For all those dads who claimed that you'd never amount to anything until you "grew up," finally a legitimate retort: Denver's funky favorite, The Squeaky Bean. The offbeat restaurant has gained a reputation for quirky twists that taste incredible, such as its Brussels sprouts with corn flakes. Executive chef Theo Adley has taken a vegetable so loathed by kids and mixed it with the one full-proof solution to all things culinary before the age of 12 – cereal. "It's like a really weird bowl of corn flakes," says Adley. "There are so many different bites you can get out of it with each spoonful."
The dish has the distinctive flavor of the roasted sprouts, then a dash of herbal Thai vinaigrette, and next the toasty notes of peanuts and corn flakes. All of this is followed by a savory crunch of charred cabbage flakes, hearty nuts, and rugged chips of cereal.
Crispy Brussels Sprouts (Serves 2)
- 2 cups Brussels sprouts halved or quartered, depending how big they are
- 2 tsp red boat fish sauce
- 2 tsp sherry vinegar
- 1/4 lime juice
- 2 tbsp roasted peanuts
- 12 mint leaves
- 1 tbsp minced shallot
- 3 tbsp corn flakes
- 1 pinch Old Bay seasoning
- Salt to taste
- Canola oil
While preheating the oven to 375°, in a nonstick pan or cast iron skillet, bring about a tablespoon of canola to just starting to smoke.
Drop in your sprouts and sauté to evenly coat in oil, then leave be on med-high heat. Once a good golden brown sear has formed, toss once or twice and place in the preheated oven about five to seven minutes, depending on your preference of doneness. Adley likes a vibrant green gold and brown camouflage.
Once cooked, place in a mixing bowl and toss with the shallot, mint, peanuts, fish sauce, sherry vinegar, and lime juice. Adjust with salt at this point, if preferred.
In a separate bowl, dust the cornflakes with Old Bay seasoning and a drop of oil.
Place Brussels sprouts in a serving bowl and garnish with Old Bay cornflakes and a few leaves of fresh mint.