Friday, December 18, 2009

A Side Trip To Italy.. Broccoli! We Cooked It Twice Cause It's So Nice!

For someone raised in an Italian American household I've spent an awful lot of time studying and cooking Indian food. It happens to be my favorite of all cuisines, but it's not the only thing I cook.
Since my husband and I are in writing most of the day I cook lunch nearly 7 days a week. We take our main meal in the middle of the day. Breakfast is bread and coffee at our local cafe and dinner is usually fruit and cheese. Of course sometimes I switch things around, (usually on the weekends) and we have friends over for either dinner or brunch. The one thing that almost never changes is some form of Indian dish/es on the table.
Except when it does. And most of the time when it does, I revert back to my roots and go Italian. On a rainy cold Sonoma afternoon what's more appealing, and easy than a simple roast chicken with lemon and rosemary, pan roasted fingerling potatoes and Divina Cucinas' Twice Cooked Broccoli. Judy's book Secrets From My Tuscan Kitchen is amazing. A former San Franciscan, she teaches cooking, lives in Italy with an Italian husband and is basically a Sandra Bullock movie just waiting to happen. I follow her blog and her tweets.
Well, yesterday Judy was tweeting about something called twice cooked broccoli. I had to know what that was it sounded good. So I tweeted to her and she twittered back about cooking the broccoli first then cooking it again in a pan with garlic and pancetta and olive oil. I was in.
This morning I went down to the good old Sonoma Market and got some imported pancetta. Just one thick slice. I chopped it up. I thinly slivered a large shallot..(yeah, out of garlic) and sauteed it all in a bit of good olive oil.
To this mixture I added two crowns of broccoli ( they were having a sale...99 cents a pound) separated into florets . I had steamed the broccoli ahead of time til it was tender then plunged it into cold water to stop it cooking further.
I roasted all of these ingredients together in a large Le Cruset pan on top of the stove

I served the broccoli with my lemon chicken and pan roasted fingerlings cooked in Vegetable Matters' recipe for sage salt
It was truly a lovely, simple and delicious lunch put together with all the help and suggestions I've gotten from the friends I've met here online.
So, even though it's not got anything to do with Indian food I had to pass this on as it was too good to keep to myself. Thanks all!


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