I was alone in the kitchen, but I had that feeling of being watched — being watched and shamed.
I was deep-frying Brussels sprouts, batch by sizzling batch. They made the noise of screaming children. After a few minutes, the screaming stopped. I lifted them from the oil and drizzled tahini sauce over them as a balm. Then I scattered festive pomegranate seeds on top to induce distraction (it leads to forgetting).
That’s how you make the best Brussels sprouts recipe known to humans.
FRIED BRUSSELS SPROUTS with POMEGRANATE-TAHINI SAUCE
based on a recipe by Rawia Bishara of Tanoreen, Brooklyn:
¾ cup tahini (Middle Eastern sesame paste)
2 garlic cloves, crushed or coarsely chopped
⅓ to ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice(from about 3 lemons)
⅓ teaspoon salt, more to taste
1 cup low-fat plain yogurt
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
canola oil for frying or roasting
3 to 4 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
½ to 1 cup of pomegranate seeds
Make the sauce: In a food processor or blender, combine the tahini, garlic, 1/3 cup lemon juice and 1/3 teaspoon salt. Blend until smooth. Add the yogurt and pomegranate molasses and blend again. Add more salt or lemon juice to taste, then set aside.
Make the sprouts: If frying, pour 1/2 inch canola oil in a deep skillet. Heat until very hot but not smoking. (Test by gently dropping a half sprout into the oil; when oil is ready, sprout will pop loudly and sizzle immediately.) Work in batches to avoid crowding the pan. Fry sprouts until browned and crisp but still bright green, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove to paper towels to drain.
If roasting, heat oven to 375 degrees and place a pan of water on the bottom shelf to prevent sprouts from drying out. Toss sprout halves in about 3 tablespoons corn oil until slick, but not dripping. Spread them out on 2 sheet pans and bake until tender and browned, about 30 minutes.
When ready to serve, spread cooked sprouts on a platter. Drizzle with about 1/2 cup sauce and scatter pomegranate seeds over the sauce. Serve immediately, passing any extra sauce at the table.