Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Thanksgiving Sprouts

   Thanksgiving 2011   
Let’s talk vegetables for Thanksgiving. Unless I’m cooking in a mess hall or restaurant (which, as of this moment, I’m not), my first thought is about how much oven or burner space I’ll have and at what time of the day I’ll have it. Once the turkey is out, the oven can be loaded with all the other things that need heating - the stuffing, if you’re doing it separately; the sweet potatoes; rolls etc.

When I do have the space, I love the ease of roasted Brussels sprouts and here’s a super easy way to cook them. PS The addition of a half cup of raisins (yellow is my first choice), makes a huge difference. It's a sweet counterpoint to the slightly bitter (in a good way) vegetable.

I’m loosey goosey about the temperature for roasting vegetables, because I try to fit them in to whatever else I’m cooking. Basically, I cook the Brussels sprouts at 400°F for about 25 minutes. If something else needs a higher or lower temperature, adjust the cooking time about 5 minutes for every 50 degree difference – 350°F for 30 minutes, 450°F for 20 minutes.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts (serves 4 normally, but 6 to 8 as part of a Thanksgiving meal)
Printable recipe here

2 tbls. good olive oil
A big pinch of Kosher salt
1 lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
½ cup raisins
optional: a handful of roasted prosciutto*

Mix together olive oil and salt in medium mixing bowl. Add Brussels sprouts and mix well. Line a baking sheet with foil and Pam it. Spread out Brussels sprouts in a single layer, cut side down. Cook in a preheated 400°F oven for 25 minutes or until browned on the bottom and tender in the middle. Mix with raisins, and prosciutto if using.

*Bake the prosciutto on a foil-lined baking sheet at 350°F for 10 to 12 minutes or until completely crisp. It’s no problem if the oven is needed at a different temperature. Just adjust the temp and time as you would for the Brussels Sprouts – higher, then shorter; lower, then longer. (That’s kind of a life lesson, isn’t it?)

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Another excellent way to use Brussels sprouts is in a recipe from Food52 for a Brussels sprout salad - Brussels Sprouts Salad a la M. Wells. It’s become one of my favorites. I might leave out the cheese for Thanksgiving, but otherwise it’s perfect. The speck called for in the recipe is smoked prosciutto. If you have no speck around, just use cooked and crisped bacon or regular prosciutto (you can cook that too) OR leave it out. The Brussels sprouts add an unbelievable crunch to the salad and they are sliced so thinly that their flavor doesn’t overwhelm the dish. Even non-believers may like them. (I use a knife to slice them, not a mandolin.)

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Thanksgiving Update...

Cranberries – MADE!

Um… that’s about it…But I AM thinking a lot. I haven’t gotten to the making-lists part, but that’s coming…and I do have the pecans in the house for the pecan pies.


Sheila said...

What a great addition to the sprouts! RAISINS! I was thinking of just roasting them with bacon but prosciutto sounds so much better AND I have some in my fridge!

Since I'm hosting Turkey Tom Day this year - there will be no cranberry fluff. I like your recipe! Sounds delish! Love that you can make it so far ahead of time too!

Sue said...

Thank you, Sheila. Tell me how you liked the crispy prosciutto.

No cranberry fluff?!! Isn't that heresy? You're so good to do Thanksgiving. How many kinfolk will you be having?