I know, I know... it's barely Halloween. But is it ever too early to begin planning your Thanksgiving menu? For those of us who take seriously, the love and care put into creating the kind of family memories that will span lifetimes, the answer is most certainly...no.
No it's not EVER too early. That's just a fact. And you can't argue with the facts, right?
I mean, don't the familiar aromas from the family's traditional Thanksgiving turkey cooking in the kitchen all day long, the same one's that came from your grandmother's kitchen, still make you feel warm all over? I happen to think it's a noble cause to forge through the craziness of today and be the one who will hang on to those same traditions and to make the sacrifices necessary for the greater good. The one who endeavors to create something so mesmerizing and delicious to share with the ones they love most in the world, that it spurs something inside of the others as well, to carry this fiery culinary torch of commitment for future generations to come.
Okay, that was a bit dramatic. But you get the idea.
For me, I'm sticking to my quest to have my kitchen smell like my mother's when I was growing up. I remember how I couldn't wait to make my plate. It was more than food. It was an event. It was also my mother's love. There was/is no separation. Therefore, I will do the same for my ducklings hoping that someday, they too, will share this kind of love with their own children. Family traditions matter. Thanksgiving dinner matters. The love you put into your meal, matters. Together, we can make that happen!
So ALL that said, let's make some BRUSSELS SPROUTS AU GRATIN!
This recipe is so good, and so easy, it's going to become a new tradition in your family! With bacon and gruyere cheese...um, good grief, how could it not? So let's get started with creating something fabulous for your Thanksgiving table! Here we go!
2 lbs Brussels sprouts, trimmed & halved
2 1/2 tsp kosher salt, divided
4 tbsp butter
1 cup garlic panko breadcrumbs
1/2 lb bacon, chopped
3 tbsp flour
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 cup milk
2 cups gruyere cheese, shredded
1 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp minced garlic
3 large shallots, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9x13 pan with oil and set aside.
Brussel sprouts: In a stock pot, add 3-4 cups water, 1 tsp salt and bring to a boil. Add trimmed & halved sprouts and blanche for 3-4 minutes. Drain and place sprouts into an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Set aside.
Bacon & shallots: In a skillet, fry chopped bacon until crispy. Remove from pan and set aside. In the same skillet, add shallots. Cook until tender, remove from pan and set aside.
Cheese roux: In the same bacon drippings, add 2 tbsp butter. Once melted, add flour. Whisk until combined. Add milk, whisk. Add broth, whisk until smooth and slightly thickened. Add 1 tsp salt, black pepper and minced garlic. Whisk. Add gruyere cheese in batches until well incorporated, melted and sauce is thickened and creamy. Add bacon and shallots to cheese mix and stir well. Add well drained sprouts and stir to combine. Set aside.
Crispy breadcrumb topping: In a skillet add 2 tbsp butter and melt. Add 1/2 tsp salt and 1 cup breadcrumbs and whisk until golden brown and toasted. Set aside.
Assemble: Add brussel sprouts and cheese mix to the prepared casserole dish. Top with toasted breadcrumbs. Place into the oven for 25 minutes covered. Uncover and cook for an additional 10 minutes until topping is toasty!
This recipe is truly something they will all remember. I hope you enjoy it with the ones you love most and have a beautiful, blessed day. Remember, it's more than a meal. It's your love language so express yourself well. You are a gift. Share yourself and your talents by creating the kinds of memories that have filled your heart with joy along the way. After all, love isn't love until you give it away...
As always, I hope you enjoy this recipe with those you love most. Please feel free to let me know what you think and to share your gorgeous creations to social media and tag me! It's always fun to see what everyone is making!
Don't forget to check out my new cookbook, Michele's Southern Yum Cookbook, now available on this website or amazon.com.
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Have a blessed day!
Michele E. Mathews