Though there's word that Brussels sprouts' moment might be over (broccoli could emerge as the "it" veggie of 2014), don’t miss the Squeaky Bean's take on this member of the Brassica family. Executive chef Theo Adley flash-fries the leaves before combining them with lime and sherry vinegar for brightness, Red Boat fish sauce for funk, cornflakes for toastiness, and peanuts for earthiness. "I have lifelong projects that I work on,” Adley says, "one of those is creating the ultimate Brussels sprouts dish.” The current combination is a more refined version of the one that appeared on the menu at the Pinyon, Adley's late-restaurant in Boulder.
For me, the recipe is successful because of how the sweet cornflakes and savory peanuts contrast the robust fish sauce. This is an ingredient that Adley uses again and again. "[Fish sauce] is a great element because it's not often distinguished by the Western palate,” he says. “You can integrate nice nutty aspects with underlying funk and gangsta-ness."
Look for the dish, which is currently listed on the menu as a second course, to become more of a side element that can be ordered and passed at the table "It's a good salad," Adley says. "You dig around and build a perfect bite."
Bonus: For more on fish sauce around the world, check out this NPR interview.
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