Brussels Sprouts au Gratin

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Tony and I are hosting Thanksgiving this year. This will be the first holiday we’ve ever hosted. Mostly because this will be the first time we’ve ever had the space to host a holiday. Right now I’m in the midst of testing recipes in order to create a menu that works with our love to cook and try new dishes and his family’s more traditional taste buds.

So far this one’s a strong contender.

The original recipe is from the December 2009’s Cuisine at Home magazine.

For the Brussels sprouts-
1lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
3 strips of bacon, diced (didn’t even taste the bacon, you could easily leave it out. Or in my husband’s case, add more.)
1 cup of sliced leeks (I love leeks and would use more)
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tsp minced garlic (we’re big garlic fans and used more)
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream (I used whole milk because that’s what I had)
1/2 cup grated Gruyere or Swiss cheese (I used Swiss for budget purposes, but I think Gruyere would definitely be the better choice)

For the crumb topping-
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup dry bread crumbs
1/4 chopped walnuts (skipped this, Tony never would have eaten it with the walnuts in)
1/2 cup grated Gruyere or Swiss cheese
2 tsp minced lemon zest
kosher salt and black pepper to taste
* I thought the crumb topping was way too much. You could easily get away with half of it. That’s my game plan for next time I make this.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 2-qt casserole dish with nonstick spray. (I’m one of those people who won’t use that stuff and used olive oil instead)

Blanch sprouts in a pot of boiling salted water for 5 minutes; drain and set aside.

Saute bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon to a paper-towel-lined place. Add leeks to skillet; cook over medium heat until softened. Stir in flour and garlic; cook 1 minute.

Stir in broth, cream and lemon juice; bring to a simmer and cook until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove mixture from heat; stir in sprouts, bacon and 1/2 cup cheese. Transfer mixture to the prepared dish.

Heat oil for the crumb topping in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Stir in crumbs and walnuts; cook until crumbs begin to brown. Remove mixture from heat to a bowl; let cool 5 minutes.

Stir in 1/2 cup cheese, zest, salt and pepper. Top Brussels sprouts mixture with bread crumb mixture an back until crumbs are brown, 25-30 minutes.

* To make ahead, prepare the Brussels sprouts mixture. When ready to bake, top sprouts with the crumbs, then pop the casserole in the oven.

Makes 6 servings; Total time: 45 minutes

Per serving: 371 cal; 24g total fat (10g sat); 54mg chol; 372mg sodium; 27g carb; 4g fiber; 14g protein.

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