Monday, February 04, 2019

Best Brussel Sprouts and Ribs and Zoodles and Applesauce...

Sometimes you find friends at unexpected times and in places that are unusual. Think about it. Most of your friends are probably ones you met at school or work, through your hobbies or children, or they are neighbors or friends of friends. Still, most of us have at least one friend that we made friends with outside of the usual because we recognized something in them that spoke to us of friendship, even beyond the ordinary busyness of our lives.

One such occasion for me happened serendipitously last fall when I rented a B&B and was lucky enough to befriend the owner and his partner. They live a short distance from my daughter so when I visited her last week, they invited us over to their gorgeous house (not the B&B although the B&B is also beautiful) for a wonderful dinner.

Anyone who knows me well knows that I don't share a kitchen very well when I'm cooking. Randy wanted us to all cook together and we did. To my surprise and delight I really enjoyed knocking around the kitchen together as we each made a part of the feast. My part was applesauce and my daughter made some amazing brussel sprouts (even more amazing when you consider that she didn't have the actual seasoning mix she usually used, but figured it out using the spice components). Nathan made delicious zoodles from two kinds of zucchini and Randy made the highlight of the dinner, ribs that were started in the oven but finished outside over a large wood fire (see first photo). Awesome to see it done and even more awesome to eat it! It felt like being with family and the food was good enough to think of as a family feast!

I'll have to get the recipe for the zoodles and the ribs, but I can tell you what went into the sprouts and applesauce.

Kate's Tsardusted Sprouts

For the brussel sprouts, cut each in half and remove any outer leaves that are tough. There should be enough to cover a sheet pan in one layer. Put into a covered container or gallon ziploc bag, then add olive oil (2-3 tablespoons), salt and pepper to taste and Penzey's Tsardust Memories seasoning - start with 1/4 teaspoon and then next time adjust up or down to your taste. Shake to get an even coating on all the sprouts, then spread in a single layer on a sheet pan. (I like to cover the pan with heavy duty foil first for easy clean up.)  Roast in a very hot oven (425 degrees F) , turning once, until tender, about 20 minutes total. Serve while hot.

For the applesauce, peel and dice your favorite apple. Randy loves Honeycrisp, so that's what we used. My daughter peeled them before I got involved, but I leave mine unpeeled...great both ways. Place in a heavy bottomed pot and add cinnamon, ground cloves and nutmeg to taste, plus about 3 tablespoons water. If your apples are tart (or you prefer your applesauce sweet as Randy does), add some sugar, too, to taste. Cover and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring about every 5 minutes. When apples are very tender, stir and crush with a wooden spoon to desired chunkiness. Serve warm or cold.

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