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Roasting broccoli, and other ways of tarting up everyday foods


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About a month ago I roasted some broccoli for the first time after hearing about it on a podcast. It was bloody lovely. Coat the broccoli in olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, a bit of chilli, salt and pepper, stick it in a hot oven for 20-30 minutes and then BLAM. Job's a good 'un.

 

Now, I'm sure some of you hipster foodies have been roasting broccoli for decades and must think I'm horribly uncool for only discovering this now, but I've had it again at least once a week since I first did it and it's immediately become my favourite way to cook this most slandered of vegetables. Admittedly, a big part of the reason it tastes so nice is because it's covered in oil, salt and garlic. But still, it got me thinking: what other ways quick and easy ways are there to make everyday food items and midweek meals a bit more special?

 

Another one I've discovered quite recently is creamy leeks: chop the leeks into 1cm rounds then sauté slowly in butter and garlic for about 15 minutes over a gentle heat until they start to go all silky and squidgy, then gently stir in a table spoon or so of crème fraiche, cream cheese or single cream. Season lightly and serve. Guaranteed the best way to eat leeks.

 

Do you guys have any similar ways of tarting up boring things you find at the back of your fridge/cupboard?

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Last week I tried frying sprouts for the first time, and they were the nicest I've ever eaten. I cheated a little too. They were big old buggers, so I trimmed them and quartered them, then microwaved them for a few minutes in a pot with a little water to break their spirit somewhat. Then I chucked them in a frying pan of hot oil, and added salt, pepper, and a little garlic, and fried them until lightly browned on all sides - only took a few minutes because of the pre-cook. They were really very good. I quite liked sprouts before, but these were so much better - they've maybe worked their way up a notch on my pecking order of veg to buy because of this. I reckon they'd do very well in a stir-fry too, which is something I'd not considered before.

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I’ll give roasting broccoli ago, but thats how I do cauliflower and it’s lovely 

 

A sprinkle of sesame seeds and drizzle of oil on a stir fry really brings it up a notch 

 

A nice pile of properly crisped onion is lovely too 

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Baked onion is really tasty, it never even occurred to me to do it until it came up on this wholesome history channel I'm subscribed to:

 

 

Stick it in the oven with the skin still on for half an hour or so at 160ish, then when you take it out cut one end off and squeeze it out of its skin and stick some butter and salt on it.

 

It's surprisingly delicious!

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2 hours ago, PK said:

Baked onion is really tasty, it never even occurred to me to do it until it came up on this wholesome history channel I'm subscribed to:

 

 

Stick it in the oven with the skin still on for half an hour or so at 160ish, then when you take it out cut one end off and squeeze it out of its skin and stick some butter and salt on it.

 

It's surprisingly delicious!

Onions are my favourite vegetable. I've roasted them before, but always peeled them first, then usually cut them top down to the core into eighths (so they fan out a little like a flower), then smooshed butter and herbs into the gaps. Then they were roasted wrapped in tin foil. This was following quite an old guide (before charring veg became a thing). They were nice but needed *more*. I think giving them a final ten minutes or so unwrapped so they could colour up would have worked wonders, with hindsight.

 

I like the sound of this method though - easier, less waste of tin foil, and probably get a bit of flavour imparted from the skins. I'll give it a go next time, thanks.

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On 27/02/2021 at 17:36, PK said:

Baked onion is really tasty, it never even occurred to me to do it until it came up on this wholesome history channel I'm subscribed to:

 

 

Stick it in the oven with the skin still on for half an hour or so at 160ish, then when you take it out cut one end off and squeeze it out of its skin and stick some butter and salt on it.

 

It's surprisingly delicious!

 

This one of my favorite channels 

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On 07/03/2021 at 14:43, p b said:

This channel is amazing! And I tried the onions on Friday, they're very tasty

 

Yeah it's such a lovely channel.

 

And glad you liked them! They're really nice heaped on top of a baked potato.

 

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Steam a whole cauliflower (about 10 mins), make a rub of anchovies, garlic and black pepper. Pour the rub over, stick it in the oven for about an hour.

 

Whenever I make a roast I finish by steaming kale, then roasting that in the meat juices for a few minutes. No need to make a gravy and healthier.

 

And obviously add butter to everything. It's a nonsense butter is bad for you, if adding butter makes me eat more veg and fills me up then that easily outweighs any negatives from it. If you like anchovies, they also go really well with lots of greens and make the flavour much more exciting.

 

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I got a free trial for Chefs Plate one of these semi-prepared meal kit delivery things, and picked up a few tricks

 

Homemade burger - fry each side for a few minutes until browned and then put in oven for 6 minutes along with buns and grated cheese on the top half. You get a much juicier burger then frying until cooked

 

Pickled carrots- grate carrots and mix with white vinegar and a little sugar, let sit while you make the rest of the meal. Then add to things like Thai Beef Bowl

 

Creamy tomato sauce - add a little cream cheese when making a tomato based pasta. 

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I microwaved aubergine for the first time a couple of days ago. I did it for a veggie moussaka. I'd seen a few people online saying it worked well, but it's one of those veg I'd not really considered nuking. However, it's also one of the things I'm worst at cooking, so I thought I'd give it a go. I usually fry it up beforehand, and then add it to the rest, but it soaks up so much oil. So instead I just sliced it and chucked it in a bowl, then zapped it uncovered until it looked like it had had enough (it took a while). Didn't look brilliant, to be honest - a bit dry possibly. But then I chucked it in with all the wet bits I was using and it came out just fine - at least as good as if I'd fried it off in batches. It was a lot less faff than usual, and used no oil at all, which works for me. I think I'll keep experimenting with this.

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