Thanksgiving Recipes: Part 2 – Veggies

10 Oct

Thanksgiving seems to be one of the few occasions where veggies are tolerated or even welcomed as a reprieve from all the meat and starch. Glazed veggie or brussel sprouts are traditional, but it seems like not everyone likes brussel sprouts, probably because they’re boiled or steamed (oh so bland) or overcooked and emit that sulphurous stink.

The key to perfect brussel sprouts is to watch them closely while cooking. To prepare for steaming/boiling, remove outer old and wilted leaves, trim the stem and score an X in the stem.Boil or steam for 4-7 minutes until they turn a vibrant green, then quickly remove from heat and drain. Pick the smaller, tightly packed sprouts, and purchase as close to the use date as possible.

I hope you heart sprouts as much as I do after trying one of my favourite recipes below – Brussel Sprouts, Chestnut and Bacon Sauté. As for something sweet, a take on the traditional honey/brown sugar glazed carrots – Mirin Glazed Carrots

Brussel Sprouts, Chestnut & Bacon Sauté

For recipes such as these, I am usually quite liberal with the measurements – if you like chestnuts like I do, put more in etc. Just be mindful of the proportions. T&T Supermarket or any asian supermarket now import pre-roasted and peeled packaged chestnuts from Japan/Korea/China for about $3 a bag and can be found in the snack aisle. Seems steep, but when compared to buying chestnuts, roasting and peeling them yourself, the price in nothing compared to the time, energy and frustration. Besides, the packaged chestnuts are small and whole, making the presentation much neater (check our my photo).

  • 1 1/2 pounds brussels sprouts, trimmed, halved
  • 6 bacon slices, coarsely chopped
  • 2 1/4 cups peeled roasted chestnuts (about 1 1/4 pounds) or jarred chestnuts (about 12 ounces), halved OR  2-3 packaged of pre-roasted chestnuts
  • 1/2 cup water

1) Prep brussel sprouts by rinsing, peeling off the outer wilted leaves and scoring the stem. Cook  in large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, or when it just turns bright green – about 4 minutes. Drain. **You don’t need to cook these too long as it will still need to be sautéed. If you have very large sprouts, it’s optional to halve them before sautéing**

2) Sauté chopped bacon in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat until crisp, about 4 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels and drain.

3) Heat bacon drippings in skillet over medium-high heat. Add brussels sprouts and chestnuts and sauté until brussels sprouts begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water (or less) and cook until brussels sprouts are tender and most of liquid is absorbed but mixture is still moist, about 3 minutes longer. Stir in bacon. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

Note: In place of bacon, pancetta or prosciutto would be a nice touch.

Mirin Glazed Carrots

Braising carrots slowly in butter, rather than steaming or boiling them, brings out their natural sweetness. Using mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine) instead of honey, brown sugar or maple syrup puts a twist on the traditional but still adds a delicate glaze and a rich flavor. As usual, feel free to be liberal with the measurements.

  • 1 large bag of baby carrots
  • 8 tbsp. butter
  • 1⁄4 cup mirin
  • 1/8 cup brown sugar (or more to taste)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Lightly toasted almond slices for garnish

1) Melt butter in a large heavy sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add carrots, cover, and braise, stirring occasionally, until carrots are fork-tender, 20–30 minutes.

2) Increase heat to medium, and stir in mirin. Cook for 2 minutes, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with toasted almonds.

Note: Some recipes call for a squeeze of lemon juice, but in this case, a few drops of yuzu would be delightful!

One Response to “Thanksgiving Recipes: Part 2 – Veggies”

  1. Lauren October 22, 2010 at 7:34 AM #

    Thanksgiving is right around the corner and I have been looking for some new recipes for my family. I wanted to include some more vegetable side dishes and I really like both of the recipes that you listed. I work with Better Recipes so I am always reviewing recipes but I personally search for Thanksgiving Recipes year round. I like to have a good collection to choose from to mix it up every year and keep my family on their toes. Thanks for the recipes!

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