussel sprouts for broccoli. Seriously. The flavor combination of the smokey almonds, sweet dates (or you could use dried cranberries or raisins), garlic and red pepper is to die for. I am pretty obsessed with this dish.
The key is to to get all of your ingredients ready before you start cooking and then get your pan screaming hot. That way when you throw in the sprouts they start to char almost immediately. If you cook them too much they start to release a bitter chemical that not only tastes unpleasant, it smells really gross too. It’s all about a quick char and then off the heat! Which also makes this a snap to make! Give brussel sprouts another chance! We all desserve a second one, right?
- Cut the ends off each brussel sprout and cut them in half length wise, discarding the very outer layers that fall off.
- Chop the smoked almonds.
- Pit and chop the dates.
- Mince the garlic cloves.
- Heat a heavy bottomed skillet (or preferably a wok) over medium high heat with the oil.
- Once the pan is good and hot, toss all of the brussel sprouts into the pan and give them a good toss in the oil.
- Let them char for about 2 minutes. (if they are not charring quickly, crank the heat up)
- Add the almonds, dates, and garlic to the pan and cook for another minute then take the pan off the heat!
- Salt and pepper to taste and add a little or great big pinch (depending on your spicy preference) of red pepper flakes.
- Finish with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar just before serving if desired.
- Serve and enjoy!