I love Cook the Books, my online foodie book group, but life has been getting in the way of my participating lately. That doesn't mean I don't read the books, just that I haven't always cooked and posted a recipe from those books. Sadly, I missed joining in when the group posted recipes from Molly Wizenberg's A Homemade Life. Some of you may already be familiar with Wizenberg's blog, Orangette. I had certainly come across it before, but confess I wasn't a regular reader. But I will also declare that I absolutely loved Wizenberg's story of how the kitchen came to take center stage in her life. I could identify with how her memories of food were always inextricably bound to her memories of family. Ironically, I began The Food of Love just one month before my mom passed away. While she was ill, her death came as a shock. Writing this blog proved to be therapeutic for me as well since my memories of food always lead back to my mother. Molly's story touched me and while I'm no vegetarian, I did bookmark several of her recipes. One is for cream-braised cabbage. As soon as I saw it, I knew I was going to try it with one of my favorite veggies, brussels sprouts.
1 pint brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
2 tbs unsalted butter
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tbs fresh lemon juice
Trim and halve the brussels sprouts. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the brussels sprouts in a single layer with one of the cut sides down. Allow them to cook, undisturbed, until the downward facing side is nicely browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Use a pair of tongs to gently turn them over and brown the other side in like fashion. When the second side has browned, season to taste with salt and pepper, add the cream, then cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 20 minutes, until the sprouts are tender. Add the lemon juice, shaking the pan to distribute it evenly.
Move over roasted brussels sprouts, there's a new kid in town and she's going to be front and center on our Thanksgiving table. This is such an incredibly simple preparation, but the taste is nothing short of fantastic. I'm not breaking up with pancetta-studded sprouts or roasted sprouts or bread-crumb topped sprouts, but right here and right now, these cream-braised sprouts reign supreme. I'll probably have to make 3 pounds of these for Thanksgiving because there's so delish.