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Needing to improve my vegetable "cuisine"!

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Hi guys,

 

My at home cooking involves improved meals as far as the "main dish" is concerned, but I need to improve my vegetable skills, and am looking for your advice and perhaps a 'simple' recipe.  My best vegetable dishes involve 1) adding flair to an existing dish (pasta dish or soup, etc.), and 2) frozen vegetables that I usually steam.  Pathetic! 

 

What I'd like to do is take a vegetable that is fresh, and make it taste fantastic!  Especially if that dish has a significantly better flavor than a frozen version! 

 

Years ago, I used to live in Southern Maryland, and a farmer/at home cook woman showed me a amazing simple dish involving kale (native to southern Maryland), but I can't remember her 'simple' recipe!!!  I think it involved cooking a long time and perhaps olive oil, but I can't be sure, so don't want to put that much effort into imperfection (ha).  I'd like to do this right..........with my story, I hope you get the idea of where I am going with this.  I want a fresh veggie that produces great flavor, and I don't care how long it cooks as long as the result is GREAT.  Once, on Ramsey's Nightmare's, I saw him cook a pea soup or broccoli soup that involved alot of veggies and blending it after freshly steaming or boiling, and the natural sweetness from the vegetable was all that was needed (perhaps salt).  Sounds like another nice recipe, but I don't want to mess it up (can you get me specifics on this one!).  

 

Help.  I need a veggie transfusion!

 

P.S.  I used to have a wok, and if I still owned it, than I'd ask for directions on improving asian style dishes, but I don't have it right now, so limit your suggestions in this area to wonderful dishes that are just as good in other pots/pans.

post #2 of 19

Dude, anything you make is good and it’s yours.  smoking.gif

Don’t over complicate veggies. 

Even frozen ones are tasty steamed with maybe a little flavored olive oil and S&P.

I found at the discount kitchen store what looks like a vegetable peeler that juliennes,

so now I can make “fancy looking” fresh veg sautés.

Trust yourself.     smile.gif

post #3 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaneohegirlinaz View Post

 

Don’t over complicate veggies. 

 


 

I agree with that 100% keep it simple. The other day I bought some brussel sprouts and sauted them in a little butter seasoned with salt and they were a hit. It is funny when you apply proper technique to something simple the results. The guests were asking what I did and I said nothing fancy just cut them in half, sauted in butter and seasoned with salt. One of my favorite things to do with vegetable is stuff them especially tomatoes with rice, green onions, mint and the tomato pulp. It is an oldie but a goodie.

Thanks,

Nicko 
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Thanks,

Nicko 
ChefTalk.com Founder
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
Bacon (I made)
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post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaneohegirlinaz View Post

Dude, anything you make is good and it’s yours.  smoking.gif

Don’t over complicate veggies. 

Even frozen ones are tasty steamed with maybe a little flavored olive oil and S&P.

I found at the discount kitchen store what looks like a vegetable peeler that juliennes,

so now I can make “fancy looking” fresh veg sautés.

Trust yourself.     smile.gif


Yo.  Are you a sexy looking single woman?  I've been looking....(yuk, yuk..humor alert).

 

Think of me as that single guy with no clue on technique.  (Going to say the same thing to Nicko).  I hardly know what simple is.  Break it down a bit, for my veggie skills are lacking.

 

 

post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicko View Post


 

I agree with that 100% keep it simple. The other day I bought some brussel sprouts and sauted them in a little butter seasoned with salt and they were a hit. It is funny when you apply proper technique to something simple the results. The guests were asking what I did and I said nothing fancy just cut them in half, sauted in butter and seasoned with salt. One of my favorite things to do with vegetable is stuff them especially tomatoes with rice, green onions, mint and the tomato pulp. It is an oldie but a goodie.



Give me some technique, baby. 

post #6 of 19

Braddah, it’s NOT that hard.

Pot, steamer basket (or micro steamer is great), water, veg, steam to desired doneness, remove to bowl, toss with oil and S&P to taste. As we say in Hawaii. PAU!!  Let’s Grind!! 

 

"Yo.  Are you a sexy looking single woman?  I've been looking....(yuk, yuk..humor alert)."  NO!! And I'm probably old enough to be your Mother!! 

 

tongue.gif

post #7 of 19

cook's illustrateds  'perfect vegetables' cookbook might be a good place for you to start. they are very good at breaking things down. for me, i love roasted vegetables.  broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, kale.....drizzle with evoo, s&p and slivered garlic....400 degree oven for 10-15 minutes...easy breezy. any root vegetable is wonderful roasted(beets, brussel sprouts,baby carrots, hardy squashes,onions, fennel etc.)...  put your vegetables on the grill...zucchini, summer squash, eggplant, onions, peppers, tomtaoes, with oil, herbs and s&p.....drizzle with balsamic redux afterwards. you can also make 'hobo' packages(in foil) and grill...  sauteed zucchini and summer squash with shallots and shallots, sauteed spinach with raisins or currants or capers and parm. creamed baked spinach with fresh made breadcrumbs....just a few of my favorite things!

get a book...the library is a great place to start

joey


Edited by durangojo - 3/11/12 at 8:26am

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks, great place for me to start! 

post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by DevelopingTaste View Post


Yo.  Are you a sexy looking single woman?  I've been looking....(yuk, yuk..humor alert).

 


 

    

 

     ... every women is young and sexy looking, no matter the age, right (as your Mother pulls your ear) ? ...  smiles.gif

post #10 of 19

Steam veggies instead of boiling, they retain their nutrients and color better.

 

Cut some zucchini in half lengthwise and scoop out a little of the flesh.  Stuff with cheese and breadcrumbs and roast.

 

Toss some cauliflower florets (or carrots) with red pepper flakes, cumin, coriander and olive oil and roast until golden.

 

After lightly steaming broccoli drizzle on it a vinegraitte made from olive oil, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and sprinkle on some sesame seeds.

 

I strongly suggest you try Nicko's stuffed tomatoes, but stuff some green peppers too.

 

Here's a wow-factor salad, it's called a roasted caesar salad.  Take a whole head of romaine lettuce, do not cut off the root or separate the leaves.  Slice the whole head lengthwise so you end up with 2 pieces.  Paint the flat side with a little bit of olive oil and place it flat side down on the grill for a minute or 2 until you get grill marks.  Turn over and let the other side cook for 30 seconds.  Put it on a plate face up, drizzle with home-made caesar dressing, shave a bit of permesan over it and dot with a few croutons.

 

 

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply
post #11 of 19

Sista' KK, that broccoli sounds divine

I just got a huge bag of it on sale at the green grocer

and was trying to dream up something a bit different...

and I do like the grilled Cesar Salad, we add anchovy fillets as well

post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koukouvagia View Post

Steam veggies instead of boiling, they retain their nutrients and color better.

 

Cut some zucchini in half lengthwise and scoop out a little of the flesh.  Stuff with cheese and breadcrumbs and roast.

 

Toss some cauliflower florets (or carrots) with red pepper flakes, cumin, coriander and olive oil and roast until golden.

 

After lightly steaming broccoli drizzle on it a vinegraitte made from olive oil, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and sprinkle on some sesame seeds.

 

I strongly suggest you try Nicko's stuffed tomatoes, but stuff some green peppers too.

 

Here's a wow-factor salad, it's called a roasted caesar salad.  Take a whole head of romaine lettuce, do not cut off the root or separate the leaves.  Slice the whole head lengthwise so you end up with 2 pieces.  Paint the flat side with a little bit of olive oil and place it flat side down on the grill for a minute or 2 until you get grill marks.  Turn over and let the other side cook for 30 seconds.  Put it on a plate face up, drizzle with home-made caesar dressing, shave a bit of permesan over it and dot with a few croutons.

 

 




Niiiiiiiiccce.   My initial favorite goes with some ingredients I already happen to have.....cumin, coriander, olive oil, and red pepper flakes....and I love cauliflower florets.  Your broccoli/seasame seed dish reminds me to include SEEDS in my veggie dishes!!  Good idea.  Love the flavor and healthy protein and GREAT health benefits of seeds.  ALL those dishes are GREAT.  Love it! :)

post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaneohegirlinaz View Post

    

 

     ... every women is young and sexy looking, no matter the age, right (as your Mother pulls your ear) ? ...  smiles.gif



I KNEW IT! You ARE a YOUNG AND SEXY LOOKING BEAUTY!!  :)

post #14 of 19

I’ve been grilling a lot of our veg lately

Brush, drizzle how every you want to delivery some kind of oil,

I prefer olive oil,

season: S&P, garlic powder is easy and cheap,

toss on a hot grill, cook to desired doneness,

I like a crisp tender with nice grill marks. 

Presentation is important, we eat with our eyes first.

post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaneohegirlinaz View Post

Dude, anything you make is good and it’s yours.  smoking.gif

Don’t over complicate veggies. 

Even frozen ones are tasty steamed with maybe a little flavored olive oil and S&P.

I found at the discount kitchen store what looks like a vegetable peeler that juliennes,

so now I can make “fancy looking” fresh veg sautés.

Trust yourself.     smile.gif

 


I received a peeler like that (~1/8" juliennes) as a gift and while on a diet I would make zucchini and summer squash spaghetti (blanched in boiling water until al dente) with a roasted garlic, orange and yellow bell pepper sauce run through a chinoise before tossed with the squash. After the diet I would make the same dish and top with an egg yolk and micro planed or shaved parmigiano reggiano. Either way you could get away with using NO oil or butter and it still tasted great.

 

As far as the OP, throughout the winter I was obsessed with roasted veg. One of my favorites was red & golden beats and fresh artichoke hearts (blanched until fork tender)  tossed with sliced garlic, olive oil, S&P and herbs de provence and then roasted until golden brown and crisp around edges.

 

Another dish that was great was portobello, shiitake mushrooms and shallots tossed with garlic, olive oil and S&P. Once done I would cover the top with baby spinach and roast for a few more minutes and then toss and put into a serving bowl. By the time it hits the plate, the baby spinach is wilted perfectly from the heat and juices of the mushrooms.

 

Now that it is getting warm I'll be using the grill a lot more for my veg and as stated about pretty much any veg tossed with EVOO, S&P and garlic is perfect on the grill. Just make sure you know how long each should be cooked and it will be great.

 

Just go to the market or farmstand and get stuff that is in season or looks great and have fun with it and be creative. 

 

post #16 of 19

KK, I tried your suggestion for Broccoli,  

but I subbed half of the olive oil for Sesame oil

and just a sukoshi (little bit) less of the rice vinegar, VERY YUMMY!! 

I was using just using Sesaem oil, but this nice dressing is much better

post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaneohegirlinaz View Post

KK, I tried your suggestion for Broccoli,  

but I subbed half of the olive oil for Sesame oil

and just a sukoshi (little bit) less of the rice vinegar, VERY YUMMY!! 

I was using just using Sesaem oil, but this nice dressing is much better



Ah yes, roasted sesame seed oil.  I use some of that too.  Not a lot because it's so strong but a little like you did.  So glad you thought of it.

 

Ok wait wait wait.  This is the actual recipe that I've adapted from Jamie Oliver. Let me give credit where credit is due by printing the recipe in its entirety.  It is garlicky, nutty and divine!

 

- lightly steamed broccoli

- garlic, slivered

- ginger, grated

- sesame seeds

- olive oil

- sesame seed oil

- soy sauce

 

1. In a dry pan toast the sesame seeds lightly, remove and set aside for later.

2. In the pan now add a little olive oil and the garlic slivers.  Barely let it heat, on the lowest setting and let the garlic infuse with the oil.  When it starts to brown slightly remove it from the oil and set on a paper towel.

3. Make the dressing with the garlicky oil and soy sauce.  Press the grated ginger through a sieve and squeeze out as much ginger juice as you can.  Add the juice to the dressing.  Adjust the flavors, season as you'd like and drizzle it on the broccoli.  Garnish with the garlic chips and toasted sesame seeds.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #18 of 19

First of all, KK, I adore Jaime Oliver…  wink.gif

And that recipe sounds divine !

Do you have a ginger grater, the ceramic plate type?

That breaks the root down a nice, juicy paste

post #19 of 19

No, I don't use much ginger in my cooking and just use a regular microplane grater.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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