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The Best Brussels EVER!

Well the festive season is upon us! Winter is not my favourite season. Dark mornings, rainy days, nights drawing in. On the plus side Winter is the perfect opportunity to break out the comfort foods. Pies, pastas, roasts all glorious, especially if you can incorporate some seasonal produce in to your meals. Things will always taste way better when they are in season. One of the things I took away after appearing on Masterchef is cook the things you love to eat and your passion will shine through, and this recipe definitely has a few things I love in there. With Christmas fast approaching everyone will be reaching for the brussel sprouts. Always a bone of contention in many a house hold, people either love them or hate them. Hopefully my favourite recipe for cooking them will turn even the most stubborn haters into a sprout lover.

SERVES 6 - 8 as a side

750g Brussels

2 Large size leeks washed & chopped

500g Mascarpone

1 Vegetable stock cube

Handful of Chopped Chestnuts

(vacuum packed)

120g Pancetta

(2 small packs of pancetta)

Sweat the chopped leek in a deep saucepan over a medium heat, with a splash of veg oil and a couple of good knobs of butter. Give them a pinch of salt and a good grind of pepper.

You don’t want too much colour on the leeks so keep an eye on them and stir as you go.

Get your sprouts on to boil and cook for around 8 mins. Drain and put aside.

Cook the pancetta in a separate non stick pan on a medium heat for around 7 mins or until tuning crisp. Set this aside

After about 25 mins the leeks should be super soft, crumble in the stock cube and mix, then add your mascarpone, brussels and the pancetta. If you want to add some chopped chestnuts (vacuum pack ones are perfect ) add them now.

Give it all a good mix up and keep warm until you are ready to serve. Enjoy this indulgent side dish with your Christmas dinner. Feel free to add a little more mascarpone if you want it even more creamy. This recipe also helps make the most amazing bubble and squeak with the left overs for Boxing Day as well.

James Skelton

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