last night i came home from work around 10pm (curses upon the night shift!), slightly hungry. starting into the fridge, my eyes scanned across the brussel sprouts that i'd boiled last thursday in attempts to bring them closer to an edible stage. i'd purchased them the weekend before from the farmers market (who can resist a giant stalk with little brussel sprouts running up and down the sides?) and hadn't yet gotten to it. the sprouts were beginning to look a bit limp, so it was a last ditch effort to save 'em. which brings us back to last night and me, hungry staring into the fridge. well why not, i thought. i cut 'em in half (to make sure none had started rotting on the inside--they were all beautiful) and chopped up a bit of red onion. as i was putting the onion back in the fridge, my eye caught the carton of heavy whipping cream, used for last sunday's feast. veggies in cream sauce are good, right? it's a classic french preparation or something. so, having never prepared a cream sauce, i got out the milk and figured i'd give it a whirl, cookbook be damned! i heated up some butter, cooked the onions on their own for a bit and then added the brussel sprouts. i sprinkled on some salt, pepper and garlic powder (the latter being my most shameful weakness but SO much easier than chopping up garlic at 10pm at night) and let everything cook for a while. once the sprouts were nicely browned, i turned down the heat and poured in the milk. a few tablespoons, i'd say. i stirred until the milk reduced a bit, lost my patience and dumped it into a bowl.
thankfully at that moment, adnarim_abroad called. i mentioned what i had just created and she, quite reasonably, suggested that the proper way to make cream sauce usually involves some flour used as a thickener. oh yeah, right. i knew that. this would, as she said, prevent my dish from looking like brussel sprout cereal in milk. so the brussel sprouts went back into the pan; once everything was heated up to a nice temperature, i dumped in a few tablespoons of flour and voila! slightly less runny brussel sprouts in cream sauce. much better! nothing i'd ever serve to someone i was trying to impress, but considerably more edible. hurrah! the whole thing did feel like some kind of farmer meal. the perfect dish if you've grown too many brussel sprouts that season and are also trying to increase your fat intake so you have energy to wake up at 4am.
god, i should become a professional chef with genius creations like this one.
oh, and did i mention that my parents have friends who live in brussels whose last name is sprout? no kidding! i love it!