Recipes: Roasted Curry Fennel Shrooms and Sproutsbir

I don't remember when I started loving Brussel sprouts, but whenever they come into the the markets I tend to eye them until I finally break and buy a bag of them. They're versatile little veggies and this is just one of my favorite preparations.

Prep. Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20-25 minutes

1 lb brussel sprouts
1 lb cremini mushrooms
1 cloves of garlic minced
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp curry powder
2 tsp fennel seed
Salt & Pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.

Start by trimming off any bad spots from the brussel sprouts and halving them through the stem. Do the same for the mushrooms. Make sure you have as little water contact the mushrooms as possible. I clean them with a damp paper towel instead of submerging them in water.

Put the rest of the ingredients in a bowl and incorporate the olive oil and herbs. Add the sprouts and shrooms into the bowl and toss them together. Put everything into an oven safe pan and put them into your preheated oven for 20-25 minutes. If you baking sheet or pan is too small to have a single layer of sprouts and shrooms you'll have to turn them throughout the baking process. Check every 10 minutes to monitor their color.

They say to never over cook brussel sprouts but I love to get them a little charred on the outside making them slightly crispy. Serve and enjoy!

The great thing about this recipe is that you can really use any of your favorite spices in the mix. I sometimes just do olive oil, salt, and pepper and finish with some butter and almond slivers.


Local Eats: The Pig - Chapel Hill, NC

I used to think that my spirit animal was butter. I'm starting to think I'm a pig. A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of talking with Victoria Bouloubasis(click here to read that article), a writer for The Independent. We spoke for hours at length about tour and food and performing all the while stuffing our faces with amazing food. This is a recap of that meal.

The above (drool) is a pork belly sandwich topped with cole slaw, and served with a side of home-made pickles. The pork is perfectly braised to that fall apart texture and the pickles are sweet and crisp.

So the above is what I consider to be vegetable bliss. It's roasted brussel sprouts with mushrooms, and seriously, it's so good you'll swear there's lard on them. PERFECTION in a bowl.

If you're ever in the mood for some good ole fried zucchini I'd say it's official, The Pig, has the best fried zuchs. in town and darn good fries to boot. The BBQ is chop style and for my palette could be spicier and more sour.

This dish reminds me of being in Germany. ThaSam was so nice to bring us out this awesome cold cut plate with home made sauer kraut and spicy mustard. The Germans really know what's up.

Now THAT is a fried green tomato. Most of the time when you get these at restaurants they are thin and non substantial and really don't have much to offer. The crust on these were super crunchy and these tomatoes were HUGE. They were practically a big thick slice of bread with some warm, firm green tomato on the inside.

Prior to this meal I had no idea what the process was for making real "cracklin's." The process is a lot more than just throwing some fat back in a fryer. In fact very little fat is left on them when they hit the grease. The process is too long to discuss for this post but let's just say the next time you eat a cracklin' you should savor every moment of it. AND, if you get the chance to eat some of Sam's cracklin's you're in for a treat. Perfectly airy and crisp, with a touch of sweetness just the way the should be.

So let's go over what we've eaten so far, pork belly, sprouts, zucchini, fries, bbq, cold cuts, fried green tomatoes, cracklin's, and now how am I supposed to fit puffs of air and dough into my belly? Ok, well the fact that they are mostly air really helps, but these things are perfect for that long meal. You get the sweetness without all the heavy, unless of course you eat the whole bowl like we did.

This is Sam. Does he look familiar, because he sure did to me when I walked in. Turns out Sam and I were on the UNC varsity fencing team together my senior year. Crazy small world I tell you. Thanks so much Sam for all the fantastic food!

If you live in Chapel Hill and have a car, you need to drive on over to The Pig and have some pig.