Thanksgiving Brussel Sprouts

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 I’m full…you??
Crazy way to start a post but I really think I ate my weight in food this weekend (actually, I think I ate my weight in food twice this weekend).  Studies have shown that the average person eats 3 days worth of calories in one Thanksgiving dinner…I can totally see that.I was thinking of all the cooking that went on in my kitchen (and my mom’s and my mother-in-law’s kitchens) and I that’s when I realized that we eat a crazy amount of food.  Just yesterday, this is what was on the Thanksgiving table: homemade lasagna, homemade brodo (simple Italian soup with small pasta), organic turkey, homemade stuffing, bbq Italian sausage and lamb from the local butcher, mashed potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes, roasted veggies, brussel sprouts, salad, olive bread, apple pie, raspberry pie, 2 kinds of homemade ice cream, homemade apple crisp, homemade carrot cake with cream cheese icing, homemade pumpkin cookies, homemade caramel squares, homemade date squares, butter tarts, assorted British candies…and that was just one meal!
Just thinking about all of that food makes me happy (full but happy).  Believe it or not, there wasn’t that much left over! And with all of those things that crossed my path this weekend, I am choosing to post…brussel sprouts!  I know…I will get to the other good stuff soon but these were really good.  It will make a brussel sprout lover out of you yet!
And for those of you that are brussel sprout virgins, here is a little bit of info on everything you’ve ever wanted to know about brussel sprouts but were afraid to ask!!

4 c brussel sprouts (approx), cleaned like this
1/2 pkg bacon
1 medium red onion, chopped fine
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 pkg chestnuts (you can roast whole ones and peel them but this is way easier)
salt and pepper to taste
3 tbsp real maple syrup

1.  Put on a large pot of water to boil and season slightly (1 tbsp) with salt; place the cleaned brussel sprouts in the water to boil and cook until al dente (about 5 minutes).  Drain and half or quarter them.
2.  Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the bacon until crispy and remove to another plate; drain all but 1-2 tbsp bacon drippings and cook the onion until caramelized.  Add the garlic and watch that it doesn’t burn.


3.  Dump the cooked brussel spouts back in the skillet and toss with the onion and garlic mixture.


These are the vacuum sealed chestnuts (already peeled)…I love these and they are usually on sale around this time of year.  I like to snack on them right out of the bag!  Because they are vacuum sealed, they have a long expiration date but will go moldy very quickly as air gets to them.


4.  Chop the chestnuts and bacon (if you’re making this ahead of time, keep the bacon out until you are ready to serve the dish…that way the bacon stays somewhat crispy) and add to the pan…give it a good stir.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.


5.  Drizzle in the maple syrup and toss it until it is all mixed….a whole bunch of brussel sprout goodness in one pan!