Brussels Sprouts Medley

Finally I have concocted a recipe for Brussels sprouts that does not leave them a mushy strong-flavored mess. The Victory Garden Cookbook, 1982, says, “Brussels sprouts 'ripen', picking up a strong flavor during storage, so it's best to use them as soon as possible after harvesting to guarantee a delicate flavor.”

Ingredients:

  • 4 Tb Olive Oil
  • 500 gm fresh Brussels sprouts, not too large
  • 3 medium-sized Carrots
  • 3 to 4 large Garlic Cloves
  • 1 medium Brown Onion
  • 1/3 cup mixed, pitted Olives (I use green olives and Kalamata olives.)
  • Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper
  • 1 can 400gm (14 oz) crushed Tomatoes with juices
  • 1 cube Oxo (or other) for Chicken broth, softened in 1/2 cup water

Instructions:

  1. Prepare the Brussels sprouts by trimming off the ends, removing loose and yellowing leaves, and cutting them in half, top to bottom.
  2. Prepare the Carrots by peeling, cutting off the ends, then cutting each carrot in half lengthwise. Next, slice each half into 1/8″ thick half-moons.
  3. Crush, peel and roughly chop the Garlic cloves.
  4. Peel and thinly slice the Brown Onions.
  5. Soften the Chicken broth cube in 1/2 cup warm water.
  6. Place the Olive Oil and all of the ingredients, except the canned Tomatoes and Chicken broth, into a large wok, over High heat.
  7. Sauté the vegetables for 4 to 5 minutes, tossing with two spatulas the entire time, to soften the Garlic and Onions and thoroughly heat all of the vegetables.
  8. Pour in the canned Tomatoes and the Chicken broth. Stir well.
  9. Cover the contents of the wok with a lid, and reduce the heat to Medium-Low.
  10. After 3 minutes, remove the lid and stir.
  11. Steam the vegetables until the Brussels sprouts are tender but still crisp and green.
  12. Remove the lid after 5 minutes, and remove a sprout to taste. Cook a few minutes more if necessary.
  13. Serve immediately.

Enjoy!

 

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Broccoli and Cauliflower Soup

Served to us by a friend in Hobart, Tasmania, this soup surprised me with its good flavor and texture. Very easy and quick to make, and I won't nag you with how good it is for your health. The second time I made this soup, I threw in 1/2 cup finely grated raw carrot, that I had left over from making a carrot cake. Add the carrot just before you purée and serve the soup. No more cooking required. You are looking for texture, not mush.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tb Olive Oil
  • 1/2 head Cauliflower, leaves and thick stem removed, and cut into florets about 2″ long, 1″ wide
  • 1 head Broccoli, thick stem removed and cut into florets about 2″ long, 1″ wide
  • 3 fat cloves Garlic, smashed, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium Brown Onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground Black Pepper
  • 1/8 tsp Salt
  • 2 cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1/3 cup finely grated Carrot (optional)
  • freshly grated Parmesan Cheese for garnish when serving

Instructions:

  1. Heat Olive Oil in a large soup pot.
  2. Add Cauliflower, Broccoli, Garlic, Onion, Pepper and Salt
  3. Stir fry over High heat until the Onions soften, being careful not to burn the Onions and Garlic. Don't stop tossing the vegetables or they will burn.
  4. Add Chicken Broth and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat to Low and simmer until the Cauliflower and Broccoli are tender but not mushy, when pierced with a fork.
  5. Add the Milk and grated Carrot if you are using it.
  6. Remove pot from heat, and use a hand held blender or upright blender to purée the soup.
  7. Serve hot in broad soup bowls, with Parmesan Cheese on the side for a garnish.

Enjoy!

 

Swiss Chard (Silverbeet), Sun-dried Tomatoes and Garlic

This recipe shows how I use my Wok to make perfect vegetable dishes. The basic concepts for Wok-cooked vegetables are: (1) Fresh vegetables sized to cook evenly, (2) High heat, (3) Oil, (4) Stir-fry technique, (5) Steam with chicken broth. One of the main benefits of this technique is that you can taste the vegetables at any time while they are cooking, and stop the cooking as soon as they are tender, but not yet mushy.

Ingredients:

  • Medium-large size, very fresh bunch of Swiss Chard (called Silverbeet in New Zealand and Australia)
  • 4 to 5 large Garlic cloves, sliced into large pieces
  • 1/3 cup Sun-dried Tomatoes, packed in oil, cut into 1/4 inch wide strips
  • 1/4 cup of the flavored oil from the jar of Sun-dried Tomatoes
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground Black Pepper
  • 1/3 cup Chicken Broth

Equipment:
– Large Wok with a lid
– 2 spatulas.

 

Instructions:

  1. Pour the flavored oil into the Wok.
  2. Cut the ribs out of the leaves of Swiss Chard, wash them in a bowl of water, drain, and cut into strips about 2 inches wide. Place into the Wok.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients to the Wok and turn the temperature up to High.
  4. Using 2 spatulas or a spatula and a wooden spoon, toss the ingredients in the Wok until all the leaves are covered with oil, and continue to toss as the Swiss Chard heats, cooks and slowly shrinks.
  5. When the Swiss Chard is about 1/2 its original volume, pour the Chicken Broth into the Wok and cover with a lid.
  6. Turn down the heat to Medium High.
  7. After about 3 minutes of steaming, open the lid and remove a piece of Chard with a fork. Allow to cool and taste for tenderness.
  8. As soon as the Swiss Chard is tender, remove the Wok from the heat and pour the contents into a heated serving dish.
  9. Cover the serving dish with a heated lid until you are seated at the dining table and ready to eat.

Enjoy!

 

Broccoli with Garlic, Sun-dried Tomatoes and Onions

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tb Olive Oil
  • 1 Tb Oil from jar of marinaded Sun-dried Tomatoes
  • 1 large head of Broccoli, divided into florets about 2″ by 2″
  • 1 large brown Onion or 4 small Onions, peeled and sliced into 1/4″ rings
  • 4 large Garlic cloves, peeled, smashed and chopped
  • 1/3 cup Sun-dried Tomatoes, marinaded in oil, cut into 1/4″ wide strips
  • 1 cup Chicken Broth

Instructions:

  1. Heat the Oils in a large Wok or skillet.
  2. Add all ingredients except for Chicken Broth.
  3. Stir fry over High heat for 3 minutes, tossing the vegetables continuously, until Onions turn translucent.
  4. Pour in the Chicken Broth.
  5. Place a lid over the contents of the Wok.
  6. Turn the heat down to Medium Low and steam until Broccoli is al dente tender/crisp and bright green.
  7. Pour into a serving bowl and serve immediately.

Enjoy!

 

Vegetable — Green Beans with Basil and Yoghurt Dressing

Modified from a recipe in the New Zealand Herald, 1997

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • Fresh Green Beans
  • 1/2 cup (packed) chopped Basil leaves
  • 1 Tb Lemon Juice
  • 1 small clove Garlic, crushed
  • Freshly ground Black Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 4 Tb plain Yoghurt (or cultured Buttermilk)

Instructions:

  1. Cook the beans until just tender and still slightly crisp.
  2. Drain the beans.
  3. Chop Basil leaves finely and place in a small bowl
  4. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
  5. Pour over the beans and serve soon.

Enjoy!

 

Vegetable — Silverbeet (Swiss Chard) with Garlic and Fresh Corn

Silverbeet and corn on the cob ripen at the same time in the New Zealand summer, so make a colorful and delicious soup. Be careful to avoid overcooking the corn.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch of Silverbeet (Swiss Chard)
  • 2 large or 3 medium garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 cup fresh corn kernels, cut off the cob
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Freshly ground Black Pepper

Instructions:

1 – Remove the leaves from the stems of the Silverbeet and cut the leaves into large pieces. Rinse thoroughly and drain.
2 – Heat the Olive Oil in a Wok or large skillet, and saute the Garlic for 1 minute.
3 – Add the Silverbeet leaves, a sprinkle of Salt and a couple of grinds of Fresh Black Pepper, and stir-fry for 3 minutes.
4 – Add corn to the Wok and toss and stir. Place a lid on the Wok to steam for about 2 minutes, until the silverbeet is tender.

Enjoy!

 

Vegetable — Spinach with Garlic, Sun-dried Tomatoes and Parmesan Cheese

*Ingredients:

  • Fresh Spinach, with the stems removed
  • Olive Oil
  • Garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • Sun-dried Tomatoes marinated in oil with spices, cut into strips
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • Salt
  • Ground Black Pepper

Quantities of the above ingredients, according to number of people being served.

Instructions:

  1. Sauté the Garlic in hot Olive Oil in a Wok over High heat, for 1 minute until beginning to brown.
  2. Add Sun-dried Tomatoes to Garlic and sauté for 1 more minute.
  3. Add the Spinach, Salt and Pepper, and toss to coat the Spinach with Oil and mix all the ingredients well.
  4. Continue to cook and toss as the Spinach begins to wilt.
  5. Add a lid to the Wok, and turn down the heat to Low.
  6. Allow to steam for 3 minutes. Taste to be sure Spinach is tender.
  7. Pour contents of Wok into a heated serving bowl and sprinkle with the Parmesan Cheese.

Enjoy!

 

Soup — Fresh Corn-Off-The-Cob Soup

Serves 4 people as a main dish

The Farmers' Market in Whangarei, New Zealand was a source of the summer's best freshly picked corn. We developed this simple and delicious recipe to enjoy aboard ADAGIO while were were stuck in the Town Basin Marina for ADAGIO's 12-year refit. Use very fresh corn. Keep it in the refrigerator until you are ready to make the soup.

This soup is quick to make, and quite satisfying. You should obtain good results using frozen corn, but I have not tried this. Be sure not to overcook the corn, or it will lose its sweetness. If you cannot obtain Chorizo sausage, use a lean, smoked bacon, and remove the fat from the pan before you add the onion and garlic. Do not overcook the sausage, as you want to get your teeth into it when you are eating the soup. Be sure to use Sweet smoked paprika, NOT HOT smoked paprika. There is a big difference.

Ingredients:

  • Corn kernels removed from 6 large ears of corn
  • 1 T butter
  • 2 T oil (1 T oil if you are using bacon)
  • 5 inches Chorizo sausage, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds, then cut each round in half. Taste the Chorizo and if it is too spicy, use less.-
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 large, fat garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 quart (1 litre) good chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp Sweet Smoked Spanish Paprika
  • Additional slices of Chorizo sausage, sliced and heated until crisp for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Over Medium heat, in a medium sized soup pot, heat the oil.
  2. Sauté the Chorizo and onion, until the onion is translucent, but not until brown.
  3. Add the garlic and sauté for a minute more.
  4. Add the corn.
  5. Turn up the heat to High and using two spatulas or wooden spoons toss all the ingredients for a few minutes, until all is heated and covered with oil. Do not allow ingredients to sit in the pot. Keep tossing, as in a stir-fry, until the corn is heated, but not burned and not over-cooked.
  6. Add the chicken broth and the Paprika.
  7. Stir until the soup is hot. Do not boil, or you will overcook the corn.
  8. Remove the pot from the stove top.
  9. Blend the soup with a hand blender to thicken, but leave at least half of the corn kernels whole.
  10. Garnish each bowl of soup with the crisp slices of Chorizo sausage.
  11. Serve immediately with crusty bread and a little hard cheese.

Enjoy!

 

Vegetable — Braised Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Walnuts

This recipe serves 4 people

Ingredients:

  • 20 Brussels Sprouts with stems cut off, and large ones cut in half
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced very thin
  • 2 T Olive Oil
  • Half Walnuts, toasted
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup warm or hot chicken broth

Instructions:

  1. Place olive oil, brussels sprouts, onions and salt and pepper in a skillet or a Wok.
  2. Stir fry over High heat for 1 to 2 minutes, until everything is hot and covered with oil.
  3. Pour in the hot chicken broth, bring to a boil, place a lid on the pan, reduce the heat to Low and simmer.
  4. Meanwhile, toast the walnuts in a microwave for 2 minutes on High, or in an oven.
  5. Stir the brussels sprouts from time to time, checking to be sure that the liquid has not boiled away.
  6. Add small amounts of hot water from time to time if necessary.
  7. Taste a hot brussels sprout after 5 or more minutes of steaming. If still hard and “raw”, replace the lid and continue to steam.
  8. When the brussels sprout is cooked through and still “crisp”, remove the skillet from the burner, leaving the lid on.
  9. Just before serving, stir in the toasted walnuts, and pour into a warm serving dish.

Enjoy!

 

Vegetable — Green Beans, Carrots and Sun-dried Tomatoes

As we have resolved to eat more vegetables, I have developed a fool-proof method for cooking delicious mixed vegetables in my Wok.

You will need a Wok or skillet with a lid and 2 heat-proof spatulas.
First you will stir-fry the vegetables and seasonings in hot oil, then add chicken broth and steam until the vegetables are just cooked.

Serves 2 to 4 people.

Ingredients:

  • 2 to 3 Tb Olive Oil
  • 4 cloves Garlic, peeled and chopped
  • Freshly grated Black Pepper and Salt
  • Green beans, cut into 1-inch long pieces
  • Carrots sliced thinly
  • 5 whole Sun-dried Tomatoes, marinaded in oil, and cut into strips
  • Oil from the jar of Sun-dried Tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth

Instructions:

  1. Heat the Olive Oil in a Wok.
  2. Add the Garlic and toss for 1 minute
  3. Add the Beans, Carrots and Sun-dried Tomatoes, and toss to completely coat with Oil and to heat through.
  4. Add Pepper and Salt to taste.
  5. Pour the Chicken Broth over the vegetables.
  6. Place the lid on the Wok, and turn down the heat to steam for 4 minutes. Add a little water if the broth evaporates away.
  7. Taste the Beans to test for tenderness.
  8. When the Beans are tender, pour the mixture into a serving dish.

Enjoy!