Brussels sprouts

What–No Turkey? My Top 6 Recipes for Thanksgiving

by Anne Maxfield on November 20, 2017

Accidental Locavore My Slow Roasted Duck for ThanksgivingThe other day, I was talking with a friend about Thanksgiving and comparing notes on what we were planning. Since there’s still time to add or subtract dishes, here are a few that have, or will, grace my table. Which ones look good to you?

  1. Slow Roasted Duck: As some of you know, this is not my favorite holiday, mostly because turkey is my least favorite poultry. Since it’s just the two of us (so far), we decided that duck was a much better choice. This one takes a while, but you only have to check it once an hour and it’s delicious! If you want to get fancy, you can make an orange sauce for it by melting some marmalade on low heat with a splash (or two) of orange vodka or Cointreau and another big splash of maple syrup.Accidental Locavore Orange Sauce for Duck
  2. Brussels Sprouts and Pearl Onions: my mother has always insisted on having creamed onions at Thanksgiving. This dish combines them in a great way and the added touch of horseradish makes it a big winner in my book! Unlike my friend Zhu Zhu, I have no problem buying frozen pearl onions. Life is too short to spend it peeling.Accidental Locavore Stalk of Brussels Sprouts
  3. Cranberry and Dried Apricot Confit: I’m a sucker for dried apricots—the slab ones from Trader Joe’s being my favorites, so if I can stop snacking on them long enough to cook with them, this is almost as good as eating them out of the package. If this is too tough, the recipe on the back of the cranberry bag works fine (add some orange or tangerine zest to make it special).Accidental Locavore Cranberry Confit
  4. Butternut Squash Soup: Not being a huge fan of winter squashes, I make an exception for this soup. It goes from pretty good to great with the addition of Gruyere-covered toasts. If you’re lazy or pressed for time, a slice of toasted baguette and some grated cheese will be just fine. If you’re super lazy pressed for time, forget the toasts and just sprinkle a little blue cheese on as a garnish. The saltiness of either cheese cuts the sweetness of the squash.
  5. The best mashed potatoes ever! This was billed as a recipe for potato salad, but take my word for it, they’re just amazing mashed potatoes. Cheese, butter and potatoes, what’s not to like? It does require use of the oven, but since it’s probably the same temp as your turkey, just sneak some ramekins in somewhere.Accidental Locavore Raclette Potatoes
  6. What, no desserts? Although my husband has asked for yet another batch of Nancy’s cookies, I think it’s time to turn traditional and was thinking either a pumpkin pie (which the paper of record says is better made with winter squash) for Frank, or an apple galette that caught my eye in Bon Appétit, but then I saw this recipe for a caramel and chocolate tart from Dorrie Greenspan’s new book and it was as good as it looked (maybe better)!Accidental Locavore Caramel Tart

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Brussels Sprouts Gratin

by Anne Maxfield on February 6, 2017

As much as the Accidental Locavore likes  Brussels sprouts any way, every now and then, you need to mix it up, dress them up.

Cheese is always good.

And knowing how to do a béchamel sauce (which technically becomes a mornay sauce with the addition of cheese) is handy for a lot of things—mac & cheese, croque monsieur, etc.

Serves 6

Brussels Sprouts Gratin

For the Mornay sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups whole milk (warmed)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2/3 cup grated smoked Gouda cheese (2 ounces)

For the Brussels sprouts:

  • 1 1/2 pounds brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved

For assembling the gratin:

  • 2/3 cup finely grated aged Gouda (2 ounces)
  • Smoked flaked sea salt, such as Maldon or regular sea salt

Preheat oven to 375°.

Make the sauce: Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk until mixture bubbles slightly but has not started to brown, about 2 minutes.

Gradually whisk in milk. Raise heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, whisking often.

Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until thickened, 12 to 15 minutes. It should coat the back of a wooden spoon.

Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat. Add cheese and stir until melted.

Blanch the brussels sprouts: Place in a microwave-safe dish. Sprinkle with about a tablespoon of water and cook, covered, for 4-5 minutes until just tender.

Assemble the gratin: In a lightly greased gratin pan, add the Brussels sprouts.

Pour the sauce over the brussels sprouts and sprinkle with cheese and a pinch of smoked sea salt.

Bake until bubbling and golden, about 25 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

 

My verdict: This is a great dish for those who may be on the fence about Brussels sprouts. Like bacon, cheese makes everything good.

Hmmm…speaking of bacon, a little cooked and crumbled would probably go really well in this.

We really liked this. It’s a great side dish to something simple like a steak. You can easily substitute almost any cheese for the smoked Gouda, or even a combination, if you’ve got stray scraps in the fridge.

Topping it with Parmesan and/or breadcrumbs would also be delicious. Just think of it as a Brussels sprouts version of mac & cheese (and it will seem almost healthy).

 

 

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Pearl Onions and Brussels Sprouts in Horseradish Cream Sauce

by Anne Maxfield on November 17, 2016

 Accidental Locavore Quartered Brussels SproutsThe Accidental Locavore’s mother always insisted on pearl onions for Thanksgiving.

No one really likes pearl onions “straight-up”.

When I found this recipe from Bon Appètit it seemed like a great combination.

Also perfect for Thanksgiving because you don’t need the oven.

Pearl Onions and Brussels Sprouts in Horseradish Cream

  • 1 bag frozen pearl onions thawed
  • 1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half the long way
  • 3 tablespoons horseradish (more to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice or nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

Cook the Brussels sprouts until just tender either in a microwave for 5 minutes, or boil them in salted water for about 6 minutes. Drain well and set aside.

Combine the horseradish, flour and allspice in a small bowl, mix well and whisk in the cream. Set aside.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the thyme and stir 30 seconds. Add the onions and Brussels sprouts and saute until heated through, about 4 minutes.

Add the horseradish mixture, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cream is reduced to a glaze, coating the vegetables, about 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and more horseradish if you like. Serve and enjoy!

Accidental Locavore Peeling HorseradishMy verdict: This is a tried and true Thanksgiving hit! Even the non-pearl onion and/or Brussels sprouts haters often find themselves surprised by how good this is!

Besides not needing an oven, you can precook the Brussels sprouts and onions and set them aside. Ditto for the horseradish sauce. Then, just finish them before you’re ready to serve (about 5 minutes or until they’re warm).

True confession, much to my friend Zhu Zhu’s disgust, I always buy frozen pearl onions. They’re such a pain to peel and at Thanksgiving the last thing you need is to spend an hour peeling tiny onions. If you want to go the fresh route, blanch them and peel them (you might want to cook them first for a couple of minutes before adding the sprouts to the pan).

What’s a family Thanksgiving food tradition you’d like to change?

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Asian Style Pork Tenderloin With Brussels Sprouts

by Anne Maxfield on March 19, 2015

Accidental Locavore Brussels Sprout PrepSince the Accidental Locavore’s trip to France last year, we always have a pork tenderloin (or two) hanging around. And adding Brussels sprouts to any dish is almost a no-brainer in my house. This is from epicurious and serves 4:

  • 5 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely grated, divided
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated ginger
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon Sriracha
  • Salt
  • Two 1-pound pork tenderloins
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 to 1 red Thai chile pepper, seeded and very thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons roasted unsalted peanuts, chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth or water
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon roughly chopped mint

Accidental Locavore Asian Brussels SproutsPreheat oven to 400°F. In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons oil, vinegar, soy sauce, 2 of the grated garlic cloves, ginger, Sriracha and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Place pork in a large Ziploc bag and pour marinade over, tossing to coat. Marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature.

In a small bowl, whisk together remaining 1 grated garlic clove, fish sauce, lime, honey, chile pepper, peanuts and 1 tablespoon water. Set aside.

On a rimmed baking sheet, toss Brussels sprouts with 1 1/2 tablespoons oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Roast 15 minutes, then toss. Continue to roast until browned and cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes more. Transfer to a large bowl and toss with the vinaigrette

Meanwhile, heat a large skillet with 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Remove pork from marinade (saving the marinade) and sear on all sides until lightly browned, about 3 minutes per side. Turn tenderloins onto their fourth side and add broth to pan. Transfer skillet to oven and roast pork, basting occasionally, until internal temperature reaches 140°- 145° about 10 to 13 minutes. Transfer pork to cutting board and let rest 5 minutes, and reserve skillet.

Accidental Locavore Pork With Brussels SproutsAdd reserved marinade to the skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring and scraping up the browned bits, until thickened to a pan sauce that coats the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in butter. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Serve the sliced pork with the pan sauce and the Brussels sprouts, sprinkle with mint, and enjoy!

My verdict: I’ve made this twice for two people, using the whole recipe for the sauce and vinaigrette, but with only one pork tenderloin and fewer Brussels sprouts. It’s a really good dish, but I’m not totally convinced that the two components need each other. Brussels sprouts with fish sauce (and cilantro) are a surprisingly great combo and the peanuts add a nice crunch. The pork with the marinade/sauce is really good and would be fine with any number of vegetables like bok choy or spinach (especially if you’re not a sprouts fan). If you have time (or remember), you can marinate the pork ahead of time—just refrigerate it.

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