Usually, I don’t get real excited about Easter. This year was a little different. It’s great to be back home with my family, and I couldn’t wait to get my paws on a goblet of wine!
I arrived in Atlanta at 5:30 this morning. My loving mother met me at the airport and took me back to my parent’s house where I fell fast asleep until almost noon when it was time to leave for church.
As soon as we got home from church, we started poppin’ bottles. Or at least, that’s kind of how it went. My Aunt and two cousins came over and we all chatted while my parents (mostly Chef Dad) prepared our Easter meal. Since it was a small crowd, we kept things casual and switched up the menu a bit. Instead of the traditional ham, my dad made his (should be famous) pulled pork. Nothing says “welcome back to the South” like pulled pork cooked overnight on a Big Green Egg.
One traditional holiday staple that didn’t get dropped in the menu makeover was Baby Brussels Sprouts with Buttered Pecans. They’re a family favorite. In fact, I’m 92% sure they’re the only reason my aunt even visits on holidays.
Here’s how you can make them:
1/2 cup pecans, chopped coursly
3 tbsp. unsalted butter
3/4 tsp. salt
2 pounds baby Brussels sprouts, trimmed (regular sprouts work just fine!)
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 350* F. Spread the pecan pieces out in a cookie tray and bake until fragrant and slightly darker (about 10 mins). Add 1/2 tbsp. butter and 1/4 tsp. salt to the nuts and toss until butter is melted and nuts are coated.
2. While the nuts are baking, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook (blanch) the sprouts in it for 5-6 minutes, just until tender. After 5-6 minutes, transfer them immediately to a bowl of ice water to prevent further cooking. Drain your sprouts and pat them dry.
3. Melt the remaining butter (2 1/2 tbsp.) in a large, heavy skillet (12 inches is perfect) over moderate heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, stirring, about 1 minute.
4. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the sprouts. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until browned in patches, about 5 minutes.
5. Add lemon juice, pepper, remaining salt (1/2 tsp) and pecans. Stir to mix, and serve!
Recipe from Gourmet magazine, November 2006. Accessed through Epicurious.com in 2009.