Stir Fried Broccoli with Sichuan Peppercorns

1/3 C plus 2 T water, divided

3 T unseasoned rice vinegar, divided

1 ½ T soy sauce

1 t sugar

¼ t salt

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 t fresh ginger, grated

¼ t red pepper flakes

2 scallions, white and pale green parts finely chopped, dark parts thinly sliced on bias

1 ¼ lbs. broccoli, florets cut into 1-inch pieces, stems peeled and sliced 1-inch thick

3 T grapeseed or sunflower oil

2 t toasted sesame oil

½ – 1 t Sichuan peppercorns, toasted and finely ground

To enhance the flavor and aroma of the peppercorns, toast in a small skillet over medium heat for about 2 minutes, let them cool and then grind them into a fine powder with a spice grinder.

In a small bowl, stir together the 1/3 cup water, 2 tablespoons of the vinegar, soy sauce and sugar. In a second small bowl, stir together the 2 tablespoons water and the salt. In a third small bowl, combine the garlic, ginger, pepper flakes and minced scallions.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, combine the broccoli, salt water and 2 tablespoons of grapeseed/sunflower oil. Cover and cook for 1 minute, the water should reach a simmer. Uncover and cook, stirring occasionally until the broccoli is crisp-tender and browned in spots, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl or platter.

Return the skillet to medium-high heat, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of grapeseed oil and the garlic-ginger mixture. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, 10 to 15 seconds. Add the soy sauce mixture and simmer, stirring and scraping up any browned bits, until slightly reduced, 2 to 3 minutes. Return the broccoli to the skillet and stir to coat.

Off the heat, stir in the sesame oil, remaining 1 tablespoon of vinegar and ½ teaspoon of the ground Sichuan peppercorns. Taste and add more peppercorns, if desired. Serve sprinkled with the sliced scallion greens. Serves 4.


Salad of Spring Vegetables and Lemon Vinaigrette

salad

 

This elegant salad is made even prettier with the addition of spring blooms — violets, pansies, violas, redbud, chive blossom.  It goes wonderfully with seafood or meat, such as lamb, and is an ideal Easter side dish.  This was another recipe we demoed on “Recipes from the Chef’s Kitchen,” a cooking show hosted by Lindsey Gustin early April 2014.  We made it at the US Botanic Garden April 17, 2014. The recipe was adapted from Fine Cooking. Read More