I often hear friends say that they hated the boiled Brussels sprouts their mother made, but that they now love roasted Brussels sprouts. But I must admit that personally I liked those Brussels sprouts of lore, so was intrigued when I saw a hundred-year-old recipe for Brussels Sprouts with Cream Sauce.
I was pleased with how the recipe turned out. The recipe called for cooking the Brussels Sprouts for 15 minutes, so they were more tender and less crunchy than roasted ones – but I liked them. And, they were lovely when served in a cream sauce.
An aside: One reason Brussels sprouts taste different now than in the past is because of changed cooking methods. Another reason is that plant breeders have developed modern varieties of Brussels sprouts that are less bitter than the old-time varieties.
Here’s the original recipe:
Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:
1 quart (about 2 pounds) Brussels sprouts
2 quarts water
1 teaspoon salt +1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup half and half (or use milk for a lighter sauce)
Wash Brussels sprouts, cut off stems, and remove any wilted leaves. Put into a large saucepan. Cover with the water; add 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil using high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until the Brussels sprouts are tender, then drain.
In the meantime, in another saucepan, using medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter; stir in the flour, pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Gradually, add the half and half while stirring constantly. Continue stirring until the Cream Sauce thickens. Remove from heat.
To serve: Pour the Cream Sauce over the cooked Brussels sprouts; stir gently to coat the Brussels sprouts with the sauce. Put in bowl and serve.