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A Sensational Seasonal Side

November 18, 2010

Is it possible I’ve never mentioned my friend Cory?  Cory is a chef.  He lives in Los Angeles.  And some lucky family gets the honor of calling him theirs.  For the past several years he’s been working as a private chef, which sounds like a pretty sweet gig for everyone involved.  Before that he was in the San Francisco kitchen of a restaurant Ruth Reichl thought was one of the 50 best in the country.

Not exactly a lightweight.

Last year for Thanksgiving, Cory was up in the Bay Area and cooked Thanksgiving dinner for all my friends out there.  I was here at home in Albany, with my roast chicken and my delicious stuffing.  To say I was a little envious would be an understatement.

I heard in detail about the meal and every delicious thing.  But it was clear from talking to each of my friends that one dish was transcendent.  So now that the main ingredient is back in season I sent Cory a note and asked if I could have the recipe, and if he would mind me sharing it with a few close friends.

Looks like we are all in luck.

It was with great anticipation that I picked up this weeks CSA allotment.  We were told there would be a stalk of Brussels sprouts.  For the better part of a year I have been waiting to try and attempt this side dish that my friends found to be so amazing.  Mrs. Fussy claims to not like Brussels and I’m hoping this will change her mind.

I have such faith in my friends and in Cory that I’m presenting this recipe to you untested.  After all, for this to earn a spot on your holiday table, you’ll need to have enough time to gather the necessary ingredients.  And there are only seven more shopping days until Thanksgiving. 

So here is what you need.  Quantities will vary depending on how much you would like to make.

Brussels sprouts (halved)
Yellow onions (slivered)
Garlic (slivered)
Thyme and sage
Bacon (lardons)
Dry sherry
Chicken stock
Butter
Olive oil
Salt
Pepper

[Note: The following is verbatim from Chef Cory]

So I use larger Brussels because I want to cut them in half.

Get a large pan hot to smoking and drizzle a bit of olive oil in. In medium batches, brown the Brussels, face down. They will snap and crackle as well as eat up olive oil like an eggplant, so add a little more oil if you see the pan getting too dark. You want a pretty deep brown here. Place the batches to the side.

Cut the bacon into lardon and place in the pan, shuffling to brown all sides. Pour off any major excess rendered fat. But leave some for sautéing. When the lardons are 75% crispy, add the onion slivers and herb. You want the onions translucent, but not brown. Right before translucency add the slivered garlic.

Combine all and then crank the heat. Deglaze with 20% chix stock and 80% sherry. We want it wet but not a soup. Reduce by 25% then add a few nubs of butter. Serve. Obviously, you are seasoning as you go. I like to go a little heavy on the fresh cracked black pepper. It is a wonderful match with the sherry.

Any questions?

Likely I will go light on the onions given Mrs. Fussy’s sensitivity to the glorious allium.  Maybe we can have this as a side dish to our regularly scheduled roast chicken on Friday night.  I just need to run out and pick up the fresh herbs and the dry sherry.

Fortunately the sherry I have access to locally will be sufficient for the recipe.  And I needed to go wine shopping anyhow.  While I have some Gewürz on hand, there are a few other bottles I want to bring to Connecticut for Thanksgiving.  We’ll see what I can get.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Stevo permalink
    November 18, 2010 11:36 am

    I love brussels sprouts. I was in The Fresh Market the other day and they had some beautiful sprouts on the stalk so I picked one up. Boy were they yummy.

    I have a simple preparation that is delicious and will make a convert out of any sprout haters. Cut the sprouts in half, then toss with a generous amount of olive oil, melted butter, sea salt and fresh cracked pepper. Put them cut side down on a cookie sheet in a 450 degree oven until they are tender and the cut side is browned.

  2. Mr. Sunshine permalink
    November 18, 2010 9:42 pm

    Or shred them while heating up pancetta and garlic; then add the shredded sprouts, maybe pine nuts. Great side.

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