Showing posts with label roasted Brussels sprouts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label roasted Brussels sprouts. Show all posts

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Lucy Burdette's Easy Roast Chicken and Vegetable Dinner #recipe

LUCY BURDETTE:  Sometimes it's fun to make fancy dishes with lots of ingredients and many steps to put them together and then a wowzer of a presentation. And sometimes life calls for something homey, but oh so easy, right? My pal Hallie Ephron convinced me some years ago that roasting your own chicken tasted way better than the grocery store version.  (She was right, though I still buy the deli chicken if time is really short...) Another bonus: you get to choose the chicken without preservatives and other unpleasant additives.

Here's a go-to meal that couldn't be easier: take one chicken, clean innards out of the cavity, plop in a roasting pan. Drizzle a little olive oil on top, spread it around, add freshly ground salt and pepper and a little rosemary if you have it. (You can get fancy with seasonings, but we're focusing on EASY, right?) Deliver to oven preheated to 375-400.

After half an hour, deliver a handful of small potatoes (drizzled in olive oil) to the same pan. You can add carrot chunks here too--they are so sweet when roasted. Or if you prefer sweet potatoes, put those in at the same time as the chicken. 

Meanwhile, prepare Brussels sprouts by pulling off the outside leaves, shaving the ends, and making a cross in each end with a sharp knife. Add these to the roasting pan when the chicken is half an hour away from done.

Serve and enjoy! (Just don't tell the Key West chickens about this dish--chickens are protected in this town, even the noisiest roosters.)

And here's what you might do with all the time you saved by making this dinner:

Lucy Burdette writes the Key West food critic mysteries!
Fatal Reservations, the sixth book in the series, will be in bookstores on July 7, but you can certainly order it now!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Maple Syrup Roasted Brussels Sprouts

We like veggies around here. Really! We have a bad habit, though, of making them the same old tired ways. Bland and uninspired, leading to comments like "not kale again?"

My new obsession is roasting vegetables. It's easy and everything turns out delicious. I started experimenting with Brussels sprouts a few months ago. You'd think it would have been easy. There are very few ingredients. What could go wrong?

The temperature, for one. At 425, maple syrup burns. The Brussels sprouts didn't taste bad, they were just a little, um, well done. 400 wasn't much better. 350 was a disaster. Definitely not hot enough. Who'd have thought it? But it dawned on me that the problem wasn't just the temperature, it was a combination of temperature and cooking time. The maple syrup could stand the higher temperature for a short period of time, but then the Brussels sprouts were a little crunchier than one might like.

Instead of roasting them whole, I started cutting them in half. Much better! They didn't take quite as long to cook, so the sugar didn't burn.

The key here seems to be going light on the oil. If you use even a tablespoon of oil, it tends to dilute the maple syrup too much. So use a light hand with the oil. And use a small dish just big enough for a single layer of Brussels sprouts so the lovely syrup doesn't roll away. If you have large Brussels sprouts, you'll need to roast them for 20 minutes.

A little maple syrup makes boring Brussels sprouts taste like little gems. My favorite thing about this recipe is that it's a quick and easy no-brainer that I can make in the middle of the week for lunch. Oddly enough, we never have any left over.

Easy Maple Syrup Roasted Brussels Sprouts

about 10-12 Brussels sprouts
olive oil
2 tablespoons maple syrup

Preheat oven to 400.

Cut the ends off the Brussels sprouts and peel off outer leaves. Slice in half. Place in a single layer in a small oven-safe pan or baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil. Pour the maple syrup over the Brussels sprouts and turn them a few times to coat. Sprinkle with a large pinch of salt. Roast 15-20 minutes. Syrup should be sizzling and Brussels sprouts should be tender.