Broccoli help!

Jiza
Bento-ing from: Madrid › Spain
Joined: 13 Feb 2009
User offline. Last seen 2 years 49 weeks ago.

I've always hardboiled broccoli and sometimes roast it a bit before putting it in my bento but I find it rather soft and mushy and it doesn't have any kind of flavor (we usually dress it with some vinegar), besides the color is not very appealing.

I thought about steaming it in my rice cooker (that way it'd be brightly colored) but I don't know how much time should I keep it? Should I roast it after steaming?
can broccoli actually be roasted or fried raw??

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My bento blog: http://justbento.com/blog/1305
My art blog: http://jizaacaso.deviantart.com

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Loretta
Moderator
Bento-ing from: London › UK
Joined: 4 Mar 2009
User offline. Last seen 1 year 12 weeks ago.
Re: Broccoli help!

I never liked calabrese broccoli (I do like the other kind of 'sprouting' broccoli) and then I tried this recipe from Sophie Grigson's 'Vegetables' book. The recipe is from Heston Blumethal (the UK's Ferran Adrià) and is pretty simple and very quick to make, although it's important to get the pan hot enough and not to hang around between the stages. Have the salt and butter to hand so you can add it quickly. I absolutely ADORE broccoli made this way.

Remove the florets from a calabrese broccoli and split them to make them all the same size (no more than 5 cms wide). Then slice the stalks so that they look like coins (about 1/4 inch - just under 1cm - quite thin). If the stalks are very tough you can peel them first. Into a heavy-bottomed pan pour in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Set it over high heat until the oil starts to smoke and then add the broccoli all at once and cover it immediately with a close fitting lid.
Cook for 2 minutes but do NOT TAKE OFF THE LID DURING THIS TIME. Once two minutes has passed, raise the lid, add salt (the recipe says add more than you think you need) and pepper if you want some, shake the pan around and add as big a lump of butter as your diet allows. Cover the pan again, put it back over the flame again for 2 more minutes. Test the broccoli, if it's done to your taste remove it, otherwise, shake, cover the pan again and cook for a further two minutes. The broccoli partly browns, the rest stays a delectable green, so it tastes a little like it's been roasted. Once done, be sure to take the broccoli pieces out of the pan so that they don't continue to steam.

I'm afraid the book is currently with a friend of mine, so I had to use my memory, but I just checked it with this web page http://www.thewednesdaychef.com/the_wednesday_chef/2008/08/heston-blumen... and it seems as if I remembered everything quite clearly. I do make this dish rather a lot. Hope you like it!

Céline
Bento-ing from: Avignon or Lyon, depends › France
Joined: 10 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 10 weeks ago.
Re: Broccoli help!

If you want to have bright green brocoli the most efficient way is to cook them briefly in the microwave : microwave on high, only a minute or two, placed in a half-filled glass of water (stems in the water with the florets surfacing). There's some disavantages though : you can't cook a whole brocoli head like this, just a few florets at a time (just before packing your bento for instance) ; and the stems may get mushy if you let them cook too long.
The other solution is to steam them : this way they don't get mushy as long as you don't cook them more than 10-15 minutes, but the colour of the florets may fade before all the stems are cooked...
Either way they retain more flavor than when boiled in water ! ^^
Hope it helps !

clarissa
Bento-ing from: Berlin › Germany
Joined: 6 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 4 years 1 week ago.
Re: Broccoli help!

I always steam my broccoli for about, oh ..., maybe 5 Minutes (only a couple of floretts) and then hold them under cold water so the color will stay bright green. They will stay al dente this way and the color is nicer this way as if you cook them longer

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Jiza
Bento-ing from: Madrid › Spain
Joined: 13 Feb 2009
User offline. Last seen 2 years 49 weeks ago.
Re: Broccoli help!

that's exactly what i needed to know! thanks :D

Jiza
Bento-ing from: Madrid › Spain
Joined: 13 Feb 2009
User offline. Last seen 2 years 49 weeks ago.
Re: Broccoli help!

sounds yummy! :D
I'll try it right away :D

Jiza
Bento-ing from: Madrid › Spain
Joined: 13 Feb 2009
User offline. Last seen 2 years 49 weeks ago.
Re: Broccoli help!

it does! :D thanks!!! :D

Stephanie
Bento-ing from: San Lorenzo › California › USA
Joined: 15 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 4 years 18 weeks ago.
Re: Broccoli help!

There are also plastic bags that you can use for steaming. You can get these almost anywhere in the US, they are super easy to use they even have cooking times right on the bag. Seasoning can be added in the bag and they are reusable.

http://walmart.triaddigital.com/enhancedrendercontent_ektid23300.aspx

bethama
Bento-ing from: Nagoya › Japan
Joined: 21 Feb 2009
User offline. Last seen 4 years 13 weeks ago.
Re: Broccoli help!

You can get the bright green from boiling!! Just follow the same logic: bring a BIG pot of water to a full boil, season with a tablespoon or two of salt, then add the broccoli pieces. As soon as the water returns to a full boil, set your timer - no more than one minute. Drain the broccoli, and immediately dunk it in several changes of ice water until it's completely cool. I do this when I freeze broccoli, and it all comes out gorgeous - very vibrantly colored and perfectly tasty.

Loretta
Moderator
Bento-ing from: London › UK
Joined: 4 Mar 2009
User offline. Last seen 1 year 12 weeks ago.
Another broccoli recipe

I've not tried this particular recipe myself, it comes from Isuko Hisamatsu's "Quick and Easy Tsukemono". The original is beautifully laid out with photos, I'll just limit to providing an outline. The book is really good and worth getting.
1 broccoli head
2 tablespoons of shredded Kombu Tsukudani - recipe for this is here: http://justbento.com/handbook/johbisai/homemade-shio-kombu-kombu-no-tsuk...
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon sake (a drop of dry sherry might do)
1 tablespoon hot mustard paste
Peel and slice the broccoli stem thinly and break the head into florets. Rinse well and cook in boiling salted water for 1 to 2 minutes. Drain and allow to cool. Break the florets into bitesize pieces.
Blend the soy sauce, sake and mustard paste. Add the broccoli and kombu tsukudani and mix. Place in a bowl, add a weight to the top and leave for 30 to 60 minutes so that the flavours can be absorbed.

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