It was a crisp night. The clicking of our boots and laughter nearly drowning out the city noise. The energy and roar of the night was palpable. Philadelphia, people, life. Maybe it had to do with the few glasses of wine we’d had beforehand but I was dizzyingly giddy. A strange reunion with myself.
I have children…small ones. Life is usually pretty chaotic. Not necessarily in a bad way but in a “day is filled with crying, laughter, tantrums, messy and beautiful moments” way. It’s how life with kids is. I wouldn’t change any part of it.
But every now and again, I get the opportunity to jump ship for a night, and reconnect with the person I used to be prior to kids. That one generally wants to have a few drinks and dance until her legs give out. I’m completely unapologetic for wanting the mom in me and the me in me to coexist. There’s room for both and I don’t want to neglect the me self at the expense of my mom self.
We arrived at the restaurant, the host lining up flutes shortly after noticing our champagne bottle. BYO is wonderful. It was late. I couldn’t recall the last time I had dinner at 10 o’clock but it didn’t matter. Hungry, excited and appreciative of every moment of the evening, I took it all in. Sushi chefs assiduously preparing rolls; fluidly laying out rice, fish and vegetables. People walking in and out, and my group discussing various topics.
Our table was ready. Going out to eat is not challenging but it requires a bit of inquiry about the way food is prepared. A Brussels sprout salad with sweet chili sauce and sushi were going to do it for me.
The provocative conversation and luscious champagne temporarily faded in the background once I took the first bite of the Brussels sprouts. My friend looked at me all smiles, knowing that I’d love it. While everyone was eating and chatting, I took it upon myself to disect the salad. Notes were in order. I couldn’t stop thinking or talking about how insanely delicious this Brussels sprouts salad was. Everyone agreed…it was spectacular.
We stayed up late, danced until we couldn’t anymore and at close to 3am I found myself thinking about how potentially awful I would feel the next day/the Brussels sprout salad.
When you’re into food, you sort of really geek out on that kind of thing. I own it…
So it had to be recreated. I took shortcuts. I didn’t make my own sweet chili sauce from scratch but it is on my to do list. For now a bottle of the deliciously pre-made stuff did the job.
From what I was able to pick apart at the restaurant, there were red onions, Brussels sprouts, carrots, purple cabbage, shallots and scallions. And of course that delicious sticky sauce. I made it, I swooned and now I want to share it with you.
brussels sprouts salad with purple cabbage and sweet chili sauce
prep time: 10 minutes
cook time: 25 minutes
makes: 2-4 servings
12 oz bag of Brussels sprouts, thinly sliced
3 small carrots peeled and cut into small strips
1/8 purple cabbage, thinly sliced
1 shallot, thinly sliced
2 tbsp finely chopped red onion
2 tbsp coconut oil divided
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tbsp sweet chili sauce
large cast iron frying pan
Preheat cast iron pan. Add 1 tbsp coconut oil, shallot and a pinch of salt and cook on medium until shallots are crispy but not burned – about 5-7 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
Add remaining coconut oil along with red onion. Cook for 5 minutes until onion is soft, stirring regularly. Add Brussels sprouts, carrots, salt and pepper and cook for 10 minutes, stirring regularly. Add purple cabbage and cook for another 5.
Next turn off heat and add sweet chili sauce. Combine well. Top with crispy shallots.