Yeah, I know. “Broccoli sandwich” doesn’t sound very appetizing. I was mildly intrigued when I read the recipe last year on Smitten Kitchen, but then I thought “hmm… no. This is a broccoli sandwich.” I left it at that.
Until last week. Sky bought I-don’t-know-how-many heads of broccoli, because they were on sale. I was sick of eating them steamed, with a dab of butter. Then I thought of this recipe. I read it again, decided it wasn’t that weird after all, and made it. I thought the eight slices would be too much, we’d have leftovers for sure. How naive of me! Sky tried one and said: you didn’t make enough. I tried it and had to agree with him – we almost had to fight for the last slice! 😀
This recipe immediately made the weekly menu, as the broccoli + lemon zest + cheese combo is really good!
To put your skepticism aside and make these, you’ll need:
500 g broccoli
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced – I used garlic flakes because I ran out of garlic #thehorror
Red pepper flakes, to taste
Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon – I zested the whole lemon
Salt and black pepper
1/2 cup parmesan, finely grated – I used a microplane
8 slices of bread
butter, if you want
8 thin slices of cheese
Start by preparing the broccoli: chop the florets into medium-sized pieces (about 5 cm) and the stems, which are harder, into small-sized chunks (about 2 cm). In a small pan, boil about an inch of water. When the water boils, place the chopped broccoli, cover the pan, and cook for about 4 to 5 minutes. Drain well – the original recipe calls for patting the broccoli dry with paper towels, but I forgot and didn’t do it – and transfer to a cutting board.
Chop the broccoli once again, so that everything is in small chunks. Dry the pan you used to cook the broccoli and heat the olive oil for a minute, over medium heat. Add the red pepper flakes and the garlic and heat for another minute. Add the broccoli and stir well to coat the broccoli with the olive oil. Add a pinch of salt and cook for two minutes. Set aside.
Place the bread slices on your baking sheet – I used my toaster oven, because my regular oven doesn’t grill. Lightly toast the slices on both sides. I buttered both sides, just because.
When the bread is slightly toasted, get that pan with the broccoli and add the parmesan and the lemon zest and juice. Taste for salt.
Pile the broccoli mixture over each slice of bread. Place one slice of cheese over each, and bake until the cheese is melted. Eat without any semblance of guilt, because broccoli = healthy 😀
Things were a bit quiet around here, weren’t they? There’s a pretty good explanation, though: we moved! Between looking for a new apartment, signing a contract, trying to get everything ready, giving up and calling Mom and Dad to help us move, and, of course, working, it was pretty hard to post here! But now that that is over, it’s time to face the folder “Photographed – Need to write the recipe”! To start, I decided to write this recipe, which I made in Brasília and was totally worth it! 🙂
As soon as I got Rita Lobo’s book, I rushed to select the recipes I wouldn’t be able to cook in Uruguay: the cod and black-eyed peas salad, plantain gnocchi (which I ended up not cooking), and these wonderful muffins.
Grating the manioc was extremely boring. The worst of it was that, when I was almost finished, mom told me we could buy grated manioc at the supermarket!! >.< Other than that, the recipe is pretty straightforward. I’m calling them muffins because of their shape – the texture is not quite that, as this is (almost) a flour-free recipe.
When it came out of the oven, we thought “oh, let’s just share one, to taste, we’ve eaten a lot today already.” After the first bite, I had to HIDE two of them for the pictures, because everyone wanted their own! It was THAT tasty! 🙂
For 12 muffins, you’ll need:
1 ½ cup of skinned manioc, grated – please, buy the grated kind! 😀
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup oil
1 cup of meia-cura cheese, shredded – as this is impossible to find outside of Brazil, good substitutions would be mild cheddar, Colby, or Monterey Jack.
1 cup unsweetened dry coconuts
Butter and cornstarch to coat the muffin tin and say you made a gluten-free recipe, therefore it must be healthy, therefore you can eat it all at once no problem 😛
Start by placing the shredded manioc in a bowl and covering it with ½ cup water. While the manioc rests, butter your muffin tin and then dust with cornstarch – it will make a little bit of a mess on your counter, ok? Don’t worry.
In a big bowl, whisk the eggs, the sugar, and the oil, until they become a smooth creamy mixture.
Press the manioc on a sieve to drain the water. To the egg mix, add the coconut, the manioc, and the cheese. Place the dough in the muffin tin – do not overfill and do not press the dough down.
Bake in a pre-heated oven for 30 minutes, or until they are golden brown – it was very weird to cook a recipe where you can’t use a toothpick to test if it’s ready!
Let them cool before removing from the tin. Control yourself and don’t eat them all at once!
After our break for the Olympics (withdrawal syndrome, anyone? 😉 ), it’s time for a new series! Muffins, or “let’s use that muffin tin we bought in 2011 and haven’t used ever since” 😀
While I was choosing the recipes for this series, Sky made a specific request: he wanted a cornbread, but with cheese. I started researching and found this recipe, which I kinda followed – I used mozzarella because that’s what I had at home, I forgot to add herbs, used homemade buttermilk, you know how it goes.
When they came out of the oven, Sky ate three at once. I had one, liked it, but I didn’t fell in love with it. On the next day, though, I thawed one of the soups from the last series (the carrot one!) and decided to re-heat the muffins. TOTAL SUCCESS!! This was the perfect side for the soup!
For 12 muffins, you’ll need:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt – if your cheese is too salty, use less salt here!
2 garlic cloves – I used 3 big ones
1 cup of grated cheddar cheese – I used mozzarella, but any cheese that melts well will do.
1 cup buttermilk – to make at home, put 1 Tbsp lemon juice (vinegar would work too) in the measuring cup, fill it with whole milk, and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Use the entire cup in the recipe.
1/3 cup butter, melted
The best thing about muffins is they are usually VERY easy to make. If you use paper liners, you don’t even have to butter the tin! 🙂
Start by preparing your buttermilk if you can’t buy it at the store. Meanwhile, take the muffin tin out of the cabinet, rinse it because I know it’s been WAAAAY too long, dry it and put the paper liners on it.
Melt the butter in a pan large enough to mix all the other ingredients, so there are less dishes to do at the end! 😀 When the butter is melted, let it cool a bit before adding the buttermilk and the eggs – we don’t want scrambled eggs in our muffins! Set aside.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the cheese and toss it with the mixture. Place the dry mix over the wet mix and gently stir with a rubber spatula – you shouldn’t overwork a muffin batter, or else your muffins will be rock-hard! Just mix until you can’t see flour specks anymore.
Place the batter in the tin – fill only to 3/4 capacity, so they won’t overflow in the oven. This time, I got exactly 12 muffins. Bake in a pre-heated oven for 20 minutes, give or take, or until they pass the toothpick test!
Serve warm with a nice hot soup!
To freeze, all you have to do is place the cooled muffins in a ziploc bag! 🙂