While we usually save leftovers for weekday lunches, the Tupperware and take-out boxes were piling up in the fridge, so instead of making new meals, we opted for side dishes or snacks to go along with reused meals. Breakfast was leftover Dimo’s french toast for Shane and yogurt with tart cherries for me. For lunch I had the remaining half of Jeremy’s french dip from Knight’s, while Shane had a leftover burger. As a side, I made Parmesan-roasted broccoli, which looked prettier than it tasted (too much lemon). Dinner was supposed to be albóndigas in a tomato sauce with sauteed greens – instead we had a tin of fancy tuna, vermouth onions, cornichons, asiago vecchio, asiago rolls (yes indeed, a funny pairing), and baby crimini mushrooms sauteed with butter and garlic.
The boxes are nicely cleared out, which means it’s time to start cooking real meals again. Maybe tomorrow.
Parmesan-Roasted Broccoli with Pine Nuts from Ezra Pound Cake
While we both enjoy a wide variety of ethnic foods, it’s rare that we either prepare or go out for an ethnic meal. I’m not sure why – other than that we both really enjoy New American/bistro cuisine, so that’s what where our eating out dollars tend to end up. Occasionally, though, I get an intense craving for Chinese take-out – you know, the sticky, gooey, probably really bad for you stuff that arrives in a cardboard box inside a paper bag with a menu stapled to it. Tonight’s stirfry tasted like that – like it should be loaded down with MSG, grease, and god knows what else – in the best possible way.
Instead it was made with fresh ingredients – pork chops from the freezer pig and broccoli from the market – plus an array of sauce components, including oyster sauce, which was new to me but added a nice sweetness. Shane prepped the pork while I worked on the sauce and the vegetables, and after a brief marination, everything came together in the skillet quite quickly. We skipped the cashews in favor of long-grain rice, but I suspect you could do either (or both!) and be just as happy. I also suspect you could substitute chicken or beef for the pork or snow peas for the broccoli. Probably don’t want to substitute other nuts for the cashews, though. That might just be weird.
When we sat down to eat tonight, Shane asked where tonight’s recipe came from. I replied that it was an Emeril recipe that I found online, and he said, “We need Emeril to tell us how to make a stirfry?”
No, we don’t actually need Emeril to tell us how to make a stirfry, but I’m not going to turn down good advice (or a good recipe) when I find it. Especially not when it tastes like this.
Stir-Fried Pork and Broccoli with Cashews
I have seen the light! The light! I have seen it, and it is a tiny, smelly fish. This is the second pasta I’ve made with anchovies in the last month, and I’m a convert. I ❤ tiny smelly fish.
This recipe was incredible! I mean, it wasn’t that incredible, but from the first bite I was in love. So let me break it down for you: pasta, anchovies, broccoli, garlic, a couple of chilies, and some parmigiano-reggiano. I used a packet of Rustichella orecchiette, a traditional Italian pasta made in bronze molds and dried extremely slowly, both of which contribute to a fantastic texture and mouthfeel. This process of pasta-making also requires a longer boil, which was actually kind of perfect for this recipe.
While you’re waiting for the pasta to boil, cut a couple of heads of broccoli into florets, then peel and thinly slice the stems, removing any woody parts. When your pasta goes into the water, put the broccoli stems, a couple of cloves of minced garlic, a couple of dried chilies, and a small tin of anchovy fillets (discard the oil) into a heavy pan with a lid. While the pasta’s doing its thing, the anchovies will melt away, giving the “sauce” a tangy, savory flavor. Toss the broccoli florets into the pasta pot in the last few minutes of boiling, then drain the pasta and toss everything together, adding a couple of handfuls of grated parmigiano.
I am in love. This is my new comfort food – rich and flavorful enough that we were both satisfied after one bowl, though we could’ve snacked our way through a lot more if we hadn’t immediately packaged up the leftovers. While I’m delighted that spring is on her way, I won’t mind another cold night or two if it means I can have this dish for supper.
Broccoli and Anchovy Orecchiette from Happy Days with the Naked Chef
I missed the farmers’ market so much when we were at Bonnaroo. It seems like a weird thing to miss, but that’s what I got. After two months of doing most of our shopping at the market or individual stores, going to the grocery store just seems weird.
Pork and Broccoli Stir-fry
- Pork from Cibola Farms, sliced to 1/4″ thickness
- Broccoli from the FB market, roughly cut up
- A whole head of green garlic from the Courthouse market, roughly chopped
- Soy sauce and peanut oil (non-local)
Combine the pork, garlic, and enough soy sauce to marinate in a bowl. Set aside. Heat some oil in your wok or non-stick skillet. Saute the broccoli stems until soft-ish, then add the pork, garlic, and soy sauce. If you have other veggies, great. I was going to include zucchini, but there wasn’t enough room. Saute until everything’s delicious and tender – I think I left it all in too long, but I was waiting for SB to get home. It was delicious nonetheless. It would be fantastic on top of rice, but rice doesn’t grow in the DC metro area, so that’ll have to wait for a non-local meal.
Grilled Zucchini Salad – bonus meal!
- One small eight-ball zucchini, sliced about 1/4″ thick (but any summer squash will work)
- Fresh tomato, cut into bite-sized chunks
- Mixed greens
- Olive oil (non-local) for drizzling, salt & pepper to taste
Using our trusty grill pan, I dry-grilled the slices of zucchini quickly until tender, then tossed them on top of the tomato and other salad fixings. One eight-ball zucchini made enough for two salads, or for me to have a salad AND a bowl of yummy zucchini. Drizzle with a little olive oil before serving to really bring out the buttery awesomeness of the zucchini.