Thu 4 Apr 2019
Read other related stories: Broccoli , Side Dish , Vegetables
So far, we’ve shown you how to cook and flavor broccoli on the gas grill using wood chunks and a direct method of cooking. That is a very fast means of cooking and charring broccoli quickly and is convenient for most of us who own a gas grill.
My second method of cooking and wood flavoring broccoli is using a stove top smoker. I enjoy using my Nordic Ware Kettle Stove Top Smoker as this is one little unit that packs a punch when it comes to infusing smoke flavoring. Plus, using this process, I don’t have to babysit the smoker. Just set it up on the stove, turn on the overhead stove vent, and come back in about 20 minutes and the broccoli will be tender and full of flavor. That means, it’s ready for all your recipes.
Now that the broccoli is ready, I’m going to make an India-type curry using tomato, potato, onion and smoked broccoli.
Tasting Notes: I’ve only mentioned two methods of smoking the broccoli but note you can also do this on a portable grill, charcoal grill, traditional smoker and electric smoker. You can also use a handheld food smoker if you don’t want complete penetration of the smoke vapor into the broccoli. Note that the stove top and charcoal methods will provide the boldest smoke flavors.
A Tomato Sauce
The first thing to prepare for our curry dish is the tomato sauce that will flavor the dish along with the smoke flavors. To start, I take two tomatoes – I’m using vine tomatoes – and dice them. To the diced tomato, I add one teaspoon of salt, ½ teaspoon garam masala, ½ teaspoon cumin powder, ½ teaspoon chili powder, and ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper. This mixture needs to be mashed down which you can either do with a food processor or food masher. Be sure the mixture is smooth as this will be the sauce or gravy type quality to our dish.
I’ve elected to use a mini food processor for my tomato mixture. This sauce mixture can be set aside until the other vegetables are ready.
Tasting Notes: Another ingredient that I like for this sauce is and Asian garlic-chili sauce. If you elect to go with a tablespoon of so of this ingredient, eliminate the minced garlic clove and cayenne pepper.
Developing a Curry
To make the actual curry contents, you can use a skillet or a Dutch oven. I’ll be using a Dutch oven as I prefer the ease of being able to heat up the cast-enamel which retains heat well. Be sure you are comfortable with regulating the temperature setting on the Dutch oven if you chose to use this cookware as it does retain heat well.
Place one tablespoon of safflower or olive oil in your cookware and allow to heat. Add one small chopped onion, two cloves of garlic which you’ve minced. Allow these to sweat and tenderize. Be sure you don’t burn the garlic so stir often. To this add one medium size chopped potato. You can decide if you want the skin on for extra nutritional value or peeled. Stir these contents well and frequently, adjusting the heat of the Dutch oven if using this cookware (I went from a medium-high setting to a low setting by the time the potato had cooked for just a few minutes). After tenderizing the potato for a few minutes, add one head of chopped smoked broccoli.
Now add in your tomato sauce mixture stirring well. Here’s the important part of the dish – be sure you don’t allow the mixture to dry out. Add water intermittently as needed to maintain moisture and convection. For those who like wine flavor infusion, you can also add about ¼ cup of red wine of your choice.
Tasting Notes: Don’t get hung up on the exact quantities of any given ingredient. If you like spice, think about increasing the cayenne pepper or adding a garlic-chili paste to this. You can also alter the type of chili powder used. Use this recipe as a guide and make the end result your own.
A Beautiful Finish
Essentially you can have this dish cooked in 30 minutes following the 20 minutes smoking process of the broccoli. However, I prefer to keep the pot on low and cook for a couple of hours to intensify the flavors. Just be sure you add water as needed to keep everything moist and only in small quantities to prevent the vegetables from becoming mushy.
This is a vegan menu option but you can certainly alter the basic recipe to make this your own. The nutritional value of these vegetables using very little oil makes it a healthy smoked alternative than traditional barbecue.
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