The holiday season is here and many of us have food on our minds. Whether you’re dreaming about turkey at Thanksgiving, ham at Christmas, potato latkes at Hanukah, or Cajun Catfish at Kwanzaa, your mouth is undoubtedly watering.
This is one of the many reasons that I love the holidays. They’re all about family, food and festivities. No matter what holiday your family celebrates, this time of year seems to bring us all closer together.
Since my sister and I host Thanksgiving and Christmas respectively, we talk a lot about food. We talk about who’s bringing the family favorite recipes like Mom’s Crab Dip and Brennan’s Cookie Pie, and who’s going to be the daredevil and bring something new. Usually, the host makes the family favorites since there’s no pressure in recreating a recipe that’s been made a thousand times before. This means that the guests are responsible for introducing something new.
This year, I’m planning to mess around with some of our favorite side dishes. I haven’t broken the news to our Mom yet, but I’m ditching her favorite Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and bringing this decadent Brussels Sprouts Gratin instead. This recipe still includes everyone’s favorite food accessory – Hello, bacon! – and I’m hoping Mom won’t mind the change too much. Plus, the addition of caramelized shallots and creamy Gruyere are bound to please our cheese-loving family members.
I can’t wait to sink my teeth into this newly refined side dish, and since I get to set the table, I’ll be sure to place it right in front of my place setting! Happy Thanksgiving!
Brussels Sprouts Gratin
- 2 pounds Brussels sprouts
- 2 ounces bacon
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 shallots, sliced
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 3/4 cup milk
- 1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground herbes de provence
- 2 ½ cups of grated Gruyere cheese, divided 1 ½ cups and 1 cup
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
Step 1: Preheat oven to 400°F. Butter an 8″x12″ gratin or casserole dish. Trim Brussels sprouts of their bottoms and remove any tough outer layers. Slice in half.
Step 2: In a large pot bring water to a rolling boil. Carefully drop Brussels sprouts into boiling water for 3-4 minutes to blanch. Remove from the pot and immediately rinse in cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain well and set aside.
Step 3: Dice bacon and cook over low heat in a frying pan until nice and crispy. Remove bacon from pan and place on top of a paper towel to drain.
Step 4: Sauté shallots in butter on medium heat for 4-5 minutes, or until softened. Add flour to make a roux and stir with a wooden spoon for 1-2 minutes. Add milk. Whisk until roux is fully incorporated into the milk. Cook for several minutes, stirring constantly until sauce thickens and coats the back of the spoon. Add thyme and nutmeg; stir.
Step 5: Turn heat to low. Add 1 ½ cups of Gruyere and half of the bacon into the white sauce. Stir until cheese is melted. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if desired.
Step 6: Transfer ingredients to a baking dish and sprinkle with remaining bacon and cheese. Bake for 25 minutes until cheese is lightly browned and sauce bubbling. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving.