Brussel Sprouts with Bacon: Be Thankful

Thanksgiving leads to many emotions: gratitude, joy, empathy, and, of course, stress.  Food needs heat and time to cook and unless you’ve got a professional grade kitchen the Thanksgiving meal puts a premium on both.  The typical solution to this problem is make ahead, but that still requires reheating and usually vegetable dishes just don’t recover quite as well.  But I have a little secret to share: Brussel Sprouts.

This delicious and “healthy” side comes together (pun intended) in the last 30 minutes while the turkey is resting.  You are required to halve the sprouts, toss them in olive oil, season heavily with salt, pepper and garlic.  Add bacon crumbles and spread out on a cookie sheet, ensuring plenty of room between the sprouts and leaves.

TIP: Save yourself and don’t think about frying bacon and dicing it.  Just get some from the salad section when you do the rest of your shopping, but make sure its the real ones and not “bacos”. Costco has them, and if you’re doubting you need a bag that large, remind yourself it is bacon bits you’re buying and lay your doubts to rest.

The oven should be pretty hot at this point from the other dishes.  As you’ve removed the turkey at this point, or if it just needs a few more minutes, or you’re heating up other dishes, it’s ok to turn it up a few notches (375-400) to maintain heat levels as you open and close the oven door.  Put the sprouts on the far bottom rack and go about the rest of the Thanksgiving (if you’re in my house chaos) festivities of carving the turkey and finding serving utensils.  Give ’em a turn at about 15 minutes before you’re ready to serve dinner.  If they seem under done, add a little white wine (or stock) to help them steam.  Finish setting your table, serve your drinks, pull the sprouts from the oven and Thanksgiving is served!

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