Sausage Stuffing Stuffed Brussels Sprouts

My family is big on Brussels sprouts for Thanksgiving (along with a laundry list of other must-haves, we like to eat).

So as the one normally in charge of anything veggie, I often find myself elbow deep in Brussels sprouts come November.

I’ve done them with pomegranate vinaigrette and wild rice, and cut them into strips and tossed them like a salad, but this year I’m really bringing it.

It’s time to blow some peoples socks off by taking a sausage stuffing and stuffing it into the Brussels sprouts, creating bites of Thanksgiving day goodness that might just steal the turkey's spotlight.

Never stuffed a Brussels sprout? Don’t worry, it’s easier than you think: a quick bath and single cut, and the centers pop right out, creating a nest just waiting to be filled with holiday cheer.

These are great as a side dish or an appetizer. If you’re going in the appetizer direction, try to get smaller Brussels sprouts so that they are still one-biters even after being stuffed. 

Sausage Stuffing Stuffed Brussels Sprouts

Makes 24 stuffed Brussels sprouts

1 Italian sausage (1/4 lb), casing removed

½ lb Brussels sprouts

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 shallot, finely chopped

½ cup plus 2 tablespoons Italian seasoned panko bread crumbs

2 tablespoons dried cranberries

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ cup turkey stock

1 tablespoon shredded parmesan

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Remove the sausage from the casing and add to a medium skillet over medium heat. Break up the meat as it cooks, and cook until all the pink is gone – 3 to 5 minutes. Drain on a plate lined with paper towels.
  2. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a medium pot. Cut the Brussels sprouts in half lengthwise and drop into the boiling water (may have to work in batches); cook until just slightly soft and pliable – about 2 minutes. Set aside to cool. Once cool to the touch, using a melon baller remove the inside of the sprout and discard (or reserve for a later use). Or use a pairing knife and cut part of the steam toward the base of the Brussels sprouts, the center of the sprout should then pop out. Place the Brussels sprouts shells on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  3. In the same skillet as the sausage, heat the oil over medium heat and stir in the shallot, cooking until translucent – 1 to 2 minutes. Add ½ cup of the panko, cooked sausage, dried cranberries, salt and the turkey stock to the skillet and continue to cook for another 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to a food processor, pulsing until coarsely chopped and combined - about 10 pulses.
  4. In a small bowl combine the remaining 2 tablespoons of breadcrumbs with the parmesan cheese. Stuff each of the Brussels sprout halves with ½ teaspoon of the sausage filling, then sprinkle the breadcrumb and cheese mixture over the top. Place the baking sheet in the oven and cook until the cheese is golden brown and Brussels sprouts are tender – about 20 minutes. Remove from the baking sheet and serve immediately.

 

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