Cider-Braised Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts and Bacon and MORE

Cider-Braised Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts and Bacon

For 4-6

[Leaf Parade. Cider-Braised Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts and Bacon.]


  • 4 pieces of uncured bacon
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1-1/2 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • ~6-1/2 ounces cooked chestnuts (I used a vacuum-sealed package from Trader Joe’s that measured about 1 cup)
  • Sea salt + cracked black pepper
  • ~1-1/2 cup hard apple cider (a bit less than 1 bottle)


In a large cast-iron skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until it is crispy. Set the bacon aside and drain all but about 2 tablespoons of the drippings from the pan and reserve for another use.

Add the garlic and saute for just a minute, until soft. Add the Brussels sprouts and chestnuts and a big pinch of salt and saute for about 5-7 minutes, until the sprouts begin to brown just a touch. Add the cider and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and braise the sprouts and chestnuts uncovered for about 20 minutes, or until most of the liquid is absorbed and the sprouts are fork tender. Add more cider as necessary. Crumble the bacon and add it back to the pan, mixing all the ingredients together until the bacon is warm. Serve as a side or as a poached egg-topped entree.

Stir-fry rice with shrimp, vegetables & soy lime sauce

  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • Olive oil
  • 16 pieces shrimp, shelled & deveined
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 1-1/2 cups green peas
  • 5 cups steamed white rice
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • Fresh parsley, finely chopped
  1. Over medium heat, in a wok or large saucepan, saute the onions in olive oil.
  2. After about 2 minutes, add the shrimp. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 3 minutes.
  3. Add the carrots and green peas. Cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the rice and mix well.
  5. Add the soy sauce, sugar and lime juice. Cook for another 3 minutes.
  6. Garnish with the parsley.
  7. Serve warm.


Prawn and Cashew Vindaloo


500g prawns, shelled and deveined
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
2 cups coconut milk
1/2 cup cashew
1 tbsp turmeric
1/2 tsp mustard seeds, ground
2 tsp chilli powder
6 pcs green chillies, finely chopped
1 tbsp vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp honey
1 red onion, thinly sliced
chopped cilantro, to garnish


1. In a pan add oil and then cook onions until soft.
2. Add the turmeric, mustard seeds and chilli powder, continue to cook until fragrant.
3. Add the coconut milk, desiccated coconut, honey and green chillies, bring it to a boil then simmer for two minutes.
4. Add the prawns and cashew then simmer until prawns are cooked, it will take roughly around 5 minutes.
5. Add vinegar then season with salt. Turn heat off then serve garnished with cilantro.

Mulled Wine


  • 1 bottle of Cabernet Savignon (or your favorite red wine)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 2 star anise
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 large orange
  • 1/4 cup brandy (more or less to your taste)


  1. Zest the orange skin (by using a vegetable peeler or knife) into thick slices.
  2. In a medium sized pot, add the orange zest, cinnamon sticks, cloves, star anise, nutmeg, and sugar together.
  3. Pour just enough wine to cover everything (in a medium pot, this was a little less than 1/4 of the bottle for me).
  4. Bring the mixture to a rapid boil for about 8-10 mins while stirring occasionally. This will thicken it a little bit and create a flavorful syrup.
  5. Bend head over mixture and smells like winter!
  6. Once the syrup is ready, turn the heat down to low. Add the rest of the wine. Squeeze the juice out of the orange you zested earlier into the pot.
  7. Let the wine slowly warm up. You must do it at a low temp so that the alcohol doesn’t burn off.
  8. Once it’s warm enough, add the brandy and serve immediately.


Quick Crockpot Fondue


  • 3 cups dry white wine (such as Chardonnay)
  • 1.5 lbs processed Swiss cheese, shredded or finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • ⅛ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. ground white pepper
  • ½ tsp. nutmeg


  1. Plug in a small slow cooker (such as a Crockette) and set it to the “warm” setting.
  2. Place the white wine, crushed garlic cloves, cayenne pepper, white pepper, and nutmeg in a saucepan over medium heat. After five minutes, turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, place the processed swiss cheese into the slow cooker and cover with the lid.
  4. After the wine has reduced for 10 minutes, pour it directly over the cheese in the crockpot (you may want to remove the crock from the heating element before doing this, so you don’t spill liquid over the electric parts).
  5. Use a whisk to combine the cheese with the wine mixture. It will seem like it is not working at first, but it will soon come together. If after a few minutes there are still large chunks, turn the heat up to high and let it cook for 5-10 minutes. Whisk until smooth.
  6. Serve with pretzels, sourdough or rye bread, or sausage.