No. 85: Fried Brussels sprouts from Panzano
The culinary landscape of America is currently experiencing a Brussels Sprouts revolution, which says a lot about the way the food tide is turning in this country, especially when you consider the fact that the sprout, once a submissive throwaway cabbage-y thing that was reduced to defective mush after being plunged into hot water and boiled to oblivion, has come full circle, slowly, but steadfastly, becoming the saint of the vegetable world to professional chefs and home cooks.
Restaurants are having a ball with the leafy little orbs, bumping them up with bacon (and more bacon), roasting them the same way you'd roast root vegetables, using them to brighten up salads, and frying them, which is what Elise Wiggins, the executive chef from Panzano, is doing in her kitchen. She pan-fries the sprouts and leaves -- blow on them and they'll flutter like a cluster of pencil shavings -- until they're slightly charred and crisp, splashes them with apple cider vinegar, tosses them with toasted pistachios and crowns the mound with slivers of green apple. It's an impeccable dish of flavors and textures that's about as good as it gets.
Hungry for more? All the dishes in our countdown are linked below:
No. 100: Italian wedding soup from the Squeaky Bean No. 99: American Classic Burger (and fries) from Tarbell's No. 98: E's clam linguini from Mangiamo Pronto No. 97: Queso a la plancha taco from the Pinche Tacos wagon No. 96: Prosciutto-wrapped jalapeño poppers from Tony's Market No. 95: Fried chicken from the Pinyon No. 94: Seafood soup from Farro No. 93: Posole from The Porker No. 92: Breakfast Burrito from the Taco Wagon in Lafayette No. 91: Hummus from Shish Kabob Grill No. 90: Albondigas meatballs from Solera No. 89: Lemon-ricotta doughnuts from Olivéa No. 88: Döner kabob from Shondiz No. 87: Roasted cauliflower salad from Euclid Hall No. 86: Beef cheek enchiladas from El Diablo
In late 2009, we embarked on a culinary journey that took us through our favorite dishes in the Mile High City -- one hundred, to be exact -- as a precursor to the Best of Denver issue. Now we're back with round two, counting down (in no particular order) a hundred more of our favorite Denver dishes in a list that, by our imperfect calculations, should be wrapped up by the time the Best of Denver 2011 hits the streets on March 31. In the meantime, if there's a dish you think we need to try, tell us about it in the comments section below, or shoot us an e-mail at [email protected].