When I went to school in Olympia I learned to hate the word experimental. To me it became synonymous with really bad performance art usually involving movement, multiple projectors, and sometimes primal screaming. So when Mr. Smurf asked me last night “what’s for dinner” and I started to tell him about how it was experimental broccoli a loud klaxon should have sounded in my brain instantaneously.
It all started with best of intentions. I have this book called New American Table that I love to look through and one recipe that I was really interested in was tea poached bok choy. Over at What Does a Vegan Eat Anyway they are always smoking something with tea and it just looks fantastic and fun so I thought I could do it too.
First, I started the Garlic Rice, by sautéing six cloves of garlic in a little olive oil, then adding a cup of rice after a few minutes, sautéing until a little brown then adding a cup of water and some salt covered and let steam.
Then, once that got steaming, I started the Mushroom Beans. I tossed a carton of precut mushrooms in my skillet seared them, added a little water, a can of white beans and about a teaspoon of mushroom soy sauce (healthy boy is my favorite) and let that sauté for a few minutes while the mushrooms cooked.
So far this is the world’s easiest beans and rice meal besides completely plain beans and rice and I should have just gone simple with the broccoli like braising it with a little ginger or garlic like usual. But damnit, it is veganMoFo so I need to step out of my comfort zone. Especially when there are people like Vegan in Brighton making things they don’t even think they like! And making them look beautiful!
Instead I made a sauté of 3 cloves of garlic, a teaspoon of sliced ginger, two sliced shallots and cooked them for about three minutes. Then I added two crowns of broccoli, cooked that for a minute, then added 2 cups of water, 2 orange spice tea bags, some salt and some agave.
It wasn’t as bad as the play I saw where people were crawling around on their bellies yelling “monster” until they all “died”. Really, it wasn’t bad at all. My main problem was that I cooked it for a little two long so the tea tasted bitter and the broccoli was overcooked. I think the technique would work a lot better with quicker cooking bok choy ….like…um.. in the original recipe.
The rice and beans though were an easy easy easy winner. I will eat it again next time I am tired/poor/alone/busy/hungry.