Monday, April 4, 2011

Broccoli with Sweet and Sour Tangerine Sauce

As I flipped around my new cookbook, I randomly came upon this recipe for a side dish.  Since a lot of what I cook doesn't naturally have side dishes, I decided to experiment with the recipe as a entree instead.  That might have not been the best decision ever, but more on that later.  

The recipe itself was super simple.  The recipe suggested using 2 cups of broccoli florets (which is a horrible way to measure broccoli), and steaming them with a saucepan.  How exactly to steam them over a saucepan, wasn't specified.  Meanwhile, a sauce was made of orange marmalade, rice vinegar, ginger, and hot pepper oil was heated in a smaller saucepan.  Then the sauce was poured over the broccoli, and time to eat.  

My first task was to find out how much 2 cups of broccoli might be in ounces.  My guess was about 8 ounces, but I had another 2 ounces of broccoli left over so I just used the extra 2 ounces in the recipe.  The hot pepper oil was another interesting addition to this recipe, as when I was in the grocery store, there was nothing in the Asian section labeled as such.  I did a quick search on my phone (I love my Droid) and found some recipes for the type of oil, and found that a similar item was called hot chili oil, which, conveniently, was available on the shelves in front of me.  After tasting a drop off of my finger, it had a slightly nutty taste, with the spice heat coming slowly afterwards.  

To follow the recipe, I set up a pot of boiling water and put a metal colander over it with the broccoli in it.  I don't know if this is what they meant, but it kind of worked.  About half way.  I ended up having to double their guestimate of 6 to 8 minutes steaming, so I need to try a different method next time.  I have been able to cook broccoli very successfully in the microwave by placing it in a bowl with some water, covered with some clear plastic wrap, and cooking it for a few minutes.  I will try that next time.  

Cooking the sauce was very easy, and I had no problems with it.  I added the ingredients, and heated them, and stirred.  

It was very difficult to judge this dish accurately due to the broccoli being undercooked.   After a while, both Jeff and I found ourselves very tired of eating this dish, even though the sauce flavor wasn't too bad.  We both found ourselves craving meat.

I think that if I added chopped chicken and reduced the amount of broccoli by half, I should be able to create an actual meal from this.

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