The Crisper Whisperer: Two Mollys' Cream-Braised Brussels Sprouts

You may know Carolyn Cope as Umami Girl. She stops by on Tuesdays with ideas on preparing fruits and vegetables. —The Mgmt.

[Photograph: Carolyn Cope]

Dear Sir: Thank you for contacting the law offices of Brussels, Sprout, and Cruciferg to inquire about representation. As you may know, our motto is "From Overcooked to Overbooked in One Generation," so please rest assured that we will approach your cause of action for emotional distress with a particular measure of sympathy and hard-earned wisdom.

Our attorneys have reviewed the details of your claim arising from events occurring shortly before midnight on December 31, 2009, when you were allegedly approached by an innocuous-seeming woman whose most defining characteristic was an unusual love for vegetables. You have asserted that she drew you in with a series of semi-intelligible whispers, then bit your earlobe and screamed that you were "freakin' insane."

Strictly speaking, we believe that your claim may well have merit and could be actionable in a court of law. However, based on our experience handling similar matters, some of them deeply personal to our attorneys, we respectfully request that you consider an alternative method of resolution to your dispute. Simply put, maybe marry the lady.

By way of explanation, we submit Cream-Braised Brussels Sprouts, attached for your review as Exhibit A. Several years ago, two of our name partners were victims of an incident remarkably similar to the one at issue here. As the result of a long and emotionally arduous investigative process, the phrase "freakin' insane" is now understood to be a compliment of the highest order and not the tortious insult that you--and, frankly, we--understandably took it to be in the first instance.

Careful forensic testing conducted during the prior incident revealed that when quickly caramelized Brussels sprouts are then gently braised in cream, the outcome is literally impossible to resist for a surprisingly large segment of the population. On this basis, we eventually concluded that for better or for worse (and, as it were, for richer and for poorer), no mere restraining order or amount of monetary compensation could change the course of a fate already so tightly sealed. Perhaps you, sir, are similarly irresistible. We respectfully suggest that you redirect your energies toward the exploration and management of that not-inconsequential reality.

Sincerely,
BSC and Partners

Cream-Braised Brussels Sprouts

About the author: Carolyn Cope writes Umami Girl and manages a CSA in Hoboken, New Jersey.

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The Crisper Whisperer: Two Mollys' Cream-Braised Brussels Sprouts

About This Recipe

Yield:6
This recipe appears in: What to Eat and Drink on St. Patrick's Day

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 pounds Brussels sprouts
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Procedures

  1. 1

    Trim the stems and any undesirable outer leaves from the Brussels sprouts. Cut each sprout lengthwise into quarters (from top to stem end).

  2. 2

    Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. (You'll need to cover the pan later, so choose one with a lid.) Add the Brussels sprouts and sprinkle with the salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, until the sprouts are nicely caramelized in spots.

  3. 3

    Add the cream, stir to coat all the sprouts, then cover the pan and reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes, until the sprouts are just tender in the center.

  4. 4

    Stir in the lemon juice and simmer, uncovered, for an additional minute or two, until the cream has thickened enough to cling loosely to the sprouts. Sprinkle with a little more salt and some freshly ground black pepper. Serve at once.

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