Cooking with LSV



For today’s blog post, I wanted to do something completely different. You’ll find no Magic strategy here, but you’ll get a list of my top recipes. If you aren’t good at cooking, have no fear - like anything else, it just takes practice, and I’ve selected these recipes based on both their flavor and their ease of preparation. You can make some great-tasting and impressive dishes without that much actual effort, which is good value indeed. Let’s dive in! 

Roasted Brussel Sprouts 

Brussel sprouts get a really bad rap, mostly because of a generation of folks who ate them from a can, slime included. Throw all that out the window - brussels are fantastic, and there’s a reason a ton of restaurants offer these now. 

The most laborious part of all this is prepping the sprouts, but even there you can shortcut it if you want to buy pre-cut sprouts. 

Ingredients 

Brussel sprouts (I usually start with about a pound for a normal dinner, since they lose some weight when you peel and trim them) 

Olive oil 

Bacon (optional) 

Salt 

Pepper 

Garlic (optional) 

At a base level, you’re just combining sprout, fat, salt and pepper. I prefer olive oil as my cooking fat of choice, and like bacon for the extra flavor, though they’re great without it as well. 

Instructions 

Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C) 

Peel the outer layer of the sprouts off, then cut off the bottom and cut the sprout in half. You can leave them whole if you want, but I find they cook better halved. 

In a pan, spread out the sprouts, then cover them with olive oil, salt, pepper and chopped garlic. If using bacon, mix in small pieces of chopped bacon or pancetta as well. 

Bake for 45-60 minutes, depending on how crispy you like them, turning them over about halfway through. 

Garnish with lemon juice, and serve. It’s really that easy. 

Chimichurri 

This is another recipe that takes so little time and yields great rewards. It’s also one that demonstrates how little I use measurements - I cook like I play Magic, by feel. Chimichurri is a sauce commonly used on steak, but I find it goes nicely with a ton of things, from meat to vegetables. It’s a garlicky parsley-based sauce from Argentina (and other places, though Argentina is the most famous origin) and adds a ton of great flavor. In particular, I like it on sweet potatoes, though you can’t go wrong with using this on steak either. 

Ingredients 

1 bunch parsley 

1 bulb garlic 

1/2 cup Olive oil 

Salt 

Pepper 

2 tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar 

Oregano 

Red pepper flakes (optional) 

Instructions 

Finely chop parsley, and put into a bowl. 

Peel and mince garlic, and add it to the parsley. I use a ton of garlic in my chimi, but you can really adjust this to whatever you prefer.  

Add a good amount of olive oil and a small amount of red wine vinegar, alongside salt, pepper, oregano and red pepper flakes (if you like it spicy). Mix well, and refrigerate for a couple hours to get the flavors to meld. The measurements in the ingredients are a baseline - feel free to add more or less depending on your taste. Some people also add lemon juice, which is totally good as well. 

Elote 

Elote is a Mexican dish, and is often called “street corn” as well because it’s a food commonly sold by street vendors. Elote is delicious grilled corn covered in cheese, lime and spices, and can be made as a whole corn on the cob or a salad. Either way, it’s perfect for get-togethers and I’ve never had any leftovers when I’ve made it. 

Ingredients 

Corn on the cob 

Mayonnaise 

Cotija cheese 

Chili powder (Tajin is the classic brand, but any ancho or chipotle chili powder is good) 

Cilantro 

Lime 

Instructions 

Grill corn on the grill or roast in the oven until it’s cooked through and has some charred spots. 

Combine mayo, cilantro, and chili powder in a large bowl. Put each corn cob into the bowl and coat evenly with the mixture. 

Sprinkle crumbled cotija cheese onto the corn, then squeeze a lime over it. 

Devour. 

Like my other recipes, this one isn’t too complicated. The flavors are incredibly good together, and you get this awesome creamy, spicy, citrus combination with the base of roasted corn. If you want to make the salad form, you can basically do the same thing except serve the whole thing in a bowl, and use grilled corn kernels instead of whole corn. Marshall Sutcliffe actually made a fantastic video on his version of the salad - take a look here. 

These are a sprinkling of my favorite recipes - I hope you enjoy them, and I encourage you to make them for your next gathering (Magic or otherwise). 

Author: Luis Scott-Vargas

Magic the Gathering Hall of Fame, Member of Team CFB UltimateGuard

Luis is one of the most accomplished players in Magic: the Gathering history. His journey with Magic began in 1994, when he and his friend Seth bought a starter deck of Revised and two packs of The Dark each. Little did he know that this was a life-defining moment, as once he opened a Fire Elemental and Wrath of God, he was hooked. Learn more about Luis.