Thanksgiving Side Dishes (Brussels Sprouts-CranApple Chutney-Crabmeat Appetizer)

Q. Help...Do you have any good ways to prepare brussels sprouts... and a good warm seafood dip for appetizer before the Thanksgiving day meal?  Also, any new wrinkle for cranberry sauces? These are the items I am responsible for at our dinner at my friend and neighbor's home.  Thank you in advance.  J.W.

A. Here are a couple of ideas;

Brussels Sprouts

Serves 8 to 10
8 strips bacon, chopped
2 large shallots, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 pounds fresh Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved through stem ends
1cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
4 teaspoons sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup pecans, toasted and chopped


1. Fry bacon in skillet over medium heat until crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to paper-towel-lined plate. Pour off excess grease but do not wipe skillet clean.

2. Cook shallots in same skillet over medium heat until soft, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

3. Toss Brussels sprouts with shallots and garlic, add broth, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook, tossing once or twice, until paring knife can be inserted into sprouts without resistance, 13 to 18 minutes.

4. Stir in thyme, vinegar, butter, reserved bacon, and salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to serving bowl. Sprinkle pecans on top. Serve immediately.


2 cups Brussels sprouts, cut in half lengthwise
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Gently heat the oil in a cast iron skillet, then add the sprouts, cut-side down. Cook without moving until they brown nicely and develop a crust. This is where the flavor happens.

Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast for 4 minutes.

Remove from the oven and, using tongs, turn each sprout over carefully onto its back. Add the balsamic vinegar to deglaze, gently shaking and tossing the skillet until there is no excess vinegar in the pan. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.

Cranberry-Apple Chutney


1 cup whole fresh or frozen cranberries
2 ½ cup tart apples, peeled, cored and cubed
½ cup apple cider vinegar
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled, slivered
¾ teaspoon salt
½ cup sweetened dried cranberries
½ cup walnuts, chopped
¼ cup golden raisins
½ chili pepper, seeded and chopped

Gather all ingredients.
Wash cranberries, remove stems.
In 5 quart heavy saucepan combine cubed apples, vinegar, sugar, ginger, salt, sweetened dried cranberries. Bring to boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar.
Reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered 5 minutes or just until apples are tender but still hold their shape. Add nuts and whole cranberries. Simmer 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
Put in tight sealing container. Store in refrigerator.

This is an old favorite from our days in Virginia:
Crabmeat Appetizer

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon milk
1 pound crabmeat
2 teaspoons onion, grated
1 teaspoon horseradish
1/4 teaspoon salt
White pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper

1. Blend all ingredients except crabmeat thoroughly. Gently fold in crabmeat.
2. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
3. Serve with crackers.

Hope this helps!
Our dock at Shorehaven Court Virginia Beach, Va.

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