Thursday, February 14, 2008

Best Valentines is for New Love

I woke up this morning having never eaten a brussel sprout in my life, I go to bed tonight giddily anticipating my next rendezvous with these lovable little cabbages. Let me tell you a tale...

Our friend Jeff (B.) is a known brussel sprouts enthusiast and I knew this and a few weeks ago, whilst sifting through pasta recipes on the web, I came across a very provocative brussel sprouts recipe (for roasted brussel sprouts by Momofuku mastermind David Chang) so I forwarded it on to Jeff. Just as recently as the 13th of February I thought that story ended there.

But Amber sent out an email suggesting that a nice handful of us get together for a Valentines dinner, she and her roommates would be cooking up their famous alcoholic chicken. "Neat," I thought. "I'm getting dinner."

Soon after getting the invitation, Jeff emailed me asking if I wanted to make those Momofuku brussel sprouts with him for the dinner and even though I didn't really think I'd even be eating them sprouts I agreed because it seemed like a decent thing to do, provide a side for the party, and I felt good about being Jeff's teammate. (For the record, Jeff hadn't tried this recipe yet. We were to be taking a risk.)

Jeff assigned me the responsibility of preparing the dressing for the sprouts, he'd do the roasting. This was the dressing: 1/4 cup water, 1/4 sugar, 1/4 cup fish sauce (so now I own fish sauce), 3 tbs finely chopped mint, 2 tbs finely chopped cilantro, minced garlic clove (I used a big clove the size of 2 or 3 small cloves), and a sliced up serano pepper (the recipe called for an Asian pepper, but at New York grocery stores you take what you can get). I actually prepared the dressing at my house while Jeff roasted at his and we were to meet up and join elements at Amber and Erin's apartment.

I'll tell you now this dressing did not seem like a good thing at first. (maybe don't read this next sentence) The first time I sampled the finished product I felt like it was going to cause me to have a spontaneous bowel movement. But I packed up my dressing and my hopes and headed down to Gold street.

At the apartment Jeff unveiled to me a bowl full of the most charmingly aromatic little green foods I had ever seen or smelt and I began to dare to think that our side might be something awesome. With a generous touch of hesitance I dipped one of the darling sprouts into my dressing, praying that the flavors of my end of the project had combined into something awesome during my ride down on the 2/3.

I popped it into my mouth...

Several time zones away on a frozen, frigid hillside, thousands of brilliant spring blossoms burst from the hard earth with the noise of a cork loosed from a bottle of wine.

Around the earth, and unbeknownst to each other, hundreds of giggling babies simultaneously took their first uneasy steps across well-carpeted living room floors towards smiling parents, clapping and leading them on.

Deep within the Dark Continent, the Chiefs of two rival cannibal tribes shook hands over an historic peace agreement.

A 9 year old boy beat his first Metroid game

And I, I ate the most frickin' delicious thing I had ever 1/2 made by meticulously following someone else's recipe with my own two hands .

Jeff and I, we had a winner.

And I forgot to mention that you top these brussel sprouts with seasoned rice crispies. I don't know if your brain can even handle that. (but it might clear up some questions you had from my photo of the sprouts)

The diners were called to dinner, plates were passed about, chops were licked, conversations were had, jokes told, glasses filled and refilled. It was excellent.

Let's get this wrapped up:

Here's Jeff taking sampling his first brussel sprout at dinner. From this photo we can see (at least) two things:

1. He has JUST put the sprout in his mouth
2. His mouth JUST fired off every single one of its deliciousness receptors.

And here, for the record, is many of the dinner party being regaled by Erin, bellies happily full of chicken, salad, and sprouts.

Hurrah for brussel sprouts! Hurrah, hurrah, hurrah forever!


mimi said...

you are a brave and funny man, brigham.

Rebekah said...

how come i wasn't invited?