So I got this email the other day, from Pete. It had an attached document, “motherbearmenu” - presumably a menu, presumably of a restaurant named Mother Bear. The body of the email was simple, concise:
The menu read like a Southern gastropub, heavy on the pork. It sounded awesome. I was beginning to wonder why I had never heard of this place before, when I reached the end. *We apologize but our stereo is broken and cannot be turned down,* highlighted in bold, finished up the menu. It was a tip-off.
It’s not a real restaurant. It should be, but it’s not. Well, yet, if we’re all lucky (and hungry and in need of pork fat popcorn, which everyone, always, should be).
This is all to say that I completely forgot to tell you about something I made a few weeks ago, something that made it onto motherbearmenu: brussels sprouts, these amazing, amazing little brussels sprouts, transcendent in a way you never thought something with fish sauce could be.
They’re a Dave Chang original, altered a bit by my own lack of red Thai chiles and Indian puffed rice and shichimi togarashi. Make them now. If you wait, who knows, you could see them on a menu near you sometime in the distant future.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Adapted from Dave Chang
For brussels sprouts
2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved lengthwise
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup Asian fish sauce
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons finely chopped mint
1 garlic clove, minced
1 (1 1/2-inch) fresh green chile, thinly sliced crosswise, including seeds
Preheat oven to 450°F with rack in upper third. Toss Brussels sprouts with oil, then arrange, cut sides down, in a 17- by 12-inch shallow baking pan. Roast, without turning, until outer leaves are tender and very dark brown, 25-35 minutes. Add butter and toss to coat.
While the brussels sprouts are roasting, stir together all dressing ingredients until sugar has dissolved.
Put Brussels sprouts in a serving bowl, then toss with just enough dressing to coat. Serve remaining dressing on the side.