With less than two weeks to go until Turkey Day, I have been immersed in my cookbooks, carefully considering all the candidates for this year's annual tryptophan feast. It's not just about taste and presentation and degree of difficulty, but also the logistics required to get each platter and bowl on the buffet table at the appointed hour and at the perfect temperature for each.
Over the years, my tastes have moved away from the casserole-y side dishes popular with my mother's generation --- you know, the kind laden with cream of 'soup', cartons of sour cream, bricks of cream cheese and bags of shredded cheddar. Roasted vegetables are not only easier to prepare and healthier, but they look much prettier on the plate. My woeful camera and food styling skills aside, the picture above left looks far more appetizing than the fat-saturated canned green bean glop on the right. I will not lie, though; put a spoonful of this glop on my plate and I will not only happily eat it, but probably ask for seconds. I was raised on stuff like this.
This recipe calls for REAL baby carrots, not the peeled and whittled down chunks sold in bags. This may mean a trip to your local farmers' market or an upscale grocery store. I found maroon, orange and white carrots at Central Market. I thought it would be cool to add a splash of purple to my platter of roasted veggies, but to my surprise, I discovered the maroon color scrubs right off; it's like they were dipped in paint. My advice? Save your money and just buy the plain orange ones. Don't care for Brussels sprouts? You could use all carrots instead, but roasting sprouts is the best way to eat these "little green balls of death" as I heard someone refer to them once. I love them.
For some reason, people like to drench cooked carrots in a brown sugar glaze that overpowers their natural sweetness. I prefer this light and tangy mustard sauce.
Brussels Sprouts and Carrots in Mustard Sauce
1 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved length-wise (very large sprouts can be quartered)
3 bunches REAL baby carrots (about 20 total), UNPEELED, trimmed, halved length-wise (small ones can be left whole)
1 TB EVOO
1 tsp Kosher salt
Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
2 TB butter
4 tsp coarse ground mustard
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss prepped veggies with EVOO, salt and pepper. Spread veggies on rimmed baking sheet. Roast 25 minutes.
Melt butter in small saucepan. When butter foams, stir in mustard. Toss veggies with the mustard sauce and serve immediately.
Green bean casserole: http://www.genaw.com/lowcarb/dotties_green_bean_casserole.html
Fresh baby carrots: http://ravenouskitchen.com/2013/05/pickled-baby-carrots/
Bagged "baby" carrots: http://samsaranmusing.tumblr.com/post/64545351609/there-are-no-such-things-as-baby-carrots-these
"I am not
a glutton; I am an explorer of food." How I miss Erma Bombeck!