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Two Quickie Recipe Reviews

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Asian Charred Broccoli Salad

 

First up, Martha Stewart’s Beef and Pineapple Red Curry

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup Thai red curry paste
1 pound sirloin steak, trimmed and cut against the grain into very thin strips
1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and cut in half crosswise
12 ounces pineapple, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn

PREPARATION

  1. In a large skillet or wok, heat oil over medium-high. Add curry paste and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds.
  2. Add steak and cook, stirring, until browned, 2 minutes.
  3. Add green beans and pineapple; cook, stirring, until pineapple starts to release juices, 1 minute.
  4. Add broth and coconut milk, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook at a rapid simmer until green beans are crisp-tender, 8 minutes.
  5. Garnish with basil before serving.

This is a lovely recipe–quick, easy and healthy. I didn’t have basil on hand, so I used mint, and actually recommend using mint. I also recommend using a teaspoon or two of brown sugar in the recipe if you’re using fresh pineapple (as I did). I think the recipe needed a bit more sweet and heat, and–odd as this may sound–I think canned pineapple chunks in syrup or juice would serve you well here. You could probably omit the sugar if you went that way. The curry paste I used was mild. Had a I had my druthers I would have added some chopped fresh chile or red pepper flakes to the dish. That being said, this is absolutely a keeper of a recipe and I plan to make it again soon. I served it over hot cooked rice.

 

Next up is Rachel Ray’s Asian Charred Broccoli Salad

Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons plus 2 tsp. peanut oil
  • 1 1/4 pounds broccoli florets
  • 1 tablespoon ponzu sauce
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped honey-roasted peanuts
  • Sliced red chile

Directions
  1. In wok or large skillet, heat 3 tbsp. oil over high. Add broccoli and cook, stirring, until crisp-tender and charred in spots, 6 to 8 minutes; season. In bowl, whisk ponzu, vinegar, garlic and 2 tsp. oil; toss with broccoli to coat. Top with cilantro, nuts and chile.

Another lovely, easy healthy recipe I am absolutely putting in the ol’ recipe rolodex. I think would it make a fantastic meatless entree if you served it over rice or noodles, though I would let the salad cool to room temperature. I didn’t and wish I had because it would have improved the flavor, and–technically–it is a salad.

I did not have peanut oil on hand so I used olive oil and a couple of drops of sesame oil. I did not have fresh chiles on hand, so I sauteed some red pepper flakes in the oil before adding the broccoli. I wanted to use up some veggies, so I added sliced onions and one fresh tomato to the mix. However, I made sure to char the onions and broccoli first, and only added the tomatoes at the end, so they wouldn’t interfere with the charring process. (Oh, and I used baby broccoli, instead of regular broccoli. )

While the honey-roasted nuts add a bit of sweetness to the dish, I–again–think a teaspoon or two of brown sugar or honey would round out this recipe nicely.

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