CULINARY THRILL SEEKING — Brussels sprouts and a Soup Month faux pas

Published 6:45 am Monday, January 15, 2024

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I’m not afraid to share a culinary mishap.

January is National Soup Month, so maybe anything goes. This mess-up was a Culinary Thrill Seeking experience.

It was Taco Tuesday, and I was going to transform some leftover beans into a soup by adding some Tex-Mex spices. And some spinach, just for good health. A little rice was going to make this a warm meal.

While stirring, I realized the brown liquid was my leftover gumbo, not the beans. By this time I’d added the other seasonings!

Guess what. It was not horrible. It was just not what I’d expected. Yet, I won’t repeat it. Don’t try this at home.

Frying High — Words I’d never thought I’d utter: “I love Brussels sprouts.”

To be clear, I love them with olive oil and balsamic vinegar from my new West Bend five-quart air fryer with a drawer that delivers crispy goodness.

This little investment of dollars – and counter space – can improve your veggie game. As a kid, I hid from boiled vegetables, but with this appliance, I can gobble them up as if they were party appetizers.

If you’re the frugal sort, know that I’ve also used it to bring new crispy life to faded chips, nuts, etc. I’m late to this trend and totally on board.

New Pepper In Town – This pepper fiend has discovered a new-to-me pepper and it’s only January.

Marupi Pepper is from the Amazon Rainforest. Amazontella offers it in a blend with habanero, salt, dried garlic and (something else rather unusual) chicory. It’s spicy and savory and a bit sweet. So far I’ve savored it over boiled egg, avocado and popcorn.

This company also makes Cupacu Pepper fruit spread that’s perfect for boards, pairing with Manchego, warm toast and even cheesecake. Now that’s a culinary adventure. Take it.

Darragh Doiron is a Southeast Texas foodie ready for new words, new flavors and new challenges. Email her at