Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Braised Broccoli Rabe

Out with the bad air, in with the good.

Out with the bad air, in with the good.

Apparently some of you in Crab Nation feel I'm a little too bitter about these food contests. You think I take them too seriously and that I need to relax.

"It's just a cake", you write.

"It's only barbecue sauce, after all", says another.


Show me a good loser and I'll show you a loser!

I'm not complaining about losing a fair fight. I'm complaining about the fix. I'm complaining about losing a BBQ Sauce contest where the winner had more votes than attendees. I'm complaining about SSSal and ConnecticutJane losing a cake baking contest to some pieces of PAPER!!!!

Beat me fair and square and I'm fine. Sock me in the chops, I'm OK with that, so long as I get to give you a shot in return. But set the rules and then pick a winner who doesn't play by them? That just really cracks my claws. Well, I've learned my lesson. No more contests for me. From now on it's cook, photograph, eat and write. You aren't going to have this crustacean to kick around anymore.

So in celebration of ridding myself of a potential source of bitterness, today I'm presenting one of the more bitter vegetables out there, Broccoli Rabe (aka Rapini). I've tried prepping this stuff many times and have never understood the attraction. I've read all these articles and cookbooks waxing poetic about Tuscan sunsets and the sweet bite of rapini, but I've never produced anything that left me desperate to go to Italy to try the original. This recipe is better than most, it uses pancetta or bacon as a flavoring agent and the braising liquid ends up quite tasty. So please enjoy...

Braised Broccoli Rabe
mostly from Emeril Lagasse

1 bunch broccoli rabe (rapini)
2 TBSP olive oil
3 ounces chopped pancetta (substitute bacon if pancetta is unavailable)
3 garlic cloves, minced
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1/2 cup chicken stock
Salt for the boiling water

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop in the broccoli rabe and blanch for 5 minutes. After boiling, drain and set aside the rabe.

In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot add the pancetta, saute for 4 - 5 minutes until lightly crispy.

Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and saute for 2 minutes or until the garlic becomes fragrant. NOTE: Do not allow the garlic to burn, it will become bitter.

Add the rabe and the chicken stock to the pan. Mix to combine then partially cover the pan. Simmer the rabe for 5 - 7 minutes until it becomes tender.

Adjust seasoning. Serve with a spoonful of the cooking liquid.

OK, that's a very easy recipe. It's also perfect to make while your roast or grilled beast is resting.

Alrighty crablings, I'm leaving now, see you in a few days. Until then remember you can do it, you can cook.

1 comment:

recipes2share said...

Aw, you should do the Italy bit - I've just come back from Venice and it is WONDERFUL!!