Thankful.

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Thanksgiving felt a little bit strange this year. Given the impact of Superwitch Sandy on the NY and NJ area which canceled Halloween and pretty much just screwed everything up, Thanksgiving felt like it came out of nowhere. This made for a rather quiet, introspective holiday than the raucous, gluttonous variety that seems to pervade households across America.

My contribution this year was small but tasty. Inspired by this CNN article, I made a near identical rendition of the recipe they offered up for Brussels sprouts with bacon and butternut squash. Mine puts a more emphasis on the bacon, a little less on the cream sauce. Sue me.

Ingredients:

  • 16 ounces of Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut down to size (quarters or halves depending on their size)
  • 16 ounces of butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into small bite-sized pieces
  • 8 ounces of applewood smoked bacon, in 1" pieces
  • 2-4 tablespoons of butter
  • 1-1/2 cups of heavy cream, reduced by 1/2
  • 3/4 of a cup of good grated cheese - I used pecorino romano but Parmesan will do
  • salt & pepper

Steps:

  1. Fill a pot with salted water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add butternut squash and allow it to cook for 2-5 minutes or until it's tender when poked with a fork. Remove and immerse the cooked squash in an ice bath.
  2. In a small saucepan, warm up the reduced cream over low heat and stir in the cheese along with some pepper.
  3. Over in a large sauté pan, toss the bacon in over medium low heat and allow it to cook about halfway or until it's getting nice and greasy.
  4. Drop in two tablespoons of butter and raise the heat to medium. Add the Brussels sprouts and coat with the melted butter and bacon grease. Cook until soft and the outer layers begin to caramelize.
  5. Add blanched butternut squash and heat throughout allowing the edges to brown slightly. Drop in some more butter if Season the whole mixture with a little salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Drizzle the finished product with cream sauce. Salivate.

Serves 8. Will keep wrapped in the fridge for about 5 days - if they last that long.