Machias Community Church

Eat your vegetables. 

Posted by Pastor Ron Thursday, September 23, 2010 8:44:00 AM

As a kid, Brussels Sprouts were my mortal enemy. 

The very sight of these at the table filled me with disgust then dread and finally despair.  My mother knew how to cook them to maximize their bitterness.

This wasn't just a vegetable.  This was the very enemy of all that could ever be good in the world.

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One day [edit: four years ago now] while passing through the produce department I happened to notice them.  Brussels Sprouts. I decided to conquer my old nemesis.  Like King David of old, I picked 5 small smooth ones.

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I've learned to cook with a wok.  I've learned that a wok needs to be exceedingly hot.  My wok burner is so hot I can't use it indoors.

I've also learned that prep work is very important.  With a hot wok everything must be added in the right sequence and without hesitation.  Within less than a minute the cooking is over and the breath of wok fills the air.

I knew that Brussels Sprouts were no match for my blazing wok.  I would prevail. 

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Prep:

Wash, then cut each sprout into 6 pieces.  You can just quarter them if they are really small.

Put the sprout pieces into a bowl and drizzle olive oil on them.  Then  dust with pepper, salt, garlic (Montreal Seasoning takes care of that) and toss around.

Options that are not optional for me include chopped garlic, Huy Fong chili garlic sauce, bacon bits and scallions. 

Cooking:

If you don't have a hot wok you can do this inside on the stove with a hot frying pan.  It's not nearly as much fun and takes longer but it works.

Heat the wok (or frying pan) until it is HOT.  The hotter the better.  Smokin' hot.  Then throw the  prepped sprouts in.  They will scream but show no mercy.  Quickly toss them a couple of times.

If you have it, splash them with rice cooking wine.  Just enough to make them sizzle and steam.  Toss them a few more times and put them in a bowl to serve immediately.  Don't let them sit around and think about what just happened to them.

Not a hint of bitterness, plenty of crunch, wonderful aroma and brilliant green color!  I can eat a whole bowl.