Pan seared Brussels sprouts are a healthy side dish, ready in minutes! Bright, earthy Brussels sprouts are caramelized with a touch of bacon and topped with tangy dried cranberries.
One short week from now I’ll be hosting my first ever Thanksgiving dinner. Surprised? When I sat down to think about all of the holiday dinners that I’ve hosted, I was a bit surprised to realize that Thanksgiving has never been one of them. Up until this year, my mother-in-law Josie has hosted a Thanksgiving feast for the past 30 or more years, long before Bacon Slayer swept me off my feet and charmed me into marrying him.
Bacon Slayer is the youngest of four children. In fact, he’s he’s significantly younger than his brothers and sister. (surprise!) As the story goes, when he was still in grade school and his older siblings were marrying off and leaving home, Josie offered to serve up lasagna on Christmas Eve every year, so that her kids could spend Christmas Day, guilt free, with their in-laws. In return, her children and their families would spend Thanksgiving Day with her.
As a child of divorced parents, I spent years alternating holidays between families, so the thought of always knowing where holidays would be spent was quite appealing. So for the past 17 years of my married life, Thanksgiving dinner has always been at Josie’s table. Tables, actually. My immediate in-laws now tally 22 and counting, so Josie keeps a fleet of banquet tables and chairs permanently arranged in her basement for us to dine on.
Now if you’ve ever hosted a family dinner for what is usually more than 25 people, you know how much work that can be. We try to alleviate the burden of hosting by pitching in bringing our signature family dishes. For me it’s modern green bean casserole, the perfect New York style cheesecake, and a classic apple pie. Even with everyone pulling together to help, eventually we realized that at some point, Josie would want to hang up her apron and simply be a guest at the table.
This point has arrived.
Josie’s official retirement from hosting the feast, coupled with the fact that all of the grandchildren outside of The Sons are grown adults, Bacon Slayer’s siblings decided to spend Thanksgiving with their respective immediate families this year.
So this year should be quieter than what we’re accustomed to. I’m no slouch when it comes to roasting a turkey breast, but seeing as we will save approximately 10 hours of drive time by staying home, I think I’m going to go all out and brine a whole bird.
I also plan to surround that succulent fowl with a slew of easy side dishes, and enjoying the extra time not spent in the car answering the proverbial “are we there yet?” probes. We’ll miss seeing our extended family, of course. But with our recent move, I like the idea of slowing down to be present with my immediate family.
Our annual traditions of hoping the Detroit Lions may actually play well on national television, followed by a rousing game of flag football are both on the menu.
Also on the menu are these Pan Seared Brussels Sprouts.
They start as most good things do–with frying up a few slices of bacon. Once the bacon is nice and crisp, the sprouts go for a quick spin in the hot skillet to caramelize. With butter, of course. Because butter.
Once the sprouts are nice and golden, I toss a few dried cranberries into the mix. Because Thanksgiving. If I’m feeling really adventurous, I may sprinkle a smidgen of crumbled feta cheese over the sprouts right before serving.
Even with the extra sass, the pan seared Brussels sprouts are done in 15 minutes, start to finish. It’s the perfect side dish to bring a few more token vegetables to the holiday table, attempting to balance out the pie I plan to eat. Right after Mom’s Mauler’s beat the pants off Bacon Slayer’s Bears in flag football.
Here’s the recipe for the pan seared Brussels sprouts: