I’m still feeling sick, but I’m on the mend. I finished up my round of antibiotics yesterday, finishing up a round of steroids today, and have been taking lots of vitamins and trying to eat tons of leafy greens to get healthy. I’ve been sick for over a week at this point! Right now, I feel like I’ve just got a post-nasal drip thing going on, where my throat hurts and I feel like I have an ear infection or something. I am just exhausted, but I also need to get out of the house at least once a day because I am the kind of person who goes insane sitting on the couch all. day. long. I had plans with my friend Valerie to go to Minetta Tavern for her birthday for weeks, so I sucked it up and we went this weekend. It was fantastic – I’ve always wanted to go and try their famous burger, and I’m glad that I loaded up on medicine and did it. The food was phenomenal, and the company was even better. It did really take it out of me, though, and I slept until past 10 AM the next day, which I never, ever do. I’m usually up by 8 AM at the latest. Kramer made me get out of the house again later that day to go look for a new couch; we promised ourselves we’d do it soon into the new year, but I hate shopping and had been using my illness to get out of going. I could only manage to get through three stores, but luckily, we found a couch and bought it and now I can wash my hands of it – Kramer can figure out delivery and whatnot, hah. I did almost pass out on our way into the city, though. I just felt like my airway was blocked and I couldn’t get a breath of fresh air. I just clung to Kramer’s arm and shuffled my way above ground, where I got some tea and felt a bit better, but let me tell you, this was my second close call underground and thankfully Kramer was there, otherwise I think I would have had to ask someone for help (ugh). We grabbed some pasta for dinner and called it an early night, but he admitted that I looked horrible for that 20 minutes or so where I felt like I wasn’t going to make it. My body has betrayed me, obviously. It’s the worst! We’re going to see The Heiress on Tuesday night, too, and I swear, I will go to bed at 8 PM tonight and load up on vitamin C in order to not feel like death. Everyone’s sick this time of year, I guess. Everyone in my office definitely is – I don’t think there’s anyone there who hasn’t got at least a bit of a cough. C’est la vie.
In an effort to get my health back, I’ve been eating lots of greens, as I’ve said. I did make this a while back, with my leftover venison, but I’d love a big plate of it now. You don’t have to use venison, or any meat at all, for that matter, but it was so good that I wanted to eat it as much as I could while it was still fresh. The first time I had sunchokes was at Roberta’s in my neighborhood, and Kramer and I fell in love with them at first bite. Sunchokes are also referred to as Jerusalem artichokes, although they are not native to the area for which it takes its name at all, nor are they any kind of artichoke. They look like ginger root, have a texture similar to that of a potato, and taste like a nuttier, sweeter version of everyone’s favorite tuber. They work really well with the Brussels sprouts, and take about the same amount of time to roast, so they were made to be together. You can certainly use potatoes in their place, if you like, but if you’re never had the pleasure of trying a sunchoke, go for it! They’re high in iron and potassium, too, so they’re great for sickly people like me. I tossed all of this in a sweet dijon mustard and maple syrup dressing, and added a few bits of crunchy, aged cheddar to the top, along with raw Brussels sprouts leaves, for a fresh, slightly crunchy texture. I also just love raw Brussels sprouts – it was hard for me to not eat all of the leaves I hand picked off and set aside while I was cooking. Try it – you’ll be surprised at how much you love the leaves all on their own.
Slice up your meat (if you’re using it), sear it until brown and caramelized, then remove from the pan. Add in the sunchokes and sprouts and cook until tender. Reserve some raw sprouts leaves for the salad.
- any leftover protein (I used venison, but you can use beef, pork, chicken, or just leave it as a vegetarian/vegan dish)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
- 1 pint sunchokes, cleaned, trimmed and thinly sliced
- 1½ cups brussels sprouts, cleaned, trimmed and thinly sliced (reserve any loose leaves to put on the salad later on)
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- pinch ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons grainy mustard
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- juice of ½ a lemon
- shaved Parmesan or aged cheddar cheese (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Heat your oil or butter in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat, then add in your protein and cook until browned and caramelized, about 2 minutes (unless you are using bacon, then just cook until crisp). Remove with a slotted spoon, place on a plate lined with paper towel and set aside.
- Add in another tablespoon or two of oil or butter, then add in your thinly sliced sunchokes over medium-high heat. Cook until blistered and becoming slightly tender, about 6-8 minutes, then add in the thinly sliced Brussels sprouts (but save some raw leaves for a pretty finishing touch). Toss in the rosemary, salt, and pepper, stir to combine, and allow to cook for an additional 6-8 minutes, until almost completely tender. Add in the meat, whisk together the mustard, maple syrup, and lemon juice, and toss to combine. Place in the oven and cook for 8-10 minutes, until everything is tender and warm.
- Remove the pan from the oven, toss with the raw Brussels sprouts leaves and cheese, adjust seasonings as desired, and serve warm (although this tastes great reheated for lunch the next day or for breakfast with a fried egg on top, too).