Pearl Bailey’s Jean’s Broccoli

Whose broccoli would win in a fight?  Pearl Bailey’s or Yul Brynner’s?  There’s only one way to find out!

Well, looking back on my previous entry for Pearl’s broccoli I see that I’d decided Pearl’s was the best, but now I announce, I have changed my mind.  They are both very good, but having had both a couple of days apart, I’m now on the side of Yul.

Lovely, lovely, lovely baldy men!

Esteemed food writer Orlando Murrin popped by to the site the other day and had a look at my post about Pearl’s way of cooking sweetcorn.  I had mentioned that Pearl’s cookbook was the funniest cookbook I’d ever read and I think he was curious.

Orlando left a comment to say, “Pearl sounds exactly as if she was talking the recipes, which is the sign of a truly great cookery writer.” I totally agree!  I do so recommend Pearl’s book, it’s an absolute hoot and all the recipes I have tried have been great.  Must do more…

Jean DiMaio was a friend of Pearl’s, and Pearl says: “Broccoli was never really part of my bit until I tasted the broccoli that Jean made.  Here’s how she does it:”

Separate the stems so that you have medium sized pieces, wash thoroughly and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Set it aside.  Heat some oil in a fairly deep and wide pan.  Chop a little garlic into the oil and brown it, then remove the garlic pieces.  Add the broccoli to the pan, but be careful because the water on the broccoli may pop when you place it in hot oil.  Once it is in the pan, sprinkle a little more water on the broccoli, cover the pan and let it steam until the broccoli is tender, turning when necessary.  This is especially good if you allow the broccoli to brown in the oil, but you must watch it very closely or it will burn.

I used garlic granules rather than garlic powder.  Yum.

Unlike Yul’s recipe, this was just a one stage steam inside a saucepan rather than a steam in a steamer and then a fry  – excellent – 2 less pans for the washing up.  I think because these were nice thin tenderstem broccoli and I’d really gone to town chopping the woody stems off, they were perfectly cooked.  Next time I cook Yul’s I might try doing it Pearl’s way.  A Yul/Pearl mash-up.

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