I COULD BE WRONG, BUT I THINK I’M DEAD.

It is with great sadness and regret I must inform you that I guess I’m dead.  Probably.  I haven’t been officially declared or anything but all indications lead to that conclusion.

I actually died about 3 months ago, so how I’ve been able to maintain my posting schedule is a testament to my blogging dedication.

Let me bring you all back to an unusually cool night in September of 2016.  I remember it well for someone who is dead.  I was on vacation with family in Tofino, British Columbia.  After a day of fall surfing, complete with wetsuits and burning lungs, we all warmed up and headed to a local restaurant that had been recommended.

Shelter.  (no, this isn’t a sponsored post, the restaurant is a very important character in this murder mystery)

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We weren’t sure if we were going to get in because it was packed with other people who probably didn’t surf all day and therefore in my mind were not as deserving of food as we were.  I stink eyed people who seemed to be lingering over their coffees but they just stink eyed me back.  Which I think was very rude and not at all in keeping with stink eye protocol around the world.  When someone gives you the stink eye you recoil in fear and get the hell out of sight.  Anyhow.  We were finally shown a table at the back of the outdoor patio, where we grabbed our menus and started perusing.

British Columbia surprised me in that I thought there would be a whole lot of vegetarian options in the restaurants there but there weren’t. I’m not a vegetarian so I didn’t care. I was just surprised.  I can’t remember what I ordered for my meal that night.  I can’t remember it one iota.  What I can remember is what we ordered as an appetizer.  I remember it vividly for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is, it was the thing that led me to my grave. The one I’m pounding out this post for you from.

After protesting and fist pounding and I’m not going to lie to you, a very enthusiastic middle finger given to the waiter who brought the menu with the offending appetizer on it, I crossed my arms over my chest, and pouted. I was vetoed you see.  This was not the appetizer I wanted to order. It was the appetizer I wanted to order only if I could drop kick it back to the hell it came from.  My vote was dismissed by the other family members I was out to dinner with.  The devil appetizer was coming and there was nothing I could do about it.

The exact day I died was September 21st.

hello-from-the-grave

 

The appetizer was brussels sprouts.  I ate them.  I loved them.  I’m so ashamed.

Here’s my history with brussels sprouts in case you don’t know.

We left the restaurant, and everyone else resumed their vacation as if nothing had happened. As if the world hadn’t split open, as if pigs weren’t flying, hell wasn’t freezing over and horses weren’t growing horns.

Now, if I’d come across any other dish at a restaurant I loved as much as this I would have eaten it, mentioned how good it was driving home in the car and then forgotten about it.  But this was different. This was me liking my archenemy brussels sprouts.  LOVING them.

So I did the only thing I could do; when I got home I did a bit of research, tracked down who the chef at Shelter restaurant was, found his email address and sent him a quick and possibly alarming email.

“HALPPPP.  HATE … LOVE … YOU … EAT … WAHHHHH … BRUSSELSPROUTS!  , NEVERWANNABALSAMICBAKEBARFSOAWFULDEVILHEADACK.  SNARFSLNGIEBKIH … ~ your fan, Karen Bertelsen”.

Remarkably, chef Matty Kane, of Shelter restaurant is fluent in Frantic and he knew exactly what I meant in my email. He sent me the recipe right away.  It even showed up before the restraining order.

 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 100g apple cider vinegar
  • 25g peeled shallot
  • 30g peeled garlic
  • 40g curly parsley
  • 100g honey
  • 50g olive oil
  • 160g grapeseed oil
  • 5g smooth dijon mustard
  • 2g salt
Instructions
  1. Use either a blender or a an immersion blender to combine all the dressing ingredients thoroughly.
  2. Put prepped brussels sprouts into deep fryer set at 350 degrees for 2 minutes.
  3. Toss with enough apple cider vinaigrette to lightly coat and top with fresh grated parmesan & toasted sourdough breadcrumbs.
  4. Serve immediately. Seriously. Right away.

 

Turns out there is a way I like brussels sprouts.  I like them if you deep fry them.  And I like them if you toss them in a delicious apple cider vinaigrette.

brussels-sprouts

I think it’s important to clarify my position on brussels sprouts at this point in time.  I like brussels sprouts.

But only when they don’t taste like brussels sprouts.

 

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113 Comments

  1. Robert says:

    😨😨😱😱😱😱😱😱😱 I haven’t even read the whole post but when I got to the Brussels sprouts I had to comment and tell you that I think I also died and might be writing this from the beyond.

  2. Rebecca dubous says:

    Welcome to the sprout side of life!

    We always toss in a bit of bacon with a similar vibegrette when we cook the little demon sprouts too

    And o Have 4 plants still growing in the garden (Christmas here we come!) and I’m hundreds of km north of you – protected they withstand hard frost and snow!!!

    Try em next year they are crazy looking plants!!

    • Karen says:

      Hey Rebecca! I have indeed grown them, I just don’t like to eat them, lol. And I can guarantee I won’t eat them often or any other way no matter how much people try to push them on me. I’ve tried them a hundred different ways and hate them all. These just have enough sauce and fat on them to disguise them. You’re right though, they’re are really fun to grow! ~ karen!

      • TucsonPatty says:

        Frying makes absolutely anything taste better! It is in the rules.
        I recoiled in shame for you, though, after I gasped and clutched my heart. ; )

        • Anita says:

          made this recipe 2 nights in a row WOW the sprouts really handle the deep fat frying and tossing the hot veg in the beautiful vinegrette (“lightly toss”) is ambrosia! multitude of textures with crispy smaller pieces, halved ones and the whole ones. BTW my sprouts were on the small size and super average quality.

          • Karen says:

            Hard to believe that a brussels sprout could be so delicious isn’t it? You must have done it right! Temp too low and they’re mushy greaseballs, temp too high and they’re black on the outside and raw on the inside. Good job! ~ karen

  3. MrsChris SA says:

    Nope, not me, never ever ever ever ever – in any form or manner.
    Yuck!

  4. Karin says:

    Bwahaha. Welcome to the dark side.

  5. Brandy Ballard says:

    Bwahahahahaha……..rolling….THESE are the posts that started me reading your blog.

    And I have to agree with you about the devil sprouts

  6. Sarah says:

    I’m not sure how I feel about this.

  7. How many sprouts for the recipe? What does prepped mean in this context?

    • Lez says:

      I was wondering both the same questions, & also where are the shallots in the ingredients used? I’m a bit confused, are all the above ingredients just for the dressing? Please Karin?
      And congrats on being so brave & making it out to the other side! 🙂

      • Karen says:

        Yes, all of the ingredients (other than the brussels sprouts) are in the dressing. Everything. Shallot, garlic, honey … all of it. It all gets blended up and forms the dressing. ~ karen!

    • Karen says:

      Prepped for brussels sprouts means the outer leaves removed and the dry end of the stem cut off. ~ karen!

      • Joanne says:

        (… and if there are sprouts that are “larger than norm” – cut them in half so they cook at the same speed of the others.)

    • Katie C. says:

      I was wondering all the same things…

  8. Jennie Lee says:

    I had to refresh my memory about your previous Brussels sprout experience. I am glad I did. If I ever need to zest anything, I’ll get out my wood rasp. But sprouts? Uh uh.

  9. Tina says:

    Girl! Got your mojo back. Best post in awhile. Love ya lots. TL

  10. Stephbo says:

    I demand to know who this is and what you have done to Karen!

  11. whitequeen96 says:

    I know you think I’m going to congratulate you, Karen, for liking this dish. But honestly, even tennis balls would taste good if prepared this way! However, you DID try something new/scary, so you get credit for that! 🙂

  12. Katie Golczynski says:

    I. Am. Shocked. I can’t take all of this. DON’T YOU KNOW WHAT’S HAPPENING ON TUESDAY?!?!

  13. Lush says:

    Its a genuine thing that only some people like the Devils’ eggs & anything in the same family. Something to do with the chemical make up of brassicas. Similar issues with red wine, strong cheeses & children.

    However I agree that deep frying can make most things better & that dressing sounds delicious.

    For when you feel like stepping outside that Never Never box, try them this way.

    Trim & bring to the boil for 3 to 5 minutes.
    Should be able to stick a knife into them & easily remove.
    Drain & toss in a big knob of butter & dust with white pepper.
    Combine with fried streaky bacon & onion.

    You will get there now you have the taste & we will get to mock you all over again.

    Welcome to the dark side.

    Cheers
    Lush x

    • Karen says:

      Nope. Not gonna happen. Not. Going. To Happen. Thanks though, I appreciate the effort! 🙂 I still hate brussels sprouts. Love other brassicas right down to the very strong taste of Broccoli Rabe. Brussels sprouts terrify me. I think they might be possessed and somehow tricked me into liking them in this restaurant in order to get the word out about them. They’re cunning that way. ~ karen!

  14. Elaine says:

    Was it you, Karen, that said you once saw little wiggly things in sprouts? If it wasn’t you, then I’m mixed up but ever since I read that (and the blogger had really washed them!) I’ve never bought them again. I never minded them (before) if they were tossed in lots of butter and salt.

    • Karen says:

      Noooo that wasn’t me Elaine! Definitely not! I’m certain I’d remember wiggly sprouts. I normally grow my own sprouts, but if I’m in a rush I definitely buy them. I’m not sure I will again though, lol! ~ karen

    • Susan says:

      That’s broccoli that has the wiggly things and they aren’t little wiggly things, they’re great big fat green worms that disguise themselves as broccoli. I love broccoli but it’s the only thing I don’t want from the organic farm. I want my broccoli laden with toxic chemicals because that’s the only thing that ensures a vegetarian dish.

  15. Lisa says:

    Childhood memories of being force-fed brussel sprouts and chokoes – in cheese sauce… Just say NO! Unless they are fried of course. 🙂

  16. Catt in Kentucky says:

    Brussel sprouts….love them. I don’t own a deep fryer though. I have never fried veggies. I might roast them instead.

  17. Jacquie says:

    Wow, now that’s a post I never thought I’d see. I have one sprout a year, on Christmas Day because I promised my mum I would and even though we live in different countries, she’d know if I didn’t have it – mums just know stuff like that.

    Now let’s see how many recipes people post trying to convert you to a full-time brussels eater 🙂

  18. whatever, dude…I knew it. brussel sprouts are awesome! haha…it’s about time you got with the program.

  19. Mary says:

    Check out Once Upon a Chef for her most recent post. Many Bsprout recipes that might interest you. She has great ideas to make you want to eat previously hated foods.

    • Karen says:

      Nope. I won’t want to eat them. I’ve tried them hundreds of ways and I truly hate them. Thank you though. 🙂 ~ karen!

  20. Melissa says:

    Ugh. I. Hate. Brussels. Sprouts.
    H. A. T. E.
    Can’t stand the smell, the sight of then makes me run for the hills. Maybe it’s because my momma made us eat them when we were little…like “if you don’t eat your Brussels sprouts, every last one, there will be no dessert”
    What? No dessert? Damn, must eat the sprouts.

    Though, when you describe them, in all their vinagary goodness, cheese and all, it made me copy and save that stinkin recipe. Why????

    Where you lead, I will follow….maybe…even though I have to figure out and convert the damn grams thing into something I can understand!

    I hope I survive, if not, I’ll join you on the other side.

  21. Nicole says:

    I too do not like brussel sprouts and married into a family that happily eats them weekly. Even the three year old who whines all day. I did start eating them in a superfoods salad kit last year that I and everyone I know got addicticted too. You’ll have seen it in all of the grocery stores, Walmart, Costco. They’ve been taken to the mandolin and mixed with kale and whatever else so they’re barely distinguishable. What you did was eat brussel sprouts on they’re own when they still looked like Brussels sprouts so you should be able to handle them shaved in a salad.

    • Lois Baron says:

      The only way to make brussel sprouts less desirable is to mix them with kale, which is I hate, hate, hate, regardless of how popular it gets.

      I think brussel sprouts are cute–they look like miniature cabbages and miniatures of anything are cute.

      And I’m willing to try Karen’s recipe. I liked tofu once, when it was deep fried.

  22. jainegayer says:

    You crack me up but I still HATE brussel sprouts!

  23. Cecelia says:

    Noooo, Karen! You haven’t LIVED until you have eaten deep-fried Brussels sprouts!!!

  24. Beckie says:

    I would think (hope?) somewhere under one of your sprout-hate posts I would have said something like: “Keep trying, there’s probably 1 way you will like them.”

    It stood to reason since you like everything else in that veggie family.

  25. Ev Wilcox says:

    One of us…one of us…one of us….We got her! Yay!

  26. Christie says:

    Whoa… I also hate brussel sprouts, but am willing to give this one a try. However, I do not have a deep fryer – and am not going to get one, because who are we kidding? I’d make french fries ALL THE TIME!

    So do you toss the sprouts in the vinaigrette before roasting? Or after?

  27. Mary W says:

    Anything is possible – just look at our election. No – DO NOT look, it will make you think brussel sprouts are delicious in comparison. LOL I never want to think it possible that I am not afraid of spiders and could actually let one crawl on me – that scares me to death. I do not want to get over this stupid fear so I can understand your fear of possibly liking the devil sprout. Fried and drenched is a good coverup for sprouts but even then, it would not be possible to get me to try spiders. So glad you tried them. I try to taste any new food just in case it is something I will love but of course, not a spider. You are brave!

  28. KariMcD says:

    Right there with ya girlfriend. BUT, there’s a restaurant in my neighborhood called Stock and Barrel….they make this same dish. And though both my DH and I loathe the nasty little buggers, we eat these like we are stoners with a fresh bag of Lays potato chips. Oh. So. Good!

  29. Leslie in Hampton says:

    Shamefully I like those little sprouts so this sounds really good to me. Mmmm I might just try this.

  30. Joanne says:

    It was a weird week, and I’m wondering, Karen, if you, by any chance, might be a Cubs fan? Because millions of us also think we died in the last week. Or perhaps you’re a supporter of rugby, and saw that the Irish National Team beat Australia (while playing in Chicago) for the first time in 118 years? Millions of Ireland supporters think they’ve also died and gone to heaven.

    It was a weird week. I’m glad you tried something new and liked it…. but like the Cubs, and Ireland, there is no need to rush to repeat this occurrence. Once every 100 years or so sounds about right for (1) Ireland beating the All Blacks, (2) Cubs winning the World Series and (3) Karen tasting and liking a brussel sprout!

    • Karen says:

      I’m not a Cubs fan in general, but I was a HUGE fan last week, lol. I was really, really rooting for them and that last game of the series was unbelievable. It was such an exciting last hour and I was jumping up and down thrilled for the Cubs. 🙂 ~ karen!

    • Leticia says:

      Hey, Joanne – just a tiny little defense of New Zealand from a Brazilian that knows next to nothing about rugby. The All Blacks are from New Zealand, not Australia. 🙂 It’s almost the same to both of us, but not to them, I’ll bet. It sounded strange to me, but I had to google it myself to be sure. Kudos to Ireland, by the way.

  31. Jeanie Burch says:

    I LOVE brussel sprouts and this sounds delicious!

  32. Mindy says:

    I would just like to say, told ya so.

  33. Making this tonight. 🙂 Thanks.

    • Karen says:

      You’re welcome. I think. I hate to increase the popularity of this awful little ball of green, but … I think you’ll like it! ~ karen!

  34. Marilyn says:

    Any way,any time. I love sprouts.

  35. Angie says:

    I hate them as well. Actually I hate them cooked as they are okay raw in the salad mix someone mentioned above (I hate kale too). I can’t stand any form of cooked cabbage/little green brains. The stench of them cooking just gags me. Also the awful smell of sauerkraut. Shudder. That’s why my wonderful husband goes to his mother’s place for cabbage rolls (I ate one once to be polite but that was the end of it) and my mother loads him up with homemade sauerkraut to eat when I’m not here.

  36. Manisha says:

    I swooned and died a little when I had Brussels sprouts with honey and bacon. Never before in my life had I had such a tasty treat. I feel ya, sister!

  37. Jenifer says:

    WTH?? Next thing you know, you’ll be telling us that you love sunflowers! As if Mondays aren’t hard enough!

    What.is.this.world.coming.to?

    I’m going back to bed…

  38. maggie van sickle says:

    I to used to used to be a hater of Brussel sprouts but I think it all boiled down to the way they were cooked. BOILED! These days people have come up with more tasty and healthier ways to eat them. Now I love them. My favourite way is to shred them and saute in a bit of Olive oil and garlic, s&p, lemon zest and snow peas. Just before serving I squeeze a bit of lemon juice over them. Yum! I will however try your way for sure Karen. It is a beautiful day here on Buckhorn Lake. Hope you are enjoying your day.

  39. Sara B says:

    They also don’t taste like brussel sprouts in balsamic vinegar! Check out the various recipies with balsamic vinegar and parmasan cheese. Yum.
    This was a nice start to my Monday.
    #deadalso #lovebrusselsprouts

  40. Linda in Illinois says:

    Memories of being force feed brussel sprouts from a can just boiled on the stove, makes me gag and puke just like when I was force feed them. I never ever had them again my whole life until one day that we were instructed by you to try something new and get out of a rut, well the menu called for fried brussel sprouts and I gingerly tried them. It wasn’t bad but mind you I couldn’t really taste them either because it had all kinds of other flavors mixed in. I will never buy them or grow them but I’m glad you all do the taste testing for me. Thanks for the memories, gag, gag. LOL !

  41. Liz says:

    Hahaha! this is awesome. I’m trying to think of a food/dish I’ve been converted to… can’t. I was shocked to love haggis the first time I tried it. I still hate liver and eggplant, and I think I would feel hurt if my family insisted on a liver or eggplant based appetizer to share with me having a whole menu to choose from! Rude.

  42. Teri says:

    It took the 16 y.o. neighbour child to bring me to the Brussel sprout table.
    She is a cooking phenom and taught me that with enough pancetta, garlic and Parmesan added, fried sprouts could actually taste like something edible. I’m passing on your recipe which she will no doubt try and love. Her skill is such I want her to be grateful to me.
    Thanks, this saves me a trip to Tofino, although it seldom disappoints either.
    If you weren’t already dead from the sprout episode, watching the excitement of the Cubbies game 7 could have done it.

  43. Beth says:

    Wonderful looking recipe. Any chance you could translate for us stupid United States non-metric backward folk?

    Beth

  44. Angela says:

    My thoughts exactly! Please translate!
    Angela

  45. Valerie says:

    Here’s an alternate idea for this vegetable:
    Wash the sprouts well. Sit at the kitchen table with a sharp paring knife removing the end and deflower the sprouts one at a time. When you have a bowl of deflowered sprouts you can drizzle on your favourite vinaigrette and add grated parmesan cheese on top.
    No cooking here which I think probably creates the strong taste usually associated with these little devils and a nice alternative to a cabbage salad.

  46. Darla says:

    Printed the recipe, but I am still skeptical about those green things!
    I’ll have to work out the nerve to try it.

  47. Melissa says:

    Karen, I’m so pleased you found a preparation method for B-Sprouts that you enjoy. It does sound good, so I will give it a try. As long as they’re not boiled, I tend to like them… Now, on to my November list of getting ready for Christmas!

  48. Heather says:

    I have only liked brussel sprouts once and they were deep fried. They are still the devils food but deep fried… they can stay. On another note any chance you can provide the Yorkshire pudding recipe?

  49. Babs says:

    Roasted Brussels Sprouts with balsamic reduction and candied peppered bacon, ’nuff said, mic drop

  50. Stephanie says:

    In your defense, I suspect that recipe would make shoe-leather shavings taste delicious. Which means that if it made the dreaded brussels sprouts deceptively yummy it would make some other, actually palatable vegetable, even more delicious. I think you were duped by a good marinade.

    Standing firmly in the “over my dead body” corner where brussels sprouts are concerned.

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