Sunday, May 12, 2013

Thai-Style Broccoli with Ginger, Coconut Milk & Lime ~ Light and Flavorful

Tom, Ellie and I are in the process of moving to another apartment. The move came upon us very suddenly. We're downsizing to a one bedroom space, giving some of our things away and clearing out the clutter. It always feels good to give away items we don't use. I don't hoard things, unless we're talking curry powder. I've recently discovered I'm a spice hoarder, especially when it comes to Indian spices. But that's another story. When it comes to stuff, I give things away freely, without reservation. If we haven't used it in over a year or two, whether I like it or not, it goes to a new home. I follow Rachel Ashwell's decorating principles of beauty and function. My decorating mantra is less is more. Living with just what we need is liberating. Moving three times in six years has taught us these valuable lessons.  

This unexpected move has turned out to be a blessing in disguise. After much grueling and frustrating apartment hunting, we found a loft-style apartment with an open kitchen, 14-foot ceilings, a gas fireplace and a small balcony overlooking a tiny corner of the Charles River. When we settle, I'll share some pictures.
While packing our dishes, I kept thinking about making this broccoli recipe. I know that's weird. But what can I say? I have no excuses for my food imaginations and obsessions. This super fast broccoli dish hit the spot, providing lots of vitamins and minerals to fortify us during the exhausting process of relocating. There's only so much pizza a girl can eat.

Broccoli Stir Fry with Warm Spices, Coconut Milk and Lime Recipe

Some Notes:

The flavor profile of this dish is reminiscent of Thai coconut curries, only it's lighter and fresher tasting with lots of texture.

Broccoli is diced and quickly cooked. It's given a hit of perky ginger and chili powder for some mild heat. Just a touch of warm cumin and coriander, along with a little creamy coconut milk and a few squeezes of lime make it exciting. The usual steamed-broccoli-side-dish can be rather boring. This dish wakes up the palate when served alongside a piece of grilled fish or chicken.

A few tablespoons of Trader Joe's Extra Thick and Rich Coconut Cream is delicious in this recipe because it adds just the right amount of creamy tropical notes and mild coconut flavor. It's easy to store the rest in a tupperware in the fridge for use in other recipes. It's my new favorite ingredient.

Some toasted chopped cashews would be delicious on top, adding protein and crunch. Thai basil would also be a fresh finishing touch.

Sometimes I add some frozen corn to bump up the sweetness and add another layer of flavor.

Great with chicken, steak or fish. Loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber and omega 3's.

Serves two hungry people for lunch with a sprinkling of unsweetened shredded coconut, steamed jasmine rice and a drizzle of shoyu or tamari.

You'll Need:
  • 2 heads of broccoli diced into very small pieces. My heads of broccoli were on the small side.
  • 2 limes, zest one and reserve the zest. Juice half of one and reserve the juice.
  • 2 scallions, diced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced, I use a microplane zester
  • 1 small piece of ginger, minced (optional). I use a microplane zester. 
  • 2-3 tablespoons of Trader Joe's Extra Thick and Rich Coconut Cream or 3 tablespoons of the coconut cream from the top of a can of full fat coconut milk. 
  • 1-2 teaspoons of neutral tasting oil
  • A dash of ground cumin. A dash of ground coriander. A dash of ground red pepper. 
  • Sea salt or kosher salt to taste  
  • Shredded unsweetened coconut, toasted chopped cashews, jasmine rice, shoyu and/or Thai basil are serving options.

The Rundown:
Dice the broccoli into very small pieces. Heat a large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat with the oil. When the oil is hot, add the broccoli and some salt. Stir fry the broccoli until it starts to get tender. You may need to add a little water to help it soften. Stir in the scallions, lime juice, lime zest, minced garlic, ginger, spices and coconut cream. Add a pinch more salt. Toss to combine everything. The broccoli should be tender-crisp when done. Serve with lime wedges and any of the garnishes you like. Enjoy!  

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