Chef Paul's Thanksgiving side dishes - FOX 32 News Chicago

Chef Paul's Thanksgiving side dishes

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By Chef Paul Penney

(WJBK) -- Are you tired of the same old green bean casserole for Thanksgiving? Do you want to try something a little different for your special dinner? Try some asparagus wrapped with herbed cream cheese prosciutto and some roasted brussels sprouts with pearl onions and walnuts, kissed with white balsamic vinegar.

They are both easy to prepare and will get you rave reviews from your guests.
Here are two side dishes that are elegant, fun and easy that are ideal side dishes for this week's festivities.

Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus

Ingredients:
1 pound of Asparagus
1-teaspoon Olive oil
Six slices of prosciutto
6 teaspoons of 1/3 less fat cream cheese
Fresh or dried thyme or favorite herb
Salt and pepper to taste

Method:
Prepare the asparagus by breaking each end of the stalk at a snap point.
In salted boiling water, add the asparagus for about 1 - 1 1/2 minutes to Blanche them and then take out of boiling water and shock pieces  in ice cold water to stop cooking process.

Mix the fresh or dried herb of choice with the cream cheese. Take each slice of prosciutto and lightly smear a coating of the cream cheese on the prosciutto slice.

Take 3 pieces of asparagus and bundle together, wrapping with the stalks of the asparagus with the prosciutto.

Place on a cookie sheet and roast at 400 degrees for about 10-15 minutes until a sharp knife can pierce the thickest stalk of asparagus and the prosciutto is crisp.

Toss with Olive oil, add light amounts of salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste and serve.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with pearl onions and walnuts

Ingredients:
1 pound of brussels sprouts - trimmed and rinsed
½ pound of peeled and blanched pearl onions
½ cup toasted walnuts
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste.
White Balsamic vinegar.

Method:
Rinse, trim and cut brussels sprouts in halve or quarters (depending on size). Toss with Olive oil, salt, and pepper and place on a cookie sheet. Place in a 400-degree oven for about 20 minutes - tossing occasionally. Brown or slightly burnt edges are ok - this is caramelization!

Place the pearl onions in a small nonstick sauté pan and slowly brown them so that there is nice caramelization occurring. Do it slowly so that you do not burn them.

Take out of pan and wipe pan bottom out.

Now toast the walnuts on medium heat in the same pan- be careful not to burn them. 5 minutes should do it. Toss the walnuts occasionally so that you toast them evenly. 

Just before serving - add the onions to the brussel sprouts for about 5 minutes in the oven to warm through.

Sprinkle about 1 teaspoon of white balsamic vinegar to the brussels sprout / onion mix and place in a serving bowl. Top with roasted walnuts and serve.

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