Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta from Christmas 101 – Better than a Bedazzled Reindeer Vest

brussels-sprout-spoon I have been waiting for the day that I can break out my brand new Bedazzler, bedazzle some multi-colored gemstones onto a chambray shirt, and gift it to you along with a matching Bedazzled velour scrunchie, but it’ll have to wait because as we all know, chambray is a summer fabric and the Holidays are winter.

Better Than a Bedazzled Reindeer Applique Cardigan Vest

So you will have to settle for a set of reviews of two seasonally appropriate Holiday cookbooks that were sent to me from their respective PR firms, Hometown Recipes for the Holidays from American Profile and Christmas 101 : 100 Festive Recipes with Menus and Timetables for Stress-Free Holiday Entertaining by Rick Rodgers. Hometown Recipes for the Holidays is a compilation of 250 of the best recipes submitted by readers of American Profile magazine. Though the book is titled “…Holidays,” it’s not just about what we typically label “The Holidays.” Recipes, organized into chapters by course, actually cover the range of American holidays across the calendar from New Year’s and Christmas to Easter to the Fourth of July to Halloween. Each recipe credits the American Profile reader who submitted it and though it’s not Pulitzer Prize winning writing, the introductory paragraphs they’ve written are charming reminders that real people make Apple Pecan French Toast, Coconut Crumble Sweet Potato Casserole and Bourbon Pork Tenderloin (omg). For total Holiday focus, Christmas 101 is exactly what it sounds like: a first semester class in Holiday cooking with basic recipes, techniques and explanations for things like rib roast, tenderloin, crown roast of pork, baked ham and roast goose. Rick Rodgers is a well-known cookbook author, consultant, and cooking teacher, so his recipes are easy to read and follow.

If the Books Are So Great Why Did You Gift Them Away?

Because it’s The Holidays and I’m giving like that. Because I’m a perfect goddess. I don’t need cookbooks. Because I already copied down all the recipes I want. Brussels Sprouts, Quartered Cooked I’ve included a Christmas 101 recipe for Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta below because as you all may (or may not? don’t you follow me on twitter?!), I made Brussels sprouts (maple glazed, with caramelized onions and bacon) for my family’s Thanksgiving dinner for the first time ever, and they were burnt to a black, baby cabbaggious crisp. They said leaving it on the stovetop on a lit burner even after it was put into a serving dish was “an accident,” but I know. Oh, but I know that it was all a conspiracy to ensure that nothing takes away from the glory that is their favorite Green Bean Casserole on our Thanksgiving dinner table. I’m not over it. And yes, I will be obsessed with Brussels sprouts until I make Brussels sprouts for my family. And they eat them. And they like them. And they disown that stupid green bean casserole. Ok, a girl can dream. Brussels Sprouts, Whole

Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta Recipe

from Christmas 101 by Rick Rodgers “While Brussels sprouts are popular on winter menus, they often need a bit of gussying up to make them appropriate for a Holiday meal. Pancetta, a peppered, unsmoked, and rolled bacon available at Italian delicatessens and many supermarkets, gives a boost to the humble Brussels sprouts. If you want to substitute regular bacon, blanch it first to remove the smoky taste: place the bacon in a skillet, add cold wter to cover, and bring to a simmer over low heat. Drain, rinse, pat dry with paper towels, and chop coarsely.” Makes 8 to 10 servings

Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta Ingredients:

4 ounces sliced (1¼-inch thick) pancetta, coarsely chopped 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 1/3 cup chopped shallots 3 10-ounce containers Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut lengthwise into ½-inch thick slices 1 cup homemade brown stock, homemade turkey stock, or canned reduced-sodium chicken broth ¼ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta Directions:

In a large skillet, cook the pancetta in the oil over medium heat, turning occasionally, until crisp and brown, about 5 minutes. Add the shallots and stir until softened, about 1 minute. Stir in the Brussels sprouts. Add the stock and season with salt and pepper. Cover and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer until the Brussels sprouts are tender when pierced with the tip of a small, sharp knife, about 20 minutes. If any stock remains in the skillet, increase the heat to medium high and cook until it evaporates. Serve hot.

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  • Lester Greenberg

    Okay so I am a jewish atheist so I do not celebrate anything but since my birthday is right around the corner in Jan, I like the following (in no particular order): A perfect Mac ‘n Cheese, a lovely plate of Steak Tartare or a plate of incredible cheese, good crusty French or Italian bread and a good wine. That is it and it is perfect.

  • Kevin H

    My favorite holiday food is reindeer burgers.

  • Sean

    Duk gook on New Years.
    Because after that…there’s a money giveaway involved. It tastes pretty good too I’d say.

  • Mia

    Gingerbread cookies and my mom’s latkes with apple sauce.

  • Cindy

    My favorite holiday meal is any meal where I am surrounded by friends. awwwwwwwwwww. isn’t that sweet. (and alcohol.)

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  • Julie Bergantino

    Boiled custard! My favorite holiday recipe is from my Southern grandma, Mama Smith, for boiled custard. Similar to egg nog, but far superior in a melty-vanilla-ice cream kinda way. It takes 2 hours to make, but it’s a labor of love I enjoy every year. And as Mama Smith says, you gotta put a little whiskey in it “or it ain’t good.”

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  • Elizabeth

    I know it sounds lame , but I love fruit cake. I know, I know this will be the unpopular choice, but I love my mom’s light fruit cake. It’s not Christmas without it.

  • Annie Mahle

    One, you want us to pick ONE favorite? Okay, can’t do it but … I do have a few. Homemade hot chocolate with my kids, seared beef tenderloin with any sort of blue cheese sauce with the whole family. Oh, and sugar cookies, the kind where the kids smear them with so much frosting they are nearly unrecognizable. So many memories there.

  • Mary Potter

    My favorite holiday food is (My Mom’s recipe) FRUITCAKE! Perhaps I am a fruit myself for loving it, but that spiked, dark, rich, sticky goodness epitomizes Christmas for me.

  • Jess

    I love pumpkin pie!

  • Dondra

    My most favorite holiday food is my mother’s Sweet Chex. She uses Rice Chex and pecans and pours this awesome concoction over it all and lets it harden. I think I could eat a whole pan by myself!

  • Adri

    Mmm. My favorite holiday treat is tied into family tradition with my mother and I. We always bake shortbread cookies and plate them as gifts for family friends… they’re so delish and melt in your mouth!

  • Sha

    Hey Sarah!

    Looks like Serious Eats listened to your demand for a Mobius doughnut!!


  • Kate @ Savour Fare


  • Diana

    My favorite holiday food is salt. And orange flavored chocolate.

    Or not.

    Count me in for cookies though. The more, the merrier. Until I gain five pounds and need to spend all of January eating brussels sprouts without the pancetta.

  • Scorpio Woman

    My favorite holiday food is a tourtière. It’s meat pie.

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  • Sagan

    Ooh great giveaway! I love cookbooks!

    My favourite holiday food is probably my mum’s homemade nuts and bolts. They are to die for.

    (and I’ve tweeted about it).

  • Shannon

    Happy Holidays!!! Thx for the great giveaway ;)
    I’ve started a Vegan diet recently… my favorite food is anything with potatoes (still)!

    Mashed potatoes <3

    Just call me Ms. Potato Head

  • Ellen

    Favorite Holiday Food-all of it and more…I love deep fried turkey, Latkes, all deserts and cookies, and I even like fruitcake.

  • Erica

    Favorite holiday food is definitely any kind of pie, especially pumpkin and sweet potato! :)

  • Sydney Kania

    My favorite holiday food is definitely stuffing! We have it for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

  • LeeYong

    I have to say last year’s dessert which I took to my inlaws… which was a Buche Noel filled with cholate mousse… with vanilla cake and chocolate ganache. Yuuumieee!

  • Mike

    I’ve really been enjoying eggnog lately, in many different forms!
    Gotta try making some eggnog cupcakes some day!

  • The Foodie Forkful

    My favorite is the sausage and cheddar strata my mom has made for Christmas morning breakfast since I was a little kid.

  • ephrat

    How to pick? I will say I’m most looking forward to the jelly donuts I’m making next week for Hannukah. Yum!

  • Suus

    I celebrated many Chistmases in South Africa, and as a result my favorite holiday food is still barbecue. A mutton roast, to be precise.

  • Kate

    My favorite holiday foods (who can pick just one?) are:

    Brussels sprouts (roasted with garlic and sea salt)
    Mashed potatoes
    Chocolate chip gingerbread cookies!

  • http://www.offthemarkandroaming.blogspot.con amelia

    My favorite holiday treat is a tie between watergate salad, which my family calls green junk, and chex mix, my mom has a patent on her special mix I think, I have yet to make it taste the same.

  • Adrienne

    My hands down favorite is also my favorite “mom makes it when I visit home” dish: corn souffle (aka, corn pudding). Superb!

  • Jessica

    Around the holidays I always crave pie! As a matter of fact, I could really use a piece of fresh-from-the-oven cherry pie right now :D

  • sunny

    i would have to say baked ham

  • Elena

    My favorite holiday food is stuffing. I never eat it the rest of the year and I love it!

  • kb

    mashed potatoes are my favourite holiday dish.

  • Lara B.

    Every Christmas, the day school gets out, my sister and I make a huge batch of the best Christmas cookies ever! My mom’s fabulous frosting makes them impossible to resist.
    I would love to add to my holiday favorite with some new recipes from a new cookbook!

  • Ting

    Mashed potatoes hands down!

  • mochihead

    Beautiful brussel sprouts!

  • Melanie M.

    Holidays are synonymous with cooking in my book. (get it…in my book –> cookbook giveaway) :)

    Anyway…how to pick my favorite holiday food. It has to be the raw garlic, honey and sweet bread with a pinch of salt that you start the traditional Ukrainian Christmas Eve meal with. Even though I can’t make it home to NY for the real thing, I still carry on at least that part of the tradition with my make-shift family in TX.

  • Susan

    Why cookies, of course! I do really like Brussels sprouts too.

  • Jessie

    Chocolate chip oatmeal cookies with cinnamon and coconut! They are unbelievably delicious!

  • Michelle

    My favorite holiday foods would be lovely yummy waterchestnut stuffing and a nice hunk of pecan pie. Delicious!

  • emma

    I love brussel sprouts. I’m the only one in my family who really does – more for me! But we all can agree on my favorite, and the entire household’s favorite, holiday food – Apple Cake. Yum. Yum. Yum.

  • Craig

    I have grown to love brussels sprouts

  • NancyO

    Rib Roast with Yorkshire Pudding

  • Laurel

    Layered peppermint brownies. This year I’ll cut them into diamonds, just for you.

  • Van

    My favorite holiday food is gingerbread cookie!

  • Elaine

    southern-style ham and biscuits, around midnight after we’ve had our holiday lunch!

  • Sophia

    mexican hot chocolate! (not quite a food, i guess.)

  • Calantha

    Eggnog. Hands down. Love it.

  • Mary

    I love brussel sprouts too. My favorite holiday food is my mom’s fruitcake. Wrapped in foil and doused with brandy over 5 days or so. It’s rich and heavenly, and I say this even though I don’t like nuts of fruit in my cookies/bread/cake. This fruitcake surpasses my finickiness.

  • Zoe

    Love to make oodles of cookies at Christmas!

  • sara

    my mom’s sugar cookies!

  • Lori

    Would love one of those books! Cookbooks are such an obsession.

  • Vicki

    Rugelach, definitely. I only make them at Christmas-time, to keep them special.

  • Jana

    I love sugar cookies with gobs of frosting, yum! The more sugar the better!

  • JJFro

    Hosting xmas for the family this year. First time ever! Could definitely use the cookbooks for support :)

  • beth

    Cream Cheese + Jam spooned over the top + cracker = holidays in kansas. YUM.

  • Tom

    I love baking lebkuchen and springerle during the holidays.

  • Biz

    My MIL would love this recipe – she loves brussel sprouts! My friend also told me she went to a Thanksgiving that served this dish and she was going to get the recipe for me – now I don’t need it! :D

    My favorite around this time of year is my sugar-free mock Bailey’s and coffee – yum!

  • Devon

    As much as I love brussels sprouts (and let’s just say I am obsessed beyond belief), I love my mom’s stollen most of all. She only bakes once a year and it is stollen. It is awesome.

  • julė

    me wants, me wants. :)

  • Chris

    My favorite holiday food is pecan pie!

  • Toyia

    My favorite food for the holidays is my Dad’s Lane Cake- full of a dozen eggs, candies fruit, taking a full day to make, and soaked in brandy too!

  • Erin Sue

    My favorite holiday food is my mom’s Spinach Gratin made with so much cheese and butter it surpasses fattening and jumps straight into mind-blowing. Yum!

  • Karen J.M.

    great website !!!

  • Karen J.M.

    My favorite holiday food is great bean casserole..yummmm

  • Lisa

    There are tooo many! I think my favorite is roasted and stuffed duck. Since my Chinese parents (and I) don’t like the texture of turkey meat, we substitute with duck and stuff it with a blend of Asian-inspired ingredients (sweet rice, chestnuts, veggies, etc).

  • Jennifer

    sweet potatoes sweet potatoes sweet potatoes! In any shape, color, form (except raw)!!! But it’s always best to enjoy it in its simplest form — slow baked in foil :)))

  • Rachel

    Springerle…after they are dried out and hard, so they have to be made almost a month before christmas if I want them to be ready!

  • chicknribbs

    By far, the best Christmas food is Grandma’s desserts – mincemeat tarts with hard sauce, and Christmas pudding with that other sauce whose name I can’t remember. Mmmm, dessert!

  • MyLastBite

    My grandma’s RUM Cake… but I make it on other holidays too!

  • Travis

    I love nothing more than my grandfather’s baklava. Also, those are beautiful brussels sprouts.

  • sunny

    whatever’s for dessert :)

  • Georgie Fear

    My favorite holiday food is cranberry sauce with figs and spices! :)

    Georgie Fear

  • heather

    easy — mom’s brown sugar cinnamon kringle with a light almond butter drizzle. can’t wait!



  • Laura

    so hard to pick… but I think it’s sugar cookies, particularly when made with ridiculously adorable Christmas-themed cookies cutters.

  • Kristen

    pickles. all shapes. all sizes. all flavors.

  • Michelle Sanders

    What I love, and I am the only one in the family who does is: Brussels Sprouts. Seriously. It is my all time fave. I even eat it throughout the year, all alone, at the table as no one else likes the smell of them cooked, let alone eating them. I don’t care though. it just means more for me!! Ha!!

  • Niki

    I love xmas sugar cookies :)

  • Sarah J. Gim

    Thanks all, for playing along in the giveaway of the two books! The giveaway is now closed, but stay tuned…there is more to come

  • Danica

    My favorite holiday “food” is hot cocoa with peppermint schnapps. MMMMMMMMMM

  • Lily

    appetizers are my favorite!!!

  • Irene

    It’s always good to have a stack of appetizer recipes or dinner parties.

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