There are some foods that we just don’t like — no matter what you do to it.
Water melon is one such food that I can’t stand with a passion. I remember one incident as a child during a field trip towards the end of the school year. Everyone was enjoying their lunch and towards the end, teachers were passing around water melon as a treat to cool everyone. Just sitting here typing out this story makes me start to gag — I can imagine the smell of water melon which makes me nauseous. I don’t know what it is. Come to think of it, I avoid all types of melons. Any other type of fruit, bring it on, but just please don’t offer me a melon.
Back to my field trip story. Everyone was grabbing a slice as the tray was being passed around and just to avoid the peer pressure, I stuck my hand in and grabbed a slice. Holding it in my hand with that juice dripping and that smell – I slowly raised it to my mouth and took a bite. Awful, just plain awful. I tried chewing but it was no good. I had to spit it out and that was the end of that. I have never eaten water melon again after that incident.
The other food is the infamous brussels sprouts. Funny though, I know I’m not alone on this one. I know there are many of you out there that can’t stand this little veggie. There’s just that bitterness that is distinctive enough for disdain so I’ve avoided that veggie like the plague. But back in November of 2012, I had the chance to dine at a vegan restaurant called Karyn’s on Green in Chicago’s West Loop and I shared my experience in this post. I was pleasantly surprised — everything I ate was really delicious. One of the biggest surprises was the caramelized brussels sprouts that we tried — they were so good! It’s funny how it took a meal at a vegan restaurant to get me to enjoy something I’ve always hated.
Since that point, I’ve really grown to love this little veggie. I haven’t come up with an arsenal of recipes using it, but I have one that is tried and true and so simple to execute that any brussels sprouts haters out there, will become a convert and sing its praises. There are two secret ingredients in this recipe, the first being the all-powerful bacon. Bacon makes everything better and this is no exception.
The other ingredient is balsamic vinegar, to cut the bitterness in the brussels sprouts with the rich, sweet acidity. With a little salt, you’re good to go. It’s a great side dish but I’ve often been known to have it as my main course since it’s just so darn tasty! If you’ve never cooked with brussels sprouts, I hope you give it a try.
As for water melon – that fruit will never pass these lips again.
On a different note, don’t forget to join me on the launch of VRAI Magazine on April 14th. I’m so excited for this and can’t wait to share it with all of you!
- 2 cups Brussels Sprouts washed and cut in half, ends cut off
- 7-8 slices Uncured Bacon - regular bacon will work
- 1/4 Small Onion - chopped
- 1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
- Salt and Pepper
- Chop up bacon and render fat in a large pan or skillet.
- Remove bacon from pan (leaving the drippings) and place on a paper towel - set aside.
- Saute onion in bacon drippings until translucent.
- Add in brussels sprouts, lightly salt and pepper and sauté until tender and lightly browned all around for approximately 10 minutes. Mix every couple of minutes.
- Add balsamic vinegar and continue to mix well for another 1-2 minutes.
- Add in bacon, toss together, then serve.