March 16, 2013

I'm with Frieda

I now work for Frieda's Specialty Produce and loving it. It's not permanent yet, but I'm telling you guys anyway for full disclosure.

This job is a foodie's dream comes true. I get to hear about exciting fruits and vegetables every day, and once in a while I get to take something home to play with.  Employee sales also yield a bounty of great loot and there is always something new to discover.

For example, I was sent home with some Kale Sprouts, a hybrid of Red Russian Kale and Brussels Sprouts. Essentially, combining Brandon's favorite new vegetable and my all time favorite vegetable into one!  I grabbed a recipe suggestion for Brussels Sprouts from Girl + Fire Paulette and cooked up these little purple-tinted beauties. A rough "add this and that for that much" recipe is below. - Pan-roasted Kale Sprouts with Bacon and Brown Butter - Pan-roasted Kale Sprouts with Bacon and Brown Butter

I mentioned the employee sale a minute ago.  The staff in the warehouse loves me now because I'm an easy target. With a little nudge, I'd buy the farm!

My very first order for the sale, I didn't order correctly so there was no produce set out for me to pick up. The guy in charge just had me take a peek at all that was still available.  I intended to only buy Baby Potatoes and Lady Apples. I walked out with Lady Apples, Meyer Lemons, Zululand Baby Pineapples, and Heirloom Tomatoes!  The following week, I didn't have exact change, so the same guy showed me some Rambutans, and instead of trying make some change, I ended up ordering more stuff.

My safety jacket for the warehouse might as well just say, "SUCKER" on the back! LOL

Needless to say, I went ahead and canceled my Tanaka Farms CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) subscription. I really did love that program and it was a tough one to let go of. As I told you guys, we eventually reduced our subscription about a box a month and we still can't keep up.  There are only two people in this household, y'all, and one of them can be a picky eater at times. The produce just kept piling up.

Going forward, Brandon and I can still have a culinary adventure whenever we feel like it, and we'll supplement the rest with the Farmer's Market on Sundays in Long Beach. That's good too because I really miss going to the market.

Anyways. My new cooking adventures will be a very interesting one indeed. I hope you'll come along!

Now, the "recipe" for a very addictive Kale Sprouts dish.

Pan-roasted Kale Sprouts with Bacon and Brown Sugar

This recipe is not measured in anyway. Be brave and trust your judgement! :)


  • About 3-4 oz. of Kale Sprouts. You can get them in bulk at some places and prepackaged in the other. You can just use Brussels Sprouts for this.
  • 4 strips of bacon
  • A splash of water or chicken broth
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced. (Just press it through a garlic press.)
  • A pat of butter
  • A generous pinch of brown sugar - about a tablespoon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

First, cook up your bacon in a skillet until crispy. Save about a tablespoon of bacon dripping. (Some would cook whole slices then crumble them later. I like to chop mine up first and fry up the bits.)

While the bacon is cooking, prep the Kale Sprouts. Give it a wash then trim of the bottom like you'd do with Brussels Sprouts. Halve the larger ones. Leave the little ones whole.

Add Kale Sprouts to the hot bacon dripping, season lightly with salt (bacon is already salty!).  Saute for a few minutes until the Sprouts wilt a little.

[Now, if you're doing this with Brussels Sprouts, you cook until they're nice and brown.] - Pan-roasted Kale Sprouts with Bacon and Brown Butter

Add a splash of water/broth to de-glaze the pan. Add garlic.  Once it comes to bubbling/sizzling, let reduce a bit, [if using Brussels Sprouts, until they're fork tender]. Add the pat of butter, brown sugar, and the bacon. Toss to coat.  Season to taste.

Voila! (Sorry. We were so hungry I didn't stop to plate it for a photo!) - Pan-roasted Kale Sprouts with Bacon and Brown Butter

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