Thursday, November 5, 2009

Two Spectacular Sides

One of the couples in the Bradley Class I took whilst pregnant were true foodies. As in, they talked about the importance of finding truly salty sea salt, they only bought a certain kind of cinnamon (Chinese? I don't remember...) and they read books--novel-long, culinary history books--about single ingredients like beans and goat cheese and cod. I admired them so much.

Because food is fun! And choosing the best foods is a joy. I myself just haven't made it a regular success to move all these wonderful exciting joyful ingredients from the grocery or farmer's market to my table. I always fold somewhere shortly after the putting them in the fridge or cupboard and then only see them again during a brief memorial service (just before they're pitched, flushed or composted).

Matthew Amster-Burton, author of "Hungry Monkey: A Food-Loving Father's Quest to Raise an Adventurous Eater," does not have my problems. He's a Seattle-based food writer, fearless home cook, and father to the epicurious Iris. My Bradley friends recommended his book, and here I am to do the same. Seriously: even if you don't intend to cook from it, please do read it. He's a talented author and his stories about introducing foods and cooking techniques to his daughter (she's four in his last chapter) are hilarious.

I decided to try out a couple of his recipes this week. These particular ones sounded simple, and I needed to use-up the carrots and brussels sprouts from last week's CSA.

I made:
Cumin-Ginger Carrot Coins
Browned and Braised Brussels Sprouts

They were excellent! Though, again, I forgot to take pictures.

We served both along-side frozen enchiladas (well, they were hot when we ate them... you know what I mean!) and while the brussels sprouts, with their dark green flavor, would initially seem the more natural complement to a steamy, cheesy, beany enchilada, the cumin and ginger made the carrots an unexpectedly nice pairing as well.

We did have some leftovers (our daughter did try both sides and seemed to be fine with both, but just wasn't into eating that evening) and we combined the two different sides into one bowl. I was worried about that, but after reheating for lunch the next day was impressed by how well they did, mingled up all together.

Definitely a hit, super easy, and dishes that we will make again.

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