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Chef Ryan’s Thanksgiving Brussel Sprouts Recipe

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This recipe is my favorite Thanksgiving/ Fall side dish as I feel it really brings out all the aromatics that remind me of Fall. The flavor combination of the Brussels sprouts, candied pecans, cranberries and squash compliment each other very well.

How I got started as a personal chef

In 2012, I went to take a tour with my mom at the Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts school in Cambridge, MA. My mother was my biggest inspiration for my cooking and I was tired of doing odds and ends jobs. That same day, I signed up for a 7 month cooking program and in July of 2013 I graduated. From there, I started my first line cook position at Tuscan Kitchen in Salem, NH.

While working for the restaurant, I was approached by the Owner of the company to be a Personal Chef for a group of Catholic School Teachers. Being my own boss, being able to make my own menus, really drove me to focus on becoming a full time Personal Chef.

My favorite cooking experience

My favorite cooking experience has to be back in 2018! It was my very first bachelorette dinner party which turned into a double booked event. I was able to create a full dinner menu, appetizers and all and a brunch menu for the next day. This really allowed me to be creative and the reviews said it all. This was the start of me really driving into the career and I haven’t looked back once!

Ingredients

  • 3 cups Brussels sprouts
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (to taste)
  • 1 ½ lb butternut squash (yields approximately 4 cups)
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups pecan halves (or walnuts)
  • 1 cup dried cranberries

Instructions

How to roast Brussels sprouts:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400℉.
  2. Lightly grease a foil-lined baking sheet with one tablespoon of olive oil.
  3. Trim ends of Brussels sprouts and remove yellow leaves.
  4. Then, slice all Brussels sprouts in half.
  5. In a medium bowl, combine halved Brussels sprouts, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt (to taste), and toss to combine.
  6. Place onto the foil-lined baking sheet, cut-side down, and roast in the oven at 400℉ for about 20-25 minutes. During the last 5-10 minutes of roasting, turn them over for even browning, the cut sides should be nicely and partially charred but not blackened.

How to roast butternut squash:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400℉.
  2. Lightly grease a foil-lined baking sheet with one tablespoon of olive oil.
  3. Peel, seed and cube the butternut squash into one-inch cubes.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine cubed butternut squash, one tablespoon of olive oil, maple syrup, and cinnamon, and toss to mix.
  5. Place butternut squash in a single layer on the baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes, turning once half-way through baking, until softened.

Note: You can roast both Brussels sprouts and butternut squash on 2 separate baking sheets at the same time, on the same rack in the oven – that’s what I did.

How to toast pecans:

  1. Toast pecans in the preheated oven at 350℉.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Toast the pecans for about 5 minutes in the oven at 350℉ until they get darker in color.

Note: Pecans burn really fast, so make sure to check them after 5 minutes and frequently afterwards.

Assembly:

  1. In a large bowl, combine roasted Brussels sprouts, roasted butternut squash, pecans, and cranberries, then mix to combine.
  2. Add 2 or 4 tablespoons of maple syrup, if desired – do not add all maple syrup at once, start with 2 tablespoons, then add more if desired & toss.
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