Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Swedish Broccoli and My Cooking Skills

As a general rule I consider myself a relatively capable 24 year old guy. I can dress myself. I can clean my apartment. I can buy groceries. I can do my laundry. None of this at a level that I would consider exceptional, but I manage. Sometimes I wonder though.

Like this evening. I decided I needed some veggies in me. I’ve been enjoying some fine cuisine the last few nights. Ramen. Frozen pizza. Peanut butter and jelly sandwich with a bowl of cereal. It’s the dinner of champions really. So tonight I was going to go all out. Veggies. And some frozen pyttipanna. Because when I mean all out really I mean I wanted some vitamins, not that I was actually going to cook. And even though pyttipanna is basically a classic Swedish dish made of leftover potatoes, onion, and the meat of your choice, and usually served with an egg, I stick with the frozen stuff.

So I scoured my fridge. Which wasn’t that hard because there’s just not a whole lot in there. But there was some broccoli. About a week ago I actually did cook and needed some broccoli. I needed two things of broccoli. Flowers of broccoli? Bouquets of broccoli? Heads of broccoli? Whatever, I needed two, but ended up with three. Because it was a buy two get a third free. And I like free things.

This left me with one (we’re going with) bouquet of broccoli left. And it sat in my fridge. Patiently waiting. Getting tired as the days passed. So today I decided I was going to go for it. I was going to have broccoli with my pyttipanna. So I chopped it up. And I did a damn good job of chopping it. Except now I needed to cook it. I didn’t want to eat it raw. Mostly because I didn’t have any ranch dressing and everyone knows raw broccoli just isn’t worth eating without ranch dressing.

Then I thought I would steam it. One of my buddies in college used to always steam vegetables. But he had a steamer. I do not. Then I thought I might just throw the broccoli into my pyttipanna. But who are we kidding… that sounds kind of gross.

So I fried my broccoli. I threw some oil in a pan, and started frying my broccoli. Then I covered it in cheese. And it was awful. I ate half of it and then couldn’t do it anymore. I threw the rest away. Which pains me. Because I hate throwing away food. But what pains me even more is the glob of broccoli and cheese that is sitting in my gut like I ate a damn baseball.

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  1. That sounds nasty. There are so many wonderful things you could do with broc: steam, blanche, bake, even boiled would have been better.

    Next time take your HEAD of broc and cut it into floretts. Steam these using a colinder if you don't have a steaming basket. Cool them off under cold water and them dress them with olive oil, lemon juice and herbal salt.

  2. The mere thought of adding oil and cheese kind of kills the idea of being healthy by eating vegetables doesnt it...:-)?

  3. I have a piece of advice for you: don't buy broccoli! There are many other vegetables to choose from. For example, I've bought carrots, cucumber and tomatoes; you can eat them raw and thus don't kill the vitamins by cooking.

  4. Broccoli steams pretty well in an ordinary covered pot. No special equipment required. Boil a cup of water, add broc and salt, cover and cook 4 minutes.

    Broccoli's not the greatest tasting stuff, but if you put some olive oil in a pan over medium heat while your water's warming up and fry a minced clove of garlic in it, that jollies it up plenty.

    Or you can sauté the cooked broccoli in butter for 3 minutes with bread crumbs, salt and pepper if you're feeling a bit more ambitious. If you're lazy like me, commercially prepared bread crumbs are available in Swedish stores under the name "ströbröd". They're cheap, too.

  5. as a chef...i would recommend steaming it, however you said u don't have a steamer, so put a little water in the bottom of a pot and cook it till done, u might have to keep an eye out for the water level and add more as needed. its easier to see how done it is with a toothpick :)

  6. @aimee – it was nasty. You’re absolutely right. And thanks for the tips. Because that sounds a lot better than what I ended up with.

    And head of broccoli? Fair enough. But you have to admit, bouquet sounds much prettier.

    @fransyskan – well… a little bit.

    @smek – I think you’re right, there are plenty of veggies that I do like raw. Broccoli tends to not be one of them.

    @robert – also excellent tips. This is what I needed last night.

    @ms. Kimba – seriously. This is why I love having a blog. Because now I know how to cook broccoli. It’s the little things.

  7. What are you talking about? Broccoli and cheese are really tasty ^^ But maybe I have a wierd sence of taste... being a veggie and all :)

    In general, i think cooking food is overrated. It takes time and you end up with a lot of empty dishes and pots you have to clean. And when I cook, it doesn't taste as good as food you buy :S

  8. well... my broccoli and cheese was most definiely not tasty.

    but you're kind of right. cooking is a bit overrated. especially when you just need to feed yourself.

  9. Broccoli with cheese sounds good. So I wonder, do you like broccoli at all?

  10. actually I do like broccoli.. thats why I was just so disappointed by this concoction.