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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{ 82 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lester Greenberg December 8, 2009 at 5:38 am

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.


2 Kevin H December 8, 2009 at 5:40 am

My favorite holiday food is reindeer burgers.


3 Sean December 8, 2009 at 5:44 am

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


4 Mia December 8, 2009 at 6:21 am

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


5 Cindy December 8, 2009 at 6:40 am

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


6 Julie Bergantino December 8, 2009 at 6:45 am

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.”


7 Elizabeth December 8, 2009 at 7:01 am

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.


8 Annie Mahle December 8, 2009 at 7:32 am

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.


9 Mary Potter December 8, 2009 at 7:53 am

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.


10 Jess December 8, 2009 at 8:27 am

I love pumpkin pie!


11 Dondra December 8, 2009 at 8:47 am

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!


12 Adri December 8, 2009 at 9:26 am

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!


13 Sha December 8, 2009 at 9:35 am

Hey Sarah!

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



14 Kate @ Savour Fare December 8, 2009 at 9:44 am



15 Diana December 8, 2009 at 9:46 am

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.


16 Scorpio Woman December 8, 2009 at 9:59 am

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


17 Sagan December 8, 2009 at 10:44 am

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).


18 Shannon December 8, 2009 at 10:59 am

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


19 Ellen December 8, 2009 at 11:05 am

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


20 Erica December 8, 2009 at 11:07 am

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


21 Sydney Kania December 8, 2009 at 11:08 am

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


22 LeeYong December 8, 2009 at 11:08 am

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!


23 Mike December 8, 2009 at 11:10 am

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


24 The Foodie Forkful December 8, 2009 at 11:30 am

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


25 ephrat December 8, 2009 at 11:32 am

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


26 Suus December 8, 2009 at 11:39 am

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


27 Kate December 8, 2009 at 11:42 am

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

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


28 amelia December 8, 2009 at 11:44 am

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.


29 Adrienne December 8, 2009 at 11:44 am

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


30 Jessica December 8, 2009 at 11:45 am

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


31 sunny December 8, 2009 at 11:53 am

i would have to say baked ham


32 Elena December 8, 2009 at 11:56 am

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


33 kb December 8, 2009 at 11:59 am

mashed potatoes are my favourite holiday dish.


34 Lara B. December 8, 2009 at 12:03 pm

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!


35 Ting December 8, 2009 at 12:05 pm

Mashed potatoes hands down!


36 mochihead December 8, 2009 at 12:06 pm

Beautiful brussel sprouts!


37 Melanie M. December 8, 2009 at 12:12 pm

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.


38 Susan December 8, 2009 at 12:18 pm

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


39 Jessie December 8, 2009 at 12:19 pm

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


40 Michelle December 8, 2009 at 12:48 pm

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


41 emma December 8, 2009 at 12:52 pm

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.


42 Craig December 8, 2009 at 12:55 pm

I have grown to love brussels sprouts


43 NancyO December 8, 2009 at 12:58 pm

Rib Roast with Yorkshire Pudding


44 Laurel December 8, 2009 at 1:08 pm

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


45 Van December 8, 2009 at 1:08 pm

My favorite holiday food is gingerbread cookie!


46 Elaine December 8, 2009 at 1:10 pm

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


47 Sophia December 8, 2009 at 1:11 pm

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


48 Calantha December 8, 2009 at 1:15 pm

Eggnog. Hands down. Love it.


49 Mary December 8, 2009 at 1:18 pm

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.


50 Zoe December 8, 2009 at 1:21 pm

Love to make oodles of cookies at Christmas!


51 sara December 8, 2009 at 1:25 pm

my mom’s sugar cookies!


52 Lori December 8, 2009 at 1:28 pm

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


53 Vicki December 8, 2009 at 1:36 pm

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


54 Jana December 8, 2009 at 1:40 pm

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


55 JJFro December 8, 2009 at 1:44 pm

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


56 beth December 8, 2009 at 1:50 pm

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


57 Tom December 8, 2009 at 1:59 pm

I love baking lebkuchen and springerle during the holidays.


58 Biz December 8, 2009 at 2:09 pm

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!


59 Devon December 8, 2009 at 2:12 pm

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.


60 julė December 8, 2009 at 2:21 pm

me wants, me wants. :)


61 Chris December 8, 2009 at 2:26 pm

My favorite holiday food is pecan pie!


62 Toyia December 8, 2009 at 3:33 pm

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!


63 Erin Sue December 8, 2009 at 3:59 pm

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!


64 Karen J.M. December 8, 2009 at 4:18 pm

great website !!!


65 Karen J.M. December 8, 2009 at 4:19 pm

My favorite holiday food is great bean casserole..yummmm


66 Lisa December 8, 2009 at 4:23 pm

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).


67 Jennifer December 8, 2009 at 4:25 pm

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 :)))


68 Rachel December 8, 2009 at 4:53 pm

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!


69 chicknribbs December 8, 2009 at 4:55 pm

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!


70 MyLastBite December 8, 2009 at 5:47 pm

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


71 Travis December 8, 2009 at 6:07 pm

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


72 sunny December 8, 2009 at 6:22 pm

whatever’s for dessert :)


73 Georgie Fear December 8, 2009 at 6:55 pm

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

Georgie Fear


74 heather December 8, 2009 at 7:06 pm

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




75 Laura December 8, 2009 at 9:05 pm

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


76 Kristen December 8, 2009 at 10:40 pm

pickles. all shapes. all sizes. all flavors.


77 Michelle Sanders December 9, 2009 at 6:05 am

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!!


78 Niki December 9, 2009 at 6:57 am

I love xmas sugar cookies :)


79 Sarah J. Gim December 9, 2009 at 12:00 pm

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


80 Danica December 9, 2009 at 1:36 pm

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


81 Lily December 9, 2009 at 4:29 pm

appetizers are my favorite!!!


82 Irene June 7, 2011 at 7:09 am

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


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