Thanksgiving Day is a time to reflect on all our many blessings, to enjoy our favorite holiday dishes and to gather with the ones we love. I am looking forward to spending the holiday with my mom’s side of the family this year in Augusta, seeing my grandma who just celebrated her 88th birthday and all my great aunts and cousins, and cooking up a few side dishes and a dessert to share.
With thanksgiving being the biggest food holiday of the year, this week’s column is packing a heavy punch with not one but two recipes: Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Slow Cooker Bacon Mac and Cheese. On turkey day, we all know the star of the show is a big beautiful golden brown bird, but all leading roles need a good support cast. That’s where the side dishes come in.
My Slow Cooker Bacon Mac and Cheese is perfect for Thanksgiving because it frees up oven space and travels well. Be sure to shred your own cheese, using a food processor or hand grater. There won’t be any leftovers.
As for the Roasted Brussels Sprouts, here’s a cooking tip: These don’t travel well. The last thing you want is to place them in a casserole dish and cover them with a lid when they’re still hot. Condensation is not good. To avoid this, bake them on-site, or cook them during the last 20 minutes of meal preparation when you can enjoy their crispy, salty goodness at home.
You can catch me cooking both of these side dishes now streaming on Kittch.com. To find my channel, just search for my name. During this season of thankfulness, I’d like to thank you for reading my column. I am grateful for you. I hope your holiday is time well spent around a table filled with all your favorites. May the food you eat and the company you keep be Some Kinda Good! Have a Happy Thanksgiving.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Smoked Bacon and Parmesan
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts
- 3 slices smoked bacon
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt, such as Diamond Crystal
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Fresh parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Spread Brussels sprouts in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, season liberally with salt and pepper. Using a pair of clean scissors, clip small pieces of raw bacon over the seasoned Brussels sprouts. With clean hands, toss everything together to coat evenly. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Shred large shards of fresh Parmesan cheese right over the top.
Some Kinda Good Slow Cooker Bacon Mac & Cheese
- 1 package (16 ounces) elbow macaroni
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 4 cups (16 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese, divided
- 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
- 1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cheddar cheese soup, undiluted
- 1 cup 2% milk
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1/8 teaspoon paprika
- 4 Slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
- Fresh parsley, optional
1. Cook macaroni according to package directions; drain. Place in a 5-qt. slow cooker; add butter. In a large bowl, mix 3 cups cheese, evaporated milk, condensed soup, 2% milk and eggs. Pour over macaroni mixture; stir to combine. Cook, covered, on low 3-1/2 to 4 hours or until a thermometer reads at least 160°.
2. Sprinkle it with remaining cheese. Cook, covered, on low 15-20 minutes longer or until the cheese is melted. Sprinkle it with paprika. Add bacon and parsley.
Rebekah Faulk Lingenfelser is a private chef and the author of the best-selling memoir “Some Kinda Good.” Featured in Forbes, on Food Network and ABC, she writes about Southern, coastal cuisine, locally sourced and in season.
Connect with her on social media by liking Some Kinda Good on Facebook, or follow @SKGFoodBlog on Instagram and Twitter. To learn more, visit RebekahLingenfelser.com.