July 15, 2019 (94 Days Old)
Brad's Balsamic Broccoli, Version 1.0
Holding court over a third of my gas grill stands the first cast iron skillet I ever owned.
It migrated to permanence atop the outdoor flames because — as a no-name skillet that had been replaced by worthier branded pans — it was either take up residence there, or gather dust in the dark corners of some storage cupboard.
As it turns out, even the cheapest of pans can evolve into something worthy with enough time and diligence: hundreds of grill cycles, always just there and smouldering over the flames, sometimes with a few vegetables, or a pan of potatoes, or mostly just oiled and empty, that cheap little pan has become so perfectly seasoned that it has serious lessons to teach the other iron knights.
Little wonder that on a quiet Sunday evening it was called to duty to roast a pan of greens to compliment dinner.
The Ingredients
Two cups of BROCCOLI chopped and washed.
Two tablespoons of OLIVE OIL.
Three tablespoons of BALSAMIC VINEGAR.
SALT to taste.
The Build
Heating the oil in the pan over a hot flame is probably a key step.
Like anything cooked on cast iron, a hot pan is your friend: too cool irons and you’re cruising to soggy town.
If you’ve bestowed a permanent skillet to your grill or barbecue, your general pre-heat should cover the warm up, but if not, bank on 10 to 15 minutes to get things sizzling.
The rest of the recipe is just as simple: oil in pan meet broccoli, salt and vinegar.
Toss, coat, cook, gill until those florets have a hint of browning on the tips — which is gonna be tough to tell because you covered everything in brown vinegar: but you’ll see it, trust me.
If you’re clever, you’re also gonna time this so it comes of the pan, into a serving dish, and then into your belly without much delay.
In other words, don’t prep this one ahead.
The Serve
We complemented this dish with a side of peppered rice and a simple peanut grilled chicken.
The flavours are not delicate, be warned.
This is as much a feature side dish as it is a handy way to liven up your greens.
The balsamic adds a rich tang to the vegetable that clings between the flowers and can surprise you if you bite in just the right place.
I could see how this would also pair nicely with a baked potato or some mediterranean-style pork dish.
Give it a try and let me know how you improve it.
Other Users Say
July 9, 2019 (100 Days Old)
9 Ingredients to Put on Your Campfire Pizza Masterpiece
Grill up some flat bread in your hot pan then add your toppings, cast iron pizza is a fast, fun addition to your camping, culinary adventure.
You won't be able to cook these fast enough! Now about those toppings:
Cheese
Shredded or chunked.
Obvious.
Gooey.
Melty.
A perfect indicator of done-ness as the cheese heats and browns.
You can’t make a pizza without cheese, to be honest, but you’ll get a thrill over watching it sizzle in the heat of fire.
Capicola
Sliced.
Smokey and rich.
Adds a fancy flare to your pie and pulls away from the simple tang of basic ham.
Spinach
Chopped or whole leaf.
Colourful.
Simple.
Plus you (and all of us) could use some green veggies while you’re out camping eating hot dogs for every other meal.
Bacon
Crumbled.
Decadent.
Messy and indulgent.
But crisp it up it in your cast iron pan first to season your iron for the dough and crust.
Onions
White or yellow.
Finely chopped.
Cook these up in the bacon grease to
caramelize
caramelize
Cook something to the point where the natural sugars brown and add a caramel-like richness to the food.
then massage them into the sauce before the rest of the toppings.
Fresh Tomatoes
Sliced.
Fresh.
Acidic.
If you’ve got a nice fresh sauce to match, it pulls everything together as the hot tomatoes cook and meld between the layers of toppings.
One Egg
Sunny side up.
You can crack it right in the middle.
Lid up the pan.
Let it cook.
The yoke drizzles over everything and you’re brain will melt at this culinary innovation if you’ve never tried it.
Mushrooms
Thinly sliced.
Meaty.
There are such a variety of these.
I like simple brown mushrooms, but some oysters always go nicely, too.
Hot Peppers
Cleaned.
Minced or whole.
Hot or mild.
Elevate your taste buds and have a cold beer on stand-by.
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