Entries Tagged 'General' ↓

Brussels Sprouts So Tasty, They’re Newsworthy

This morning James appeared on the Channel 9 News at 9 to showcase a delicious fall side dish: Brussels sprouts with sweet potatoes, apples, and bacon. Watch the video and see how easy it is to create this colorful masterpiece in your own kitchen!

Autumn Bounty Brussels Sprouts

Serves 4 – 6


  • 1½ – 2 lbs large Brussels sprouts, cut into quarters
  • 8 – 10 sage leaves, chopped
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and small diced
  • 1 Honeycrip apple, peeled, cored, and small diced
  • ½ cup red onion, small diced
  • 6 strips thick-cut applewood smoked bacon, small diced
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper


  • Cook Brussels sprouts in boiling water until nearly done (still crunchy), drain and set aside.
  • Heat olive oil in large sauté pan on high heat. Add diced bacon, reduce heat to medium, sauté until done. Remove bacon with slotted spoon and set aside, keeping oil in pan.
  • Add diced red onion and sweet potatoes to oil in pan, sauté about 5 or 6 minutes over medium heat until sweet potatoes are tender and onions translucent.
  • Add par-cooked Brussels sprouts to pan, toss with onion and sweet potatoes, and cook 4 or 5 minutes.
  • Add cider to pan and reduce until liquid is almost gone. Add apples, and cook another 2 minutes.
  • Add reserved bacon and sage and toss together. Add salt and pepper to taste.


You can also make this dish kosher or vegetarian by using turkey bacon or soy substitute instead of applewood smoked bacon.

To save time, you can par-cook the Brussels sprouts a day in advance—just keep covered in the refrigerator until ready to use. Or you can contact Main Course—we offer holiday help for events both large and small.

Fall Weekend at Home

Fall is our favorite season, and having a weekend at home to enjoy nearby places is sort of a luxury. This past weekend was no exception.

Friday night we met newlyweds Becca and Jason at Coco Sala and enjoyed a decadent meal. Nearly every dish involves chocolate in some way, and small plates mean you can sample many things from the menu without breaking the bank. We especially loved the goat cheese and beet salad, the coconut crabcake, and the bacon mac and cheese (topped with a chocolate covered piece of bacony goodness, mmm). And you can’t leave without sampling the cocojito: a chocolaty version of the delicious mojito that’s just divine.

Saturday we enjoyed the crisp fall air in nearby Glen Echo Park , a former Chautauqua turned amusement park turned art center/theater/playground. After exploring the site we walked over to the Irish Inn at Glen Echo for lunch: a fig salad (with arugula, spiced pecans, blue cheese, and prosciutto) and a grilled Kildare melt (Irish ham, roasted tomatoes, caramelized onions, Irish cheddar, and a Guinness mustard spread). Delish!

On Sunday we went to the lovely neighborhood of Del Ray in Alexandria to check out the shops and the newly expanded Cheesetique. In addition to being a specialty cheese shop, they are also a café featuring delightful dishes. We sampled the Guinness cheddar (mmm), a creamy camembert with cranberries, and the ménage (made with goat, sheep, and cow’s milk). Then we stopped by Artfully Chocolate Kingsbury Confections to indulge in some truffles. Between the snacks and the window shopping – if you haven’t been to Del Ray in a while, it’s totally worth the trip.

Welcome to The Side Dish

Cheers! We’re excited to kick off The Side Dish as the summer winds to a close. Published as often as something interesting happens, Chef James Main and wife Shana Brown will be sharing mouth-watering news of events, travels, recipes, and whatever else strikes our fancy. Big thanks to Siobhan at Imbibe Magazine for divining the perfect name for our blog!

August is birthday month in Main Course world: James celebrated his birthday, along with Shana’s mom, our sister-in-law Lauren, niece Sophia, nephew Nathan, and our cat, Stella Blue. Happy birthday, family!

The month began with the US Personal Chef Association’s annual conference in Tucson, AZ. We spent time with family in Bisbee and in Scottsdale, had some tasty meals at La Fuente and Beyond Bread, and sampled the refreshing beverages at Nimbus Brewing Company. Shana enjoyed the pool while James learned some tips of the trade from seasoned personal chefs. All in all, a very good trip.

James and friends Erich, Chad, and Zerek also entered their first barbeque competition. Team name: Smokin’ Somethin’. COF-A-Que was a stellar event – live music, great food, nice people. Sponsored by the organization Circle of Friends (hence the COF), this charity event benefits Hungry For Music, a fantastic non-profit helping kids grow creatively with the amazing power of music. Good mission, good times – we will definitely be returning next year.

The Side Dish is part of a big update to the Main Course site (thanks, Dr. Webstein!). Take a spin through to see what’s new!

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