Thursday, February 18, 2010

Broccoli spear cooker

I buy a 24-pound case of broccoli spears from Sysco ever week or two at work. With 12 (2-pound) packages, the case gives me four meals for the residents.

Over my career I've learned that you don't want to dump three packages into a stockpot of boiling water. Half the broccoli will be overcooked. The other half will be underdone

In the fully equipped kitchen, the cook steams the broccoli inside a high-pressure steamer. Since I feed two-dozen residents out of a home-style kitchen, I had to re-think my broccoli cooking process.

As shown in the photograph, I set a steamer up on the range top, as follows:
  • Place 4-inch hotel pan with 1-quart water over two burners
  • Set 2-inch perforated hotel pan inside the 4-inch pan
  • Place 3 (2-pound) packages of broccoli spears inside the pan
  • Cover broccoli with lid or aluminum foil
  • Turn both burners on high and steam broccoli for 5 to 10 minutes; reduce heat to medium once the water boils
  • Gently separate broccoli spears with a pair of tongs
  • Continue cooking until done

The 2-inch hotel pan next to the broccoli is baked macaroni and cheese.

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