Brussel Sprouts with Basil, Mustard Seeds, and Rice Noodles


P1030463The other day my friend Erica suggested I do some posts for people who do not feel at home in the kitchen. She wanted ideas for dead simple meals to cook for one. I said I thought that was a great idea and I would get right on it, and I will…but first, first, I made this.

This is the opposite. This is far too complicated a dish to cook for one person, and certainly far too complicated a dish to start making for one person at 8:30 at night when you’re leaving for three weeks of travel in two days and haven’t started packing or finished the work you need to do before you go. But, Noah doesn’t like meals that are made up almost entirely of brussels sprouts, and there was an 11 ounce box of brussels sprouts that had to be used in the next two days. Who else was going to eat them? Plus, after playing with this recipe for five months I’m finally happy with it, and now it’s all I want to eat. So, I made it. And then I thought that since I so rarely spend five months playing with any recipe, I should probably share it with all of you.

Ironically, I played with this recipe for five months because it is a riff on one of my favorite dead simple meals for one: roast brussels sprouts + pasta + squeeze of lemon + fried egg. So, in October, when I was flipping through Madhur Jaffrey’s At Home with Madhur Jaffrey and noticed that she had a recipe for Indian brussels sprouts with rice noodles, I decided to make it immediately.

But, I don’t know. It was kind of bland. I didn’t have the curry leaves the original recipe calls for so that might have been part of the problem, but the proportions didn’t seem like what I wanted either. So I kept fiddling. I added more basil, more mustard seeds, more rice and it still didn’t do it for me. Two weeks ago, in a fit of pique, I finally doused the whole thing in some coconut oil mixed with cumin and coriander and suddenly I felt like I had hit brussels sprout nirvana.

You might invite some one over to eat this with you, if only so you don’t eat every last bite of it by yourself. That said, if you happen to like being in the kitchen and love brussels sprouts, I think you’ll find this worth the effort even if it’s a meal for one. For the rest of you, I promise simpler recipes soon, although that may have to wait until I’m done with the travels…

Brussel Sprouts with Basil, Mustard Seeds, and Rice Noodles (Adapted from At Home with Madhur Jaffrey) 
This dish is more brussels sprouts with noodles than noodles with brussels sprouts. As is, I think it could easily serve two, which didn’t stop me from eating all of it by myself. If you prefer your dish more noodle and less vegetable based, you could easily double the amount of rice noodles. 

– 11 Ounces Brussel Sprouts, trimmed and quartered

– 1/2 cup chopped basil

– 2 tablespoons olive oil

– 2 teaspoons raw white rice

– 1 teaspoon mustard seeds

– 1/2 cup water

– Small handful rice sticks

–  1 tablespoon coconut oil

– 1 teaspoon cumin

– 1 teaspoon coriander

– 2 shakes cayenne pepper

– Salt to taste

* Trim and quarter your brussels sprouts.

* Bring a pot of water to a boil. Take off heat. Add rice sticks and let sit 8-10 minutes until soft. (Check box for directions as all rice noodles are a little different.)

* Heat olive oil in pan over medium heat.

* When hot add rice, a few seconds later add mustard seeds.

* When the mustard seeds start to pop add brussels sprouts, basil, and a sprinkle of salt. Stir and fry for five minutes, until the brussels sprouts begin to turn brown.

* Add a half cup of water to brussels sprouts and cover. Turn heat to low and cook for 3-5 minutes.

* Meanwhile heat coconut oil and then stir coriander, cumin, and cayenne into heated oil. (To save time and dishes I have done this in the microwave more than once.)

* Drain rice sticks and add to brussels sprouts, pour coconut oil mixture in to pan, and stir fry for 2 minutes.

* Serve with hardboiled egg, salt, or hot sauce.



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