Monday, June 23, 2008

Roasted Brussels Sprouts and a Very Barefoot Contessa Weekend

I'm writing this late Sunday night, as Jet Blue has stranded The Boyfriend and I in Virginia. Not that I mind. His mom, brother, sister-in-law, freakishly adorable nearly-two-year-old nephew, and freakishly adorable brand-new nephew are all here, and they're nifty people. We've spent the last three days in a whirlwind of swimming, learning the letter B, and eating our faces off. It's not a bad life, man.

Off the six meals we've cooked so far, a whopping four have come courtesy of Barefoot Contessa. I LOVE INA GARTEN. This has been stated and restated in this blog, but the adoration/near-obsession can not be adequately documented, no matter how long/extensively I babble/type. The woman is a goddess in blue collared shirts. I am gigantically jealous of her husband Jeffrey, not because he's married to her, but because he gets to eat her food. ALL THE TIME.


Anyway, we've so far prepared her stellar Turkey Lasagna, Orzo with Roasted Vegetables, Macaroni and Cheese, and Roasted Brussels Sprouts. Of the four, the first three are neither particularly cheap or healthy. The Brussels Sprouts, though ...

Dude. Mmmm.

If you're not a fan of sprouts, I can see how this "mmm" might not be enough to put you over the "ew" edge. (I'm talking to you, Ma.) HOWEVER, if you're even slightly interested in green things in any capacity, I highly suggest giving them a try. Perfectly salted, crunchy on the outside, and soft in the middle, they're delicious little bombs of veggie goodness. Four or five (okay, maybe six) are plenty filling for a side dish, and they can be paired with just about anything. (Her Orzo with Roasted Vegetables, for instance.)

As with almost all BC recipes, you could probably cut the olive oil by at least a third, and still have the dish tasting like a plate of heaven. However, I haven't tried it that way, so this was plenty good for now.

Readers, if you have anymore Barefoot suggestions that might be suitable for this blog, please let me know. She will always find a home here (even if the Hamptons might be a tad more comfortable).

Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Serves 6
Adapted from Ina Garten.
Note: Cell phone picture. Sorry 'bout that.

1-1/2 lbs Brussels sprouts, ends cut off and yellow outer leaves removed
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1) Preheat oven to 400ºF. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and if you like, spray with cooking spray.

2) In a medium bowl, mix Brussels sprouts, oil, salt, and pepper. Stir to coat. Pour mixture on baking sheet. Roast 35-40 minutes, shaking pan occasionally, until sprouts are browned and beautiful outside, tender and wonderful on the inside. Salt to taste. Serve.

Approximate Calories, Fat, and Price Per Serving
108 calories, 7 g fat, $0.56

1-1/2 lbs Brussels sprouts: 293 calories, 2 g fat, $2.98
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil: 355 calories, 40.2 g fat, $0.36
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt: negligible calories and fat, $0.01
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper: negligible calories and fat, $0.01
TOTAL: 648 calories, 42.2 g fat, $3.36
PER SERVING (TOTAL/6): 108 calories, 7 g fat, $0.56


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