The Best Roasted Brussels Sprouts

One of my favorite restaurants is Zaytinya.  They have delicious small plates so you can try a bunch of different things and the best pita bread on earth.  But I really love them because they taught me that I love brussels sprouts.  I have never been a big fan of cooked cabbage smell, but these brussels sprouts are out of this world!

I decided I wanted to try to replicate these on my own at home. I’ve tried them a couple of different ways, and, by far, the best concoction is that of Slate writer L.V. Anderson. Anderson writes a column called “You’re Doing it Wrong” where she tells readers how to prepare foods in the most delicious way. I don’t always agree with her advice (a ginger snap crust does not necessarily save a pumpkin pie, and I’m personally not a huge fan of the feta/watermelon combination), but she does have this one spot on. You can read her column here.

However, the real secret to delectable sprouts is char. I don’t mean burning them to a crisp, but certainly getting some delicious brown on there so the edges begin to wilt and become crunchy. This is an essential part to fully cooking a brussels sprout. Those little things are tightly wrapped balls of water-holding buds that need some coaxing to get to the melt-in-your mouth with an edge of crunch consistency that makes this dish shine. (In other words, it takes a while to roast them.) Additionally, these little guys are super healthy!

From L.V. Anderson at Slate

Soy-Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Oil for greasing the pan
1¼ pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
2 tablespoons peanut oil (I’ve used canola and olive just fine)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Black pepper

Heat the oven to 350°F and lightly grease a 13- by 18-inch baking sheet. Toss the Brussels sprouts with oil, soy sauce, mustard, and a little black pepper. Transfer to the greased baking sheet in an even layer and roast until the sprouts are partially tender, about 15 minutes. Stir and raise the oven temperature to 400°F. Continue to roast, stirring every 5 minutes or so, until the sprouts are browned and fully tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve hot or warm.

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Homemade Samosas

I love Indian food. I am not Indian, but it truly is my comfort food. If I’ve had a bad day, I crave tikka and naan. I’m not sure what it is, but it makes me incredibly happy.  I usually shy away from making it at home because, let’s face it, I’m not very good at it. Indian food just isn’t the same at home.

That being said, I did make these delicious samosas at home and I’m pretty impressed with myself. Samosas are probably the most popular of Indian snacks, because who doesn’t like spiced potato and vegetable in a flaky crust? No one, that’s who.  Now I know my samosas look like empanadas. That is because I used pre-made empanada dough to cheat. We’ve been through this, I am not good at making dough. Besides, I didn’t want to slave all day over these.  I need my delicious samosas now!

This is a Delectable Endeavors original! Meaning I didn’t adapt it from anything! Pretty awesome, I know. Essentially, I tried to used what I already had to make something as close to traditional as possible.  These aren’t the real thing, but the certainly do the trick in a comfort food emergency.

 

Empanada wrappers (I used Goya discos)

1 cup of cubed russet potato

1 1/2 cup of cauliflower florets

1/2 onion, chopped

1/2 jalapeno, finely diced

2 tsp of minced garlic

2 Tbl butter

1 Tbl canola or vegetable oil

1 tsp cumin seed

1/2 tsp fennel seed

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp turmeric

Salt to taste

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add cauliflower and potato and boil until tender, then drain. Roughly break up into smaller pieces.  You can do this with a potato masher or, if you don’t have one, use a pastry cutter like I do!

Heat oil and butter together in a pan on medium heat. Add fennel seed and cumin seed. Add garlic, salt, turmeric, cumin, coriander and heat until fragrant (only a minute).  Add onion and jalapeno. Cook until onion is translucent.

Add potato and cauliflower mixture and mix. Take off the heat and allow to cool.

I filled the empanada wrappers just like empanadas.  As you can see, I simply wetted the edges, folded it over and used the tines of a fork to seal it. Voila!

Roasted Corn Salad

I was born and raised in Iowa, so I know a thing or two about corn.  Every summer, we would wait with baited breath for the sweet corn to be ready.  My dad would bring back paper bags full of it and we would sit on our stoop, cleaning the husks away just before plopping them into pot of boiling water for the freshest, sweetest corn you’d ever have.  So, even as an adult, I crave these moments, and the corn.  Now that we are officially sweet corn season, I thought giving everyone something else to do with that corn would be nice.  Not that you need to.

This is an incredibly easy recipe.  It basically goes like this

Step 1 – Roast or boil some ears of corn.  Try not to immediately eat it all.

Step 2- Let corn cool completely and cut it off the ear.

Step 3 – Toss corn with feta and cilantro.  Enjoy!

It is so delicious and is a wonderful, light summer side dish.