Seasons by the Sea: Recipes 11:15:12

Memories Are Made Of . . .

Brussels Sprouts Braised With Apple and Bacon
    This recipe is from my dear friend, the prolific cookbook author and East Hampton resident Jim Villas. It comes from his “The Bacon Cookbook.” Bacon will make anything taste better, even Brussels sprouts!
    Serves four to six.

1 qt. fresh Brussels sprouts
2 slices lean hickory-smoked bacon, cut into small pieces (or use pancetta bacon)
1 Tbsp. butter
1 cooking apple, cored and cut into chunks
2 tsp. lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Pinch of grated nutmeg

    Remove and discard any wilted leaves from the Brussels sprouts, trim off the stems, but not too close or the sprouts will fall apart. Cut an X in the base of each sprout, and set aside.
    In large heavy skillet (not cast iron), fry the bacon over moderate heat till it releases its fat. Add the butter to the fat, then the Brussels sprouts, and stir gently until they begin to brown, about 10 minutes. Add the apple and lemon juice, season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg, cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook till the sprouts are tender and the apple has softened, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve hot.

Cornbread and Chorizo Stuffing
    This recipe is from Sheila Lukins’s “Celebrate!” cookbook. I love cornbread and chorizo!
    Makes 16 cups, enough stuffing for a 20 to 24-pound bird. Any extra stuffing can be cooked in an ovenproof dish, covered, at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.
    A day ahead, make any cornbread recipe you like, enough to fill two eight-inch square pans, or make 12 regular-sized muffins. Or buy commercially made cornbread.

2 8-inch square pans of cornbread or 12 muffins
4 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 lbs. chorizo or andouille sausage, cut in half lengthwise, then cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 Tbsp. butter
3 cups chopped yellow onions
6 ribs celery, chopped
1 cup dried apricots, cut in half
1 cup dried cherries (or substitute dried cranberries)
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1/2 cup turkey broth or chicken broth

    Preheat oven to 350.
    Cut corn muffins into rough one-inch cubes. You should have about 12 cups. Place in large bowl and toss with two tablespoons olive oil and the thyme. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spread cubes on two baking sheets and bake, shaking pan occasionally, until lightly toasted, about 15 to 20 minutes. Return cubes to bowl.
    Meanwhile cook chorizo over medium high heat until browned. Discard fat and add chorizo to bowl of cornbread.
    Melt butter with remaining two tablespoons olive oil in heavy saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onions and celery and cook until wilted, stirring occasionally, about 15 to 20 minutes. Add apricots and cherries and cook until they are softened, about 5 to 10 minutes more. Carefully fold this mixture into cornbread. Add the pecan pieces.
    Slowly drizzle in the broth until it is moist but not soaking wet. Season again with salt and pepper, allow to cool to room temperature before stuffing turkey. Do not stuff the turkey until right before cooking it.

Shallots a la Pink House
    This recipe was invented by a friend of mine, Cheryl Schultz. It used to be labor intensive, having to peel shallots, but now you can get them peeled at the supermarket. This is more of a savory relish than a side dish to go with your turkey.
    Makes approximately two cups.

15 large shallots, peeled
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken or veal stock
Lots of ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. butter

    Cook all above ingredients in heavy non-reactive saucepan until shallots are almost tender and most of the liquid is boiled off.

1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup turbinado sugar
1 Tbsp. fennel seed

    Boil down until you have a thick glaze and shallots are tender.