I love to cook but don’t often blog about it. Today, I created something wonderfully delicious by accident, deserving to be in the what I learned today category. I made baked potatoes, asparagus, and sauteed broccoli rabe as my dinner, and was content to eat each individually, but, after I finished with the innards of the potatoes, leaving the yummy skins, I decided to put the veggies in the potato skin and eat it like a sandwich. The result: amazing. Read on for the recipe; there are some steps which add to the flavor of the dish.
Simply steamed the asparagus for a few minutes, adding some salt to the water. I selected thin and very fresh asparagus. When complete, run under cold water to stop the cooking process. You may want to use the water from parboiling the broccoli rabe.
Pierce the potato all over with a fork to allow it to vent during the cooking process. To speed cooking time, I placed the potatoes in the microwave for ten minutes. I used three medium potatoes in a 900 watt microwave, you’ll need to adjust appropriately.
When the potatoes have finished pre-cooking, take each out (handle carefully as they are hot), and lay down on a sheet of aluminum foil, one at a time. Generously douse the potato with vegetable oil and then sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Again, more is better; you can always wipe it off. And finally, generously sprinkle the potato with herbs d’Provence. Make sure to coat each side evenly. Roll up the potato in the foil, trying to ensure an even thickness of foil around the potato. Toss them on a pre-heated grill, at a temperature of 425 degrees. Close the grill and bake for about 45 minutes, occasionally rolling the potatoes.
The secret to removing the bitterness from Broccoli Rabe is to blanch it for a few minutes; it completely changes the flavor of this vegetable.
The first thing I like to do with the broccoli rabe is to cut off most of the stems (after thoroughly washing it, of course). Next, I bunch it all together, and with a long, sharp knife, make a bunch of slices across the width of it, about one inch apart. Throw all of it into a large pot of salted, rapidly boiling water and cook for a few minutes – the stems should have lost their crunchiness and have a nice texture while biting through them. Quickly, remove the broccoli rabe and cool it under cold water to halt the cooking process. I reserved some of the water to use for steaming the asparagus. Drain the cooled asparagus on a bunch of paper towels.
Slice a medium-large sweet onion into strips, and do the same to a large red bell pepper. In a large saute pan (with high sides), saute the onions and pepper in a little bit of olive oil (no more than one tablespoon). I like to spray the pan with Pam (or equivalent) to use less olive oil. Saute the onions and peppers over medium heat for a while until the onions become translucent and soft, about 20 to 30 minutes. While these are cooking, slice 8oz of mushrooms to add to the mix, about 10 minutes before the onions and peppers are finished. Continue cooking all of this until the mushrooms have a nice color and have shrunk down to a reasonable size. At this point, if there is too much water in the pan, you can drain it or try to evaporate it. While this is cooking, dice about four cloves of garlic, but do not make the pieces too small or it will over-power the dish. With a few minutes left, add the garlic to the pan and continue to saute. When complete, season with salt and pepper and toss again.
Enjoy the individual components of the meal. When finished eating the potatoes and leaving the skins, take some of the sauteed broccoli rabe and the asparagus and put it into the empty potato skin half. Next, take a bite. And if you enjoyed it (or not), please let me know.