Thursday, January 09, 2020

Oven Roasted Brussel Sprouts -- with Sichuan Peppercorn and Peanuts

Since last December, on my morning commute, instead of tuning in to NPR, I have started listing to 102.7.

This is my daughters' favorite channel playing popular music in English, half of whose lyrics I do not understand. Like really not understand. For a long time, I would hum Pink's "Beautiful Trauma" as Mala Mantra Mala....

Until now, every evening, we would actually get into a fight because as soon as they got into the car, they would flip my car radio channel to 102.7 and disrupt my NPR or Radio Mirchi listening. Since December, I have voluntarily flipped to 102.7 in the mornings, to listen to holiday songs and stayed on because the Morning show is very funny. Like really, laugh out loud funny. And I need funnies to get my mind away from the news.

So yesterday, I was tuned on to the show, and this caller calls in about his girl-friend not returning his call blah, blah. It seems this is one of their regular segments where the RJ's then call up the girlfriend/boyfriend and gift them an all paid date, if they agree to go out together. So anyway, the girlfriend is called, she picks up the phone and seems not very enthusiastic about this all paid for date thing. They then ask her, if there was anything wrong and she goes, "Well, he is very nice and everything but he said he loves me within 2-weeks of knowing each other and I am afraid, he can propose anytime. I find it very insincere that someone can say "I LOVE YOU" in 2-weeks!"

Having been brought up on healthy doses of Bollywood where the pair falls in love the minute they see each other and burst into a song at the end of the first meeting, I have always lamented that "love at first sight" has always eluded me. That it could be insincere is something I only now realized. The lady had a point.

However the caller guy, refused to understand this and kept pushing if he could meet her or come over and such. The lady very patiently explained that she liked it slow, and what he was doing was too much for her. The guy sounded, really desperate and I doubt their relationship will last. He was trying to do too much, too fast.

Sichuan peppercorns. And those are Big Sis's pretty nails

That could or could not be the problem for this Brussels Sprouts Dish. I was giving those cute vegetables too much attention and too many ingredients. Like usually I just roast them in the oven and they are good that way.
This time I seasoned them with Oil flavored with aromatics like garlic, ginger and my new found love Sichuan peppercorns. I also added a little of Maple Syrup to add a hint of sweetness

And then as if that was not enough, I roasted and crushed peanuts and added that on top of the roasted vegetables.

I am not sure if my Brussel Sprouts were feeling claustrophobic with all the attention because we ate all of them. This is one vegetable 75% of the family loves, only Little Sis does not eat her Brussel sprouts!

Oven Roasted Brussel Sprouts -- seasoned with Sichuan Peppercorn and Peanuts

Brussel Sprouts -- 1 lb

Olive Oil -- 1 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp
Garlic powder -- 1 tsp

Garlic -- 6 cloves of garlic minced
Ginger -- 1" of ginger minced
Sichuan peppercorn -- 1 Tbsp
Maple Syrup -- a drizzle
Salt -- to taste

Raw peanuts -- a fistful (Or if you have roasted peanuts, then just crush and use them)

Part 1 -- Roast

Wash Brussel sprouts and dry them.

Chop the ends and halve them.

In a big bowl, toss the Brussel sprouts with
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Garlic Powder
Keep aside for 30 mins

Pre-heat oven to 400F. Arrange the Brussels sprouts on an oven safe tray and put in the oven. Make sure they are in a single layer and not heaped together.
The idea is that they should get browned but now burn. In my oven, it takes 25 mins approx.

Part 2 -- Season

While Brussel sprouts are cooking get ready with the seasoning.
In a skillet, toast 1 Tbsp of  Sichuan peppercorn until fragrant. Transfer to a mortal-pestle or grinder and the coarsely crush the peppercorns.

Mince the garlic and ginger

Once Brussels sprouts are done:

Warm 1 Tbsp Olive Oil in a frying pan/.

Add the minced garlic and ginger, saute for 30 seconds followed with the crushed Sichuan peppercorn powder. Saute until fragrant.

Add the roasted Brussels sprouts and toss. Add salt to taste and a drizzle of Maple syrup.

Transfer the vegetables to a serving dish

Part 3 -- Garnish

In the same frying pan, heat a little more oil. Add a fistful of raw peanuts and toast to brown. Cook and coarsely crush them. If using roasted peanuts, just crush and use them.

Garnish the Brussel sprouts with the crushed peanuts.

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