• Kosher salt
• 2 pounds Brussels sprouts, halved
• 8 ounces bacon
• 1 medium yellow onion, julienned
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 2 green apples, peeled and sliced
• 3 fresh thyme sprigs
• Sherry-Dijon Vinaigrette, recipe follows
• 4 ounces canola oil
• 3 ounces extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 + 3/4 ounces sherry vinegar
• 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
• Add the canola oil, olive oil, vinegar and mustard to a blender and blend until fully incorporated. Season with salt .
Fill a large saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Salt the water so it tastes like seawater. Separately, create an ice bath by filling a large bowl or casserole dish with equal amounts of cold water and ice. You will "shock" or stop the cooking process with the ice bath. Add the Brussels sprouts to the boiling water. Cook until tender, but not too long or they will lose their bright green color, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the sprouts from the water and shock them in the ice bath. Leave the Brussels sprouts in the ice bath until they are cool, then remove them from the ice bath and reserve for later use.
In a large saute pan over medium-high heat, add the bacon pieces and cook until the fat renders and the bacon crisps, about 7 minutes. Add the onions to the pan and cook until softened, another 5 minutes. Add the butter, allow it to melt, and then add the apple slices and thyme sprigs. Toss to coat, cooking another minute or 2. Add the blanched Brussels sprouts. Season with salt and pepper, and cook until the sprouts are golden brown, another 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the thyme sprigs and discard. Drizzle the Sherry-Dijon Vinaigrette onto the sprouts and toss.
Mushroom Chestnut Stuffing
• 6 tablespoons butter
• 8 ounces pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch dice
• 2 large onions, diced
• 2 carrots, diced
• 2 celery stalks, diced
• 3 garlic cloves, chopped
• 2 tablespoons freshly chopped rosemary leaves
• 1 pound mushrooms, chopped
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 2 (7.4-ounce) jars roasted peeled whole chestnuts, coarsely chopped
• 2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
• 1 pound day-old ciabatta bread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
• 1 cup chicken broth, plus more if needed
• 2 large eggs, beaten
• 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 15 by 10 by 2-inch glass baking dish.
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the pancetta and saute until crisp and golden, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta to a plate lined with a paper towel.
Melt the remaining butter in the same skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, rosemary sauté for a minute or two then add the mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Saute until the onions are very tender, about 12 minutes.
In a large bowl, add the sauteed vegetables, the chestnuts, Parmesan and bread. Add enough broth to the stuffing mixture to moisten. Add the cooked pancetta and eggs. Season the stuffing, to taste, with salt and pepper and add the parsley. Stir to completely combine all the ingredients.
Transfer the stuffing to the prepared dish. Bake until the stuffing is heated through and the top is golden brown, 30 to 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve.