My lovely penpal Margie in Atlanta mentioned ages ago that she’d spotted a Yul Brynner cookbook and I’m not sure why I didn’t get on the ebay machine immediately and buy one.  No matter, his card was picked from the pack for recipe of the month for August so I pressed the buy button last week and it arrived all the way from the US of A and it’s GENIUS.

Yul could definitely cook.  He’s a man after Vincent Price’s heart. Passionate about food and keen to share his knowledge.  There are lots of recipes that I’m going to try, but on Saturday, for Mr R’s din dins I chose Beef With Basil accompanied by Sauteed Brocolli.  Mmmmmmm – big success x 2. 

I liked the fact that when a work colleague asked Mr R what he was having for dinner, and was told it would be 2x Yul Brynner dishes, his work mate proclaimed it to be “a Yul Brynner Dinner” – yes!

As Doris Day might have put it: “what a marvellous looking man!”  Yes.

We tried to watch one of my favourite modern (!) movies Westworld, starring Yul as the Robot Gunslinger (great character title), but naturally, as usual, fell asleep on the sofa halfway through.

The Beef With Basil was so good I have already earmarked that for Recipe of the Month. I thought I would have to try a few from the book and choose, but that was perfect.  So that’ll be going up and out in a couple of days time.  Until then, here’s the Sauteed Broccoli recipe.  I think I overcooked the broccoli slightly so next time I make it, I’ll make sure to cook the spears a little less in the boiling water before I stir fry them.

1 bunch of broccoli

4 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons dry sherry

1 teaspoon sugar

1 fresh red chilli pepper, or dried chilli pepper to taste

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 clove garlic

1 slice fresh ginger (about 1” across), minced, or ¼ teaspoon powdered ginger

½ cup cooked shredded roast pork (optional)*

Separate broccoli into spears; trim off bottom of spears.  Stream broccoli until spears are almost cooked but are still firm.  Set aside.  Mix together soy, sherry, and sugar.  Cut chilli pepper into thin slices and add to liquid; set aside.  Heat oil in wok or heavy skillet.  Saute garlic and ginger for one minute, add broccoli spears, and stir one minute.  Pour sauce over broccoli and stir one minute.  If you wish, garnish with roast pork.  (Serves 4)

* I didn’t add any shredded roast pork but I DO like the idea of that.  Maybe next time for a whole dinner dish?  By the way, I think the two of us ate the whole of this portion of broccoli so maybe if you are making it for four you’ll need more…

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