Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Thanksgiving recipe

I'm making dinner tomorrow. I have to. Jack loves Thanksgiving and he would be heartbroken without turkey and cranberry sauce.

The menu?

Roast Turkey, homemade dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, brussels sprouts, homemade Parker House rolls.

Dessert: Pecan Pie with Whiskey Maple Cream Sauce. Courtesy of The Pioneer Woman and
             Nantucket Cranberry Pie also Courtesy of The Pioneer Woman

Now, I can hear you saying, "Brussels sprouts? Really? ewww....Why? Well, I'm about to share. These are good even for the most picky eater. J asks for more when I make them.

You will need:

Fresh Brussels sprouts Let me stress again... FRESH! FRESH! FRESH! If you use frozen I will know.

See this?

I have one of these here wooden spoons. I will find you and smack your hand with it!

So...let me start again....

FRESH Brussels Sprouts
4-6 slices of bacon
1/2 an onion diced
2-3 teaspoons or so of Balsamic Vinegar (depending on how much you like. I never measure)
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup of chicken broth
salt and pepper
oven proof skillet with a lid

I use one similar to this:

It's cast iron and belonged to my grandmother. It's one of the few belongings of hers that I have and I treasure it. It's coated on the outside with a beautiful turquoise gloss. It makes amazing pot roast and great fried chicken!

First, clean and trim your brussels sprouts. Cut each sprout in half lengthwise. Preheat your skillet using medium heat. Cut bacon into small pieces and place in skillet. When bacon begins to brown  add the onion and cook until translucent. Remove bacon and onion from the skillet leaving enough drippings in the skillet to coat the bottom.

Increase heat to medium high. Add brussels sprouts cut side down in a single layer. You may have to do it in batches depending on how many brussels sprouts you have. If you need more oil just use a little olive oil or the remaining bacon drippings you previously removed. I use the drippings. Emeril says, "Pork fat rules" and I believe him.

Set your oven to preheat at 400 degrees. Remove the sprouts and set them aside. Add the bacon and onion mixture back to the skillet (with heat still on).   Add the broth, sugar, and balsamic vinegar and bring to a boil. Allow it to cook for 2-3 minutes and reduce a little. Remove from heat.

Add brussels sprouts back to the skillet and salt and pepper to taste. Stir the brussels sprouts well to coat with the liquid.

Cover skillet and roast in the pre-heated oven for about 20 minutes. You want the sprouts crisp tender. This simply means soft enough to chew but not mushy. Mushy vegetables are gross and have no nutritional value. Mushy green vegetables are exceptionally nasty. Plus it makes them that ugly "army green" color. If you make mush out of them I will not share any more recipes with you. Please don't disappoint me. Vegetables should at least slightly resemble what they started out like.

These are great and my family actually gets excited when I make them. Even the 18 year old and Dylan  hates most green vegetables. Of course, they have bacon on them and he thinks bacon makes anything taste good.


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