Broccoli With Creamy Spicy Sauce

…aka Spicy Broccoli Gratin, aka Broccoli With Dynamite Sauce

I came across the following LA Times article on gratin at the end of Feb 2011(see,0,3254888.story) and it started me thinking. Broccoli’s one of my wife’s favorite vegetable; she adores Nobu’s creamy spicy sauce. So I decided it might be fun to combine both elements into a ‘broccoli gratin’ concept based on Nobu’s Scallops With Creamy Spicy Sauce.   In Nobu West, it’s mentioned that it’s perfectly acceptable to use store bought mayonnaise. So the question is – how much mayonnaise is made with the egg yolk/vinegar/oil specified?   The original recipe in Nobu: The Cookbook calls for 2 egg yolks; a large egg yolk is about 2/3 oz (or 2 teaspoons). So that suggests the recipe has a yield of 9 oz of mayonnaise+4 teaspoons of chili garlic sauce (tobanjang).  Using the information from  Nobu: The Cookbook recipe for Scallops With Creamy Spicy Sauce, I would need to use 1 tablespoon of tobiko per 4 teaspoons of creamy spicy sauce for each serving.  So for two people, I would need 8 teaspoons of creamy spicy sauce. The closest amount I could make is 3 tablespoons+1 teaspoon+1/8 teaspoon of mayonnaise+3/4 teaspoon of chili garlic sauce. As it would turn out, for nearly a pound of broccoli florets, I discovered I needed to make triple the amount of the creamy spicy sauce (10 T+ 3/8 t mayonnaise and 2 t+1/4 t of chili garlic sauce).

How to prepare the broccoli? Fortunately, Nobu Miami: The Party Cookbook suggests roasting the salt/peppered olive oil coated florets at 480 degrees F until the tips are browned.   What I did was pour a bit of spanish extra virgin olive oil into a small plate and ‘wiped’ the tops of the broccoli florets in the olive oil.

Broccoli floret with olive oil

I then loaded the florets into a large overproof dish and then seasoned the floret tops with 4:1 salt/pepper mix and then roasted the florets in 475 degree F oven (my countertop oven’s highest setting

Broccoli transferred to gratin plates

Gratin plates loaded with broccoli florets

before broil) for about 12 minutes.  I then pulled out the gratin plates, topped the florets with the creamy spicy sauce and popped them back into broil for about 10 minutes.

Adding the creamy spicy sauce

Creamy spicy sauce all added

Into the oven for broiling

Accompanying roast chicken…

My wife loved the dish; in retrospect, I would have done two things differently.  First, I think I would’ve separated the broccoli florets into much smaller pieces and second I think I would’ve broiled the creamy spicy sauce a little bit longer.  While I was eating the dish, I found that some of the creamy spicy sauce was caught between some of the ‘branches’ of the larger broccoli floret pieces and really hadn’t ‘melted through’ enough.

I made this spicy broccoli gratin as a side for a roast chicken.  I think this combination is a keeper, especially when my wife asked me if we could have this item sometime real soon.

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