Turn up the heat this Thanksgiving with delicious side dishes made using a Bernzomatic blowtorch
Chef John Sundstrom of Lark Seattle shares his top three torched Thanksgiving Day recipes
(COLUMBUS, Ohio) November 16, 2015 – Green bean casserole and cranberry sauce are likely on the menu at homes across the country this Thanksgiving. But this year, Bernzomatic – the industry leader in handheld torches – is urging Americans to up the ante in the kitchen with the use of a blowtorch. In seconds, the torch’s flame can take a dish from delicious to unforgettable, adding crispness to meats and vegetables, as well as a caramelized brûlée to desserts.
Chef John Sundstrom of Lark Seattle knows a thing or two about show-stopping meals. As recipient of the James Beard Award for “Best Chef in the Northwest” and a culinary author, creating innovative techniques in the kitchen and complementing dishes with fire is a practice that he puts to good use in his upscale eatery and at home.
“Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be predictable – all you need is a passion for food and a curiosity to try something different,” said Sundstrom. “My recipes always start with fresh ingredients and from there, it’s about trying new techniques to bring out the best in food. Blowtorches provide a primal element that, when applied to a dish, bring out flavors in a unique way that other techniques just can’t beat. That’s why there’s always one close by in my kitchen and I use them in my Thanksgiving recipes.”
A masterful dinner requires the right tools, and the Bernzomatic TS4000 Trigger Start Torch has applications well beyond the workshop. The torch produces a large flame that is well suited for culinary applications. Compatible with a standard 16 oz. or 14.1 oz. Bernzomatic propane cylinder, it features an instant on/off ignition and continuous run lock for one-handed operation. It is available at major retailers including Home Depot, Lowe’s and Amazon.
Whether a novice in the kitchen or a seasoned chef, the following recipes will add a special touch to everyone’s holiday menu.
Charred Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Cheese
Makes 8 servings
1/2 cup Bacon, cut into wide strips
4 cup Brussels sprouts, trimmed and split
2 Shallots, peeled and sliced into rings
½ tsp. Thyme, picked and chopped
1 cup Gruyere or white cheddar cheese, grated
Fresh ground black pepper
Slowly render bacon in a large sauté pan over medium heat, until just getting crispy, remove from heat.
Blanch the Brussels sprouts in salted, boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Shock in a bowl of ice water; when cool, remove and dry on paper towels. Place Brussels sprouts on a large uncoated cookie sheet and using a Bernzomatic torch, toast and char all over, reserve. Place bacon pan back on medium heat, add Brussels sprouts and shallot rings, cook for 4-5 minutes to soften shallots and combine. Season with salt, pepper and thyme. Spoon into a heat proof serving dish, then top with grated cheese. Toast and melt cheese with Bernzomatic torch until golden brown. Serve.
Roasted Yam Puree
Makes 8 servings
6 Yams, washed and dried
4 tbsp. Butter, softened
½ cup Cream
2 cup Marshmallows, cut in half
Fresh ground black pepper
Place yams on a large uncoated cookie sheet, and using a Bernzomatic torch, toast and char all over, then roast in a 375 degree oven for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 20 minutes. Peel charred skin from yams and place yam pulp in food processor. Puree smooth, then place in medium sauce pot. Add butter and cream and heat puree over low to medium heat. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon into heat-proof serving dish, then top with cut marshmallows. Toast marshmallows with Bernzomatic torch until golden brown. Serve.
Blistered Cranberry Sauce
Makes 8 servings
2 cup Cranberries
1 cup Sugar
1 Orange, washed
1 Lemon, washed
Place cranberries on a large uncoated cookie sheet, and using Bernzomatic torch, blister and lightly char all of the cranberries, reserve. Using a peeler, peel wide strips of orange and lemon peel from the citrus. Halve the citrus and juice, reserve. Trim any white pith from the underside of the citrus peels using a paring knife.
Place the peels outside up on an uncoated cookie sheet, and using Bernzomatic torch, toast and char the peels, until they are pretty dark. In a medium sauce pan, add sugar, orange juice, lemon juice, blistered cranberries and charred citrus peels. Stir to combine. Cook over low to medium heat, stirring often for 25 minutes. Remove from heat to cool for 20 minutes. Transfer to a serving dish or container for storage. Refrigerate if not being used right away.
Bernzomatic is committed helping people find their fire, whether it be in the kitchen, the studio or the great outdoors. Find more ideas on how to use a torch in unique ways at Bernzomatic.com. Home chefs will also want to check out the new Sansaire Searing Kit. Created through a partnership with Bernzomatic and Sansaire, the kit includes a torch, fuel, drip tray and rack to add the finishing sear to sous vide dishes. For more information and to purchase the torch, visit www.Sansaire.com.
About John Sundstrom
John Sundstrom has appeared on Food Network's "Best of" and "Food Nation." He also appeared on the PBS original series "Chefs a-field.” In 2007, John was awarded the James Beard Award for “Best Chef in the Northwest” after nominations in 2005 and 2006. He opened his current restaurant, Lark, in 2003. The restaurant features locally-produced and organic foods, all prepared in-season. In January 2013, John published his first cookbook, Lark: Cooking Against the Grain.
Bernzomatic, a Worthington Industries brand, has been the leader in the blowtorch category since 1876. With a passion for craftsmanship and creation, Bernzomatic believes in providing the right tools and inspiration to take on projects and redefine what you can achieve. Bernzomatic products set the standard in safety, durability and performance, and include handheld torches, fuel cylinders, butane lighters and project accessories that can be used on the job site, in the home and in the hands of those with a desire to create. Find your fire at www.Bernzomatic.com.