Never throw away your broccoli stems again. Peel the tough skin on the stalks and cut into 1/8th inch slices. If you slice on the diagonal you will create more surface area and a more attractive final product. Pan fry using the broccoli stems in olive oil for a couple of minutes, turning as they brown, and removing to paper towels to drain. Sprinkle with sea salt to taste and serve. A wonderfully tasty, healthy snack or side.
PAN-FRIED BROCCOLI STEMS (Serves: 4)
- 4 to 8 thick broccoli stems
- About 4 tablespoons grape seed oil or olive oil
- Salt to taste
- Peel broccoli stems and slice crosswise, very thin, about 1/8 inch. (Don’t slice paper-thin because then it’s too easy to burn them.)
- Heat a heavy skillet over high heat and add enough oil to coat well (about 1/8 inch of oil in the pan). When oil is hot add broccoli stems in a single layer. (Don’t add too many at a time because they will cook quickly and you need to turn them all over before they burn.) Turn heat down to medium-high and cook broccoli stems until edges are lightly brown, then flip over with tongs. Cook for 30 seconds to a minute more and remove from oil. Drain on paper towels, sprinkle with salt, and let cool for about a minute before eating.
- Continue with all of the broccoli stems, adding oil as needed.
~ CookingNYTimes.com ~
I have prepared steamed broccoli plenty of times, but never using this method. You begin with butter melted in a large skillet over medium-high heat. To that you add 3″ broccoli spears and season them with salt to taste. Now add one cup of water to the pan, turn the heat up to high, and cover the skillet with a lid. It takes about 5 minutes for the broccoli to steam to crisp-tender. Remove the broccoli to a plate, sprinkle with the peppered bread crumbs, and shave some parmesan on top. This turned out to be a wonderful side — an interesting method to add flavor to the broccoli. Save the stalks from your broccoli and stay tuned for a recipe for Pan Fried Broccoli Stems.
BUTTER-STEAMED BROCCOLI WITH PEPPERY BREAD CRUMBS (Serves: 4-6)
- 1 ½ cups coarse bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
- 1 large head or 2 medium heads broccoli (1/2 to 2 pounds)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, for shaving
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spread bread crumbs on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Bake until golden, about 10 minutes, turning pan and stirring crumbs occasionally to ensure even browning. Remove from oven and transfer crumbs to a bowl. Stir in black pepper and salt to taste. Set aside at room temperature.
- Cut off thick stems of broccoli and save for another purpose, such as soup. Cut broccoli tops into 3-inch-long spears of approximately equal size.
- Put a large skillet over medium-high heat. Melt butter, add broccoli spears and season with salt. Add 1 cup water, turn heat to high and cover skillet with a tight-fitting lid. Cook rapidly until firm-tender but still bright green, about 5 minutes. The broccoli should absorb all the butter and water. (If there is any buttery liquid left, spoon over broccoli just before serving.)
- Transfer broccoli to a serving platter or a large wide shallow bowl. Sprinkle generously with peppery crumbs. Using a vegetable peeler, shave Parmesan into rough shards and scatter over the top.
~ CookingNYTimes.com ~
Time to use up some mushrooms, green onions and cherry tomatoes. I love the All Recipes site because it allows you to search by ingredient. This salad recipe incorporates all three with a simple vinaigrette that brings out the best in everything. As an afterthought we added some leftover ciliegine mozzarella balls. It was pretty spectacular and a nice addition to our meal. Served here with Roast New York Strip Loin with Garlic-Herb Crust and Butter-Steamed Broccoli With Peppery Bread Crumbs.
BYRDHOUSE MARINATED TOMATOES AND MUSHROOMS (Serves: 3)
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons white sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 12 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 (8 ounce) package fresh mushrooms
- 2 green onions, sliced
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
- Whisk together the balsamic vinegar, vegetable oil, sugar, salt, and pepper in a bowl; add the tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, and basil; toss until evenly coated. Cover and chill in refrigerator at least 3 hours. Stir before serving.
I modified this recipe to utilize the sliced apples that were leftover after we made the Apple Rose Pie. I prepared the pork chops by combining several spices along with brown sugar and fresh rosemary to create a rub. I allowed them to rest for about an hour before I placed them on a baking sheet. I added the seasoned apple slices around the chops and put them in the oven to bake for about 15-20 minutes. I have to say that the rub on the chops was a little heavy on the palette for me. However, my son and hubby enjoyed it, and I was happy to have used up the apples that I had on hand. I guess it was a Win-Win. Served here with Fried Cabbage.
PORK CHOPS WITH ROASTED APPLES AND BRUSSELS SPROUTS (Serves: 4)
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons light brown sugar, divided
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary, divided
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
- 4 (1-inch-thick) bone-in, center-cut pork chops
- 3 tablespoons plus 2 tsp. olive oil, divided
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 Gala apple (8 to 9 oz.), cut into 1/2-inch wedges
- 1 pound fresh Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half
- Vegetable cooking spray
- Preheat oven to 425°. Stir together first 5 ingredients, 1 Tbsp. brown sugar, 1 tsp. rosemary, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. black pepper in a small bowl. Rub each pork chop with 1/2 tsp. olive oil; rub both sides of each pork chop with brown sugar mixture (about 2 tsp. on each chop).
- Whisk together apple cider vinegar and remaining 2 Tbsp. brown sugar, 1 tsp. rosemary, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. black pepper in a small bowl; slowly whisk in remaining 3 Tbsp. olive oil until blended. Place apples, Brussels sprouts, and 1/4 cup vinegar mixture in a large bowl, and toss to coat.
- Place pork chops in center of a lightly greased (with cooking spray) heavy-duty aluminum foil-lined sheet pan; place apple mixture around pork chops.
- Bake at 425° for 12 minutes; turn pork chops over, and bake 10 to 14 minutes more or until a meat thermometer inserted in thickest portion registers 140°. Transfer pork chops to a serving platter, and cover with foil to keep warm. Stir apple mixture in sheet pan, and spread into an even layer.
- Increase oven temperature to broil, and broil apple mixture 3 to 4 minutes or until browned and slightly charred. Transfer apple mixture to a medium bowl. Toss together apple mixture and remaining vinegar mixture. Season with kosher salt, and serve with pork chops.
~ MyRecipes.com ~
What do you do when you have a bundle of fresh asparagus and some mushrooms that you need to use up? I guess you get out some pasta and create a carbonara! Cut up the veggies and pop them in the oven for a few minutes to roast. In the meantime, crisp up the bacon over medium heat and put some pasta on to boil. Remove the bacon from the pan and reserve 1 tablespoon of fat for the carbonara sauce. You begin by sauteing some fresh garlic and then adding some of the water reserved from the pasta. The cooked pasta is added to the garlic as well and tossed until warmed through. Make sure you start with a large pan that can accommodate all of the ingredients for this dish. Once the pan is removed from the heat you add an egg/parmesan/pepper mixture and toss with the pasta until the sauce thickens. Add in the roasted vegetables and voila! You have a saucy pasta dish that is delicious, flavorful and loaded with goodness.
ROASTED ASPARAGUS MUSHROOM CARBONARA (Serves: 6-8)
- 1-½ pounds asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 8 ounces mushrooms, quartered
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 pound dry spaghetti
- 4 large eggs
- 8 ounces bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup Parmesan, grated
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- Sea salt, to taste
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place the asparagus and mushrooms on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and toss gently to evenly coat.
- Roast the vegetables in the preheated oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until the vegetables start to caramelize, stirring halfway.
- While the vegetables are roasting, bring 6 quarts of generously salted water to a boil. Add the pasta, stir, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until al dente. Reserve ½ cup of the cooking liquid before draining the pasta.
- While the pasta is cooking, add the bacon to a large sauté pan and cook over medium heat. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until golden and crispy, and most of the fat has rendered off. Turn off the heat and drain all but 1 tablespoon of the rendered fat.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, Parmesan and a generous amount of the fresh cracked pepper until well-combined.
- Return the sauté pan to medium heat. Add the garlic, and sauté for 30 seconds, until fragrant.
- Add ¼ cup of the reserved cooking liquid to the sauté pan. Toss in the spaghetti and heat for a few minutes until the bubbling has subsided and much of the water has evaporated.
- Remove the pan from the heat and add the egg mixture to the pasta while quickly stirring. Continue stirring until the egg mixture has thickened, adding additional cooking liquid if the sauce is too thick.
- Season with black pepper and sea salt to taste. Gently toss the spaghetti with the roasted asparagus and mushrooms, and serve immediately. Garnish with additional Parmesan cheese, if desired.
~ TipHero.com ~
This recipe was so simple and surprisingly tasty. I added a step by peeling and slicing the eggplant and then placing them on a baking sheet with a sprinkle of salt. The bitterness of the eggplant is minimized by letting the eggplant rest in this way for an hour or so. Just make sure to rinse the eggplant with cold water before cooking. The eggplant and onion slices are browned on the stovetop before they are assembled with the tomato slices in a square casserole dish. After a quick 20 minutes in the oven grated parmesan is sprinkled across the top and then returned for a few minutes under the broiler. And that’s it folks . . . A beautiful combination of flavors that can serve as a vegetarian main dish or as a side.
TOMATO AND EGGPLANT TIAN (Serves: 4)
- 20 bocconcini (mozzarella balls)
- 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- One 15-ounce jar plum preserves
- 1 cup balsamic vinegar
- 20 fresh rosemary sprigs
- 2 pints grape tomatoes
- Position the oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- In a large saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add the eggplant slices, season with salt and cook until golden on both sides. Remove to a plate and repeat with the onion slices
- Rub a small baking dish with the garlic clove. Layer the eggplant, onions, and tomato slices in rows in the baking dish. Drizzle a little more olive oil on top. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake until heated through and the tomatoes are soft but still hold their shape, about 20 minutes. Remove the baking dish and set the oven to broil. Sprinkle the tomatoes with the shredded cheese and broil to melt and brown the cheese, about another 2 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve.
~ FoodNetwork.com ~
This recipe combines the cool crispness of cucumber with the spicy savoriness of crab. I recommend using English cucumbers for both their diameter and length. It is a bit challenging to scoop them out with a melon baller, but it gets easier as you gain experience. Make a crab salad by combining cream cheese, sour cream, crab meat, hot sauce, brown mustard and green onion. I felt that mine came out just a bit too runny and, as a result, a bit sloppy. I think in the future I would reserve just a little of the sour cream-cream cheese mixture so that I can regulate the consistency. Some of the guests mentioned that the 2″ cup was a bit difficult to handle. As a result, I think it would be wise to create smaller cucumber cups in the future — perhaps 1 to 1-1/2 inches. Smaller cups but a greater yield. The crab salad and cups can be made in advance, but fill them just before serving. Dust with paprika and sprinkle with sliced green onion. A real people pleaser and a great contribution to any get-together.
CUCUMBER CUPS STUFFED WITH SPICY CRAB (Yields about 20)
- 3 long cucumbers
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup cream cheese, softened
- 3/4 cup crab meat, excess water removed
- 1 tsp hot pepper sauce (Tabasco or tapito)
- 1 tsp brown mustard
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tbs minced green onion
- Garnish with chili powder or paprika if desired
- Remove the peel from the cucumbers using a vegetable peeler. Cut the cucumber into 2 inch slices. Using a small melon baller, scoop out most of the inside. You want to leave the walls and a thick portion of the bottom intact.
- In a bowl, combine the sour cream and the cream cheese with a fork until well combined. add the remaining ingredients and stir until combined. Fill each of the cucumber cups with the crab dip. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve within 2 hours of making.
~ DomesticFits.com ~