I must first apologize for the ugly picture above. No matter how hard I tried, these sprouts refused to look sexy for me, and instead you get this washed out, glib picture. I’m sorry for that, I really truly am. But as disgusting as this picture looks, that’s how good these sprouts are. Better even, they’re stunning, operatic, grand. Sure, they may not seem like a big deal, but trust me, braised in cream this is a royal dish. One that is perfect on its own, or as as side to some hearty roasted meat. Or maybe even, say turkey?
Everyone is probably counting the days down to Thanksgiving, I know I am. Menus have been planned, dishes have been discussed, shopping lists drawn. And yet, in my emails with friends from here and there, I keep hearing the same sentiment – I just need more sides. Well, if more sides is what you need, here, use this one. Because, let’s face it, the green beans have been overused to the point of delirium. They could use a break from all this pressure to perform on the foodiest of all the food holidays. Here, give Brussels sprouts a go.
Disliked by many a child, I am almost positive that he (or she) will gobble this up in minutes. And maybe even ask you for seconds. I think that the trick here is cream, which in my opinion, makes most things better and elevates them to a status fit for a feast and not just an everyday side. Lemon juice, too, makes it sparkle even more so. And seeing as this is really easy to make (I know, here I go with this easy stuff again!), you won’t even feel taxed adding one more side to your Thanksgiving menu. And it’ll look that much more impressive!
Honestly, whatever yield I give you below, I am lying through my teeth. This was devoured in one sitting by three people and quite honestly, we would all have gone for seconds. Or, in my case, I probably would have had three helpings if that were an option. This recipe, which was adapted from Molly, is a true stunner and one to be made over and over this cold wintry season.
In case this is not an appealing side dish for you – I’ve compiled a few Thanksgiving dishes that should be pleasing to the eye as well as the palate. And will post it tomorrow!
Cream-Braised Brussels Sprouts
Adapted from Molly
1 ¼ lb. Brussels sprouts
1 finely sliced leek
1 sliced shallot
3 Tbs unsalted butter
¼ tsp coarse sea salt, plus more to taste
1 cup heavy cream – use the best cream you can find (I like Ronnybrook)
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice, or more to taste
Trim the stem end of each sprout and discard any brown or rotting leaves. Cut the sprouts into quarters and set aside. Carefully clean the leek and slice it discarding the stringy, green part.
In a cocotte, or a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the Brussels sprouts, the leek, and the shallot, and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sprouts are nicely browned in spots, about 5 minutes or so.
Pour in the cream, stir to mix, and then cover the pot. Reduce the heat to low or medium low so there’s a slow simmer. Braise until the sprouts are tender enough to be pierced easily with the tip of a paring knife, about 30-35 minutes.
Remove the lid, and stir in the lemon juice. Taste for seasoning, and adjust as necessary. Let the pan simmer, uncovered, for a minute or two to thicken the cream to a glaze that loosely coats the sprouts.
Serve and enjoy.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings