Seems like the holidays get here quicker every year. As they approach it is a time to reflect on the things we are thankful for and put a close to another year. It is a time to spend together with family and friends and of course all the fanfare of a holiday meal.Most folks will have a ham or turkey, and there will be many familiar side dishes that have been passed down from generation to generation. However, if you are looking for a new dish or even two to surprise your guests with, these are two of my favorites.Sweet potato casserole is on a lot of tables but this version is super simple and not loaded down with a ton of sugar. Matter a fact the natural sweetness from the sweet potatoes themselves are complimented with a touch of maple syrup and fresh granny smith apples. To balance it out, and even make it a bit on the spicy side, chipotle peppers bring a smokiness to this version of a classic.Brussel sprouts definitely aren’t of every table, but if you try these and share the recipe they just might be next year. These creamed brussel sprouts are filled with bacon, butter and creamyou just can’t go wrong there! Shaved thin, the brussel sprouts are tossed with rendered bacon drippings and cooked with some stock to soften them, before getting the treatment of cream and parmesan cheese. Topped with bread crumbs and baked in the oven this is one dish that will surprise many into liking brussel sprouts, if they don’t already.My family and I wish a happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday, eat well and enjoy the season.For more great recipes and to pre-order Chef Troy’s new cookbook “Pseudo Southern” visit Troy’s brand new website www.cheftroy.net and be sure to watch Chef Troy every Tuesday morning from 7-9 on WCCB Charlotte for his live cooking show “Troy’s Everyday Eats”.
Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan, Apple, and Bacon 4 Cups-Sweet Potato-peeled and cubed into 1 inch pieces 3 Strips-Thick Sliced Bacon-cut into strips 3 Tablespoons-Unsalted Butter 1 Cup-Granny Smith Apple-peeled and cut into a fine dice 2 Each-Eggs-beaten ¼ Cup-Heavy Cream 1-2 Each-Chipotle Pepper-seeded and fine diced 1 Tablespoon-Chef Troy’s Back Rub 3 Tablespoons Maple Syrup ½ Cup-Roasted Pecans-choppedDirections1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.2. Add sweet potatoes to a pot, cover with water and bring to a boil.3. Cook until soften, about 12-15 minutes or until tender, drain and set aside.4. Cook bacon until just starting to get crispy, add apples and cook for 3-5 minutes.5. Remove and place in a mixing bowl with sweet potatoes.6. Add eggs, cream, chipotle, Back Rub and 2 tablespoons of maple syrup.7. Combine pecans with remaining tablespoon of maple syrup and scatter over casserole.8. Place in oven and bake for 20- 30 minutes or until cook through.9. Remove allow to rest at least 10 minutes and serve.Creamed Brussel Sprouts 4 Strips-Thick Sliced Bacon-sliced into strips 4 Cups-Brussel Sprouts-stem end and outer leaves removed 2 Tablespoons-Unsalted Butter To Taste-Chef Troy’s Spice Mix 2 Cups-Chicken Stock 1 ½ Cups-Heavy Cream ½ Cup-Parmesan Cheese ¼ Cup-Panko Bread CrumbsDirections1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.2. Warm a non-stick pan over medium heat and add bacon.3. Cook until just starting to crisp, add brussel sprout, butter and season with Spice Mix.4. Cook, stirring frequently, to soften and starting to brown, 3-5 minutes.5. Raise heat, add stock and reduce by half.6. Add cream, half of the parmesan and cook until mixture begins to thicken, 3-5 minutes.7. Butter an 8”x8” casserole dish, add creamed brussel sprouts, top with panko and remaining parmesan.8. Place in oven and bake until golden and bubbly, about 10-12 minutes.9. Remove, let rest for about 10 minutes and serve.