Saturday, January 30, 2016

Honey- & Garlic-Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Almonds--and Homage to Grandma D.

One night, dinner on my own, I roasted these Brussels sprouts and paired them some simple buttered wagon wheel macaroni ("rotelle"), my ultimate (and original) comfort food.  Buttered wagon wheels were the first dish I learned to cook, standing next to my grandmother at her stove. Grandma always had a box of wagon wheels on her shelf when we visited and my pantry is rarely without them now. She'd let me stir the noodles, help me drain them, and then let me stir in the butter to melt, all by myself. On a cold night when I'm on my own for dinner, buttered wagon wheels feel like a hug from her. I usually have some kind of vegetable with them (Grandma valued a colorful plate). These roasted Brussels sprouts are slightly sweet and nutty.  They're colorful and very, very good.  I thought I'd have leftovers, but ate them all--all by myself!

Honey- & Garlic-Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Almonds
1 lb Brussels sprouts, cleaned trimmed and cut in half
4 cloves garlic, unpeeled 
4-5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
pinch of salt
1/2 cup chopped almonds
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons citrus juice (lemon, lime, orange--I used grapefruit)
pinch of hot red pepper flakes (optional)
pinches of salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a rimmed cookie sheet with aluminum foil.  In a bowl, toss the Brussels sprouts and garlic cloves with 2 (or so) tablespoons of olive oil until they're well coated.  (Don't clean the bowl after this--you'll need it later!) Spread the sprouts and garlic onto the cookie sheet.  Nice if you turn them all cut side down.  Sprinkle with salt.  Roast for about 10 minutes.  Check sprouts and garlic, tossing avoid over-browning and roast for 5-10 minutes more.  The garlic should be very soft and easily squeeze out of the skin.  

While sprouts and garlic are roasting, whisk together honey, citrus juice, and two tablespoons of olive oil.  Add the hot red pepper (if using) and salt & pepper.  Add the roasted garlic to the sauce, mushing with a fork. Place the roasted sprouts back in the bowl, add the almonds and pour the sauce over it, tossing well.  Spread the sprouts and almonds back on to the cookie sheet and roast for another 5-10 minutes.  Check seasoning and serve. This dish makes enough for 2 generous servings
Wagon Wheels-n-Butter 
Bring a pot of water to boil over high heat.  Add a goodly amount of salt and the wagon wheels--about 1/2 cup per person.  Stir and return to a boil.  Boil briskly until the noodles are done to your liking--usually 6-9 minutes.  Drain, return to the pan, and immediately add a pat (about a tablespoon) of butter and stir to melt.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper, if you like.  I like pepper now--would have pitched a "Jennie fit" if Grandma had put it on my wheels when I was little! :) 

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