We never really did Thanksgiving at home. Well, that’s not entirely accurate. My immigrant parents had no interest in doing a traditional Thanksgiving, but I kind of forced it on them. Growing up as one of a handful of Asian kids, I was always jealous of my friends who had these beautiful Thanksgivings straight out of a sitcom. Instead of kalbi and japchae, I wanted turkey and mashed potatoes. So, I did my best to cook what I could, which, as a 12 year old, usually involved the use of canned vegetables. It was hardly a scene from Martha, but it made me feel “American”.
Thankfully, I’ve grown up since those days. I love spending all day cooking Thanksgiving dinner, drinking wine and listening to Christmas music. There are no canned veggies involved. And, most importantly, I don’t feel any need to emulate a dinner from television. My Thanksgivings were special because we incorporated food that meant something to us. It isn’t not-American because the table is set with duck instead of turkey, or kimchi instead of green bean casserole. It is wonderfully American to incorporate our traditions with some new ones, and spend a meal together being thankful for all of God’s blessings.
This year, we’re spending it at R’s uncles near San Diego. A little bummed I don’t get to cook dinner and I don’t get to roast the duck that’s sitting in my freezer, but I’m looking forward to meeting more of R’s family and checking out more of SoCal. We’re all bringing a dish, so I had to come up with something that’s (1) potluck friendly; (2) will travel 2 hours well; and (3) doesn’t require taking up any oven time at the host’s home.
Martha saves the day:
Shredded brussels sprouts with pancetta
(from everyday Food magazine)
- 1/2 pound thinly sliced pancetta, diced small
- Feel free to swap out with bacon
- extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 3/4 pounds brussels sprouts, trimmed and shredded
- 1 T chopped fresh rosemary leaves
- 3 T fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
- coarse salt and ground pepper
- Cook the pancetta in a pan until crisp (around 8 min).
- Transfer the pancetta on some paper towels to drain.
- Save 1/4 C drippings (add enough oil to measure 1/4 if you need).
- Add brussels sprouts and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender (around 8 min).
- Stir in rosemary and cook until fragrant (around 1-2 min).
- Stir in pancetta.
- Remove from heat.
- Stir in lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
I really like the combo of the tangy lemon + smoky pancetta + fragrant rosemary. I’m a huge fan of brussels sprouts, but I know not everyone is, so fingers crossed that people like it.
So very thankful for so many things. A great reminder to be appreciative and give thanks every single day for all our blessings. Happy Thanksgiving and GO LIONS!