Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Preheat oven to 350°. Trim the stalk down to the fullest, best looking part. Trim sprouts off one side to make a flat bottom. Trim any "tough" leaves from the sprouts. Rinse stalk and trimmed sprouts well in fresh water. Wrap damp stalk in cling wrap and heat in the microwave for 4-5 minutes. Place the trimmed loose sprouts in a bowl, cover with cling wrap and microwave for 3 minutes. Whisk maple syrup and olive oil together. Place stalk flat side down along with any loose sprouts on a roasting pan and pour the maple syrup mixture over. Use a pastry brush to mop the maple syrup onto all sides of the sprouts and stalk. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Place in oven and roast for about 45 minutes or until sprouts on stalk are fork tender and caramelize to a golden color. To serve: Place stalk on a holiday platter, pour any syrup from roasting pan over and garnish with something bright and tart such as dried cranberries or fresh pomegranate seeds.