Food Challenge of the Week: Broccoli in Garlic Sauce!
I remember as a child eating chicken and broccoli at least once a week in my apartment in the city. Always, always, always chicken and broccoli.
Well… maybe not so much the chicken. It was the broccoli that was my favourite part, and still is to this day. Now, as I order take out, it is mandatory that one of the items be broccoli in garlic sauce, or broccoli in brown sauce. This week I decided to shy away from the ordering of expensive, not-always-healthy Chinese food, and opted to try making the recipe for myself!
This is how it went: Monday, I made The Garden Grazer‘s “Broccoli with Asian Garlic Sauce” recipe. It was really good. Like, really good. And my parents were explaining over and over how good it smelled (seeing how the scent of sesame oil and garlic went all the way from the kitchen to the outside patio!) I always thought of sesame oil as an ingredient to add for flavour, but this recipe called to sauté the broccoli in the sesame oil (rather than olive or vegetable oil). I have to say, the flavour was pretty dang good. But, it was missing something. It was missing a bit of a sweetness.
Tuesday came round two! I made the next recipe in line by Skinny Chef. Hers was basically the same recipe, only there was also a touch of sugar and some almonds and green onions. Other than that? Almost identical to the first recipe. That’s what I was hoping for, seeing how good The Garden Grazer’s was! Unlike the first recipe, Skinny Chef’s recipe called for sautéing the broccoli in canola or vegetable oil as well as steaming the broccoli afterwards for a few minutes before adding the sauce. When I added the sauce to the pan, it took quite some time for it to thicken, unlike The Garden Grazer’s recipe. I had to raise the heat quite a bit for it to even begin to thicken! For the broccoli, I would say that Skinny Chef’s recipe definitely won. As for the sauce… still neither of them are quite what I want. The sugar added the sweetness the first was missing, though this time, I felt it wasn’t as much of a deep flavour.
Thus far: The Garden Grazer’s sauce has the deepest flavour. Skinny Chef’s glaze has the sweetness, and the broccoli is cooked perfectly. I have one more recipe up my sleeve to try before I concoct my own. That recipe is About Food’s “Vegan Broccoli in Sweet Garlic Sauce” by Jolinda Hackett. Of all the recipes, this was by far the most confusing for me to follow. The instructions didn’t give exact times like the others (so I had to kind of wing it) and some of what I had to do was just difficult in general! Unlike the first two recipes, this one called to add the cornstarch in with everything else already cooking. Well… I cooked it for the 6-8 minutes and it still didn’t thicken like the others, and there were still clumps of corn starch. This definitely wasn’t my favourite of the recipes.
So now, it’s time to create my own recipe. The thickness from the first recipe, the sweetness and broccoli texture from the second recipe, and maybe nothing from the third…
Let’s see what I can come up with tomorrow!