You most likely know Paul Stanley, if you know him at all, from his starring role in The Phantom of the Opera on the Toronto stage for six months in 1999. You might also have heard of his rock band KISS, but they are pretty obscure.
However you know of Paul Stanley, you probably don’t know him as a cook. But in recent years he took up cooking as a hobby, and has turned into quite the chef.
I recently made a Brussels Sprouts dish that he created, and it was amazing, and pretty easy. Here’s a step-by-step of how I did it.
Steamed Balsamic Brussels Sprouts with Prosciutto
Brussels sprouts (about a pound is good)
Prosciutto (I used 8 ounces from the deli section)
Dried cherries (about half a bag)
Shredded Parmesan cheese
First, get fresh Brussels Sprouts if you can, not frozen. Cut off the stem ends and split them in half. (How many sprouts? Paul advises “a good amount,” and reminds us, “I don’t measure.” I used all of a one-pound bag of fresh sprouts.)
Steam the sprouts for about 10-12 minutes; meanwhile, cut the prosciutto into half-inch pieces and cook in olive oil in a skillet until they soften a bit. Remove the meat from the pan and set aside.
Return the prosciutto to the pan and mix everything well.
Then coat the ingredients with balsamic vinegar and top with good quality shredded Parmesan cheese.
(I added a few sliced radishes because they were on hand, but they’re not an official part of the recipe; then again, improvisation and creativity are what rock and roll is all about.)
About the Balsamic vinegar, Paul says,
“Then get a high quality aged balsamic vinegar — I like thick ones, not cheap average store bought — the thicker it is, the more concentrated and sweeter. Add enough to the pan to coat all ingredients. Don't be shy.”
However, an inexpensive store-bought brand is what I used, and it was just fine.
Ideally, you should top it all with lemon zest, but I had no lemon so I skipped that. I think it would definitely have been good, but all was fine without it.
The dish lives up to the claim that even people who think they don’t like Brussels Sprouts will like it - I was one of those people. The sprouts are hefty enough to give it a formidable presence, while the interplay of flavors provides a certain controlled chaos in the mouth. It’s savory, sweet, very slightly bitter and tangy, all at once.
Now that you've seen my pictures, watch the maestro at work:
The total time to make it was about 25 minutes, and no part of it was difficult. This would be a great side for a wide range of entrees, or even a main course now and then. Give it a try. It will make you want to rock and roll all night.