Saturday, January 21, 2012

Orecchiette With Brussels Sprouts, Gorgonzola, And Brown-Butter Pecans

Tonight I force my son to reevaluate his stance on Brussels sprouts.  I have already converted my husband when I sliced them thin, sauteed them in a little bit of bacon fat and olive oil, and added some sauteed garlic, chopped tomatoes and a splash of balsamic.  Tonight's dinner is something that I think could be great, but the dish we ate tonight tasted of one thing only: Gorgonzola.  If there were double the Brussels sprouts and half the cheese, I think it would be outstanding.  Also I wouldn't sprinkle any cheese over the top.  We thought some hot sauce would help. It didn't; it made it worse. My son, who entered the house when I was roasting the Brussels sprouts and asked "What STINKS?", did declare at dinner that while it stunk while cooking, it was much better than he thought.  I will count it as a success in my mission despite the fact he really couldn't taste much of the sprouts.  The mental battle is half the food battle so next time we have them he will try them with a more open mind.  I would like to fix this recipe, but in its 'as is' state, I wouldn't recommend making it. If anyone tries it with any alterations in the recipe with any success, I would love to know.

Orecchiette With Brussels Sprouts, Gorgonzola, And Brown-Butter Pecans

Kosher salt
20 oz Brussels sprouts,trimmed (4 cups)
3    -1/2 Tbs. extra-virgin-olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1 lb dried orecchiette
1    -1/2 Tbs. unsalted butter
1/2 c  coarsely chopped pecans
2    large shallots,minced (3/4 cup)
3/4 c  heavy cream
4 oz Gorgonzola,crumbled (1 cup)
1    Tbs. fresh lemon juice
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven, set a heavy rimmed
baking sheet on the rack, and heat the oven to 500F. Bring a large pot
of well-salted water to a boil over high heat.
In a food processor fitted with the medium (4 mm) slicing disk, slice
the Brussels sprouts. Transfer them to a large bowl, drizzle with the
oil, sprinkle with 1-1/4 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper, and toss until
well coated. Remove the hot baking sheet from the oven and spread the
Brussels sprouts on it in a single layer. Roast, stirring once about
halfway through the cooking time, until the Brussels sprouts are tender
and flecked with charred bits, 15 to 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the orecchiette according to package directions until
just al dente.
In a medium heavy-duty skillet, melt 1/2 Tbs. of the butter over medium
heat. Add the pecans and cook, stirring frequently, until the butter is
deeply browned and the pecans are toasted, about 3 minutes. Transfer to
a plate and set aside.
Melt the remaining 1 Tbs. butter in the skillet over medium heat. Add
the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 2 to 3
minutes. Add the cream and bring to a simmer. Off the heat, add 3 oz.
(3/4 cup) of the Gorgonzola and stir until melted.
Drain the orecchiette and return it to the pot. Add the Brussels
sprouts,  Gorgonzola sauce, and lemon juice and toss well. Serve,
sprinkled with the pecans and the remaining Gorgonzola.

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