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Monday, April 7, 2014

Chew on This | Roasted Broccoli with Lemon Pepper Parmesan Sauce

Have you ever had a day that continually layered on the goodness? Moment after moment getting better and better. Ahhh, so stinkin' wonderful those days are. 

What about a day that piles on the crud? Moment after moment getting crappier and crappier. Man, those days bite.

Well, one day, some years ago, I had one of those memorable crappy days. I was walk-jogging into a hospital where I was to have a work appointment with a Pharmacy Director. The elusive PharmD was known to skip out on appointments, so I wanted to get there early to catch him if he tried to sneak out. It had begun to rain and I didn't have an umbrella with me, thus the walk-jogging. Once inside the hospital vestibule I tried, without much success, to compose myself. Smoothing out my hair, straightening my suit, trying to look professional and presentable.

Fluffed and ready, I started down the long corridor that would take me to the elevators. There were very few people in this part of the hospital, which you will shortly learn was a blessing from above, and I was doing my best to speed walk to get to the PharmD's office. I was a few long strides away from the elevators when I began to lose my balance. My wet heels and the ugly, glassy smooth hospital linoleum decided it would be a hoot to see my arms desperately flailing, my legs wildly dancing an uncoordinated jig, and finally, my entire body flat out on the ground. 

I was kind of stunned that I actually ended up on the floor, so I stayed there for a minute before trying to get up. And let me tell you, there was no graceful way of getting my suited self off the ground. On my hands and knees, pushing myself off the floor I heard material ripping. Yep, the slit at the back of my skirt had just become dangerously provocative and at that point the burning embarrassment of the situation began to rapidly creep up my back to my face. Mortified, I stole a quick glance around and saw that there was just one other person in the immediate area that had witnessed my very awkward situation. And that sweetheart just stood there staring at me. 

Seriously. The guy didn't speak, he didn't laugh, thankfully, and he made no movement to be chivalrous and help me up. I quickly brushed myself off and carefully walked to the stairwell. There was no way I was going to stand around waiting for the elevator with that statue-of-a-man continually staring at me. So, up the stairs I went and made it to my appointment with time to spare. And there I sat. For a very long time. The PharmD never showed for the appointment, no surprise there. And so I walked out of the hospital, into the rain, feeling embittered, wearing a tattered suit, and looking like a fox (not). 

Not my best day. But hey, cruddy days happen. This one wasn't my first and it surely won't be my last. At least now I can giggle about it (maybe you can too). And we can all wish I had some video footage of that spectacular fall.


Here's our recipe:

Need a spring-y side dish? This easy roasted broccoli gets a tangy partner with the Lemon Pepper Sauce. A perfect pairing.

Roasted Broccoli with Lemon Pepper Parmesan Sauce

1 1/2 T butter
1 1/2 T flour
1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1/4 C fresh lemon juice
3/4 C milk
zest of one lemon, divided into two equal shares
1/2 C finely grated Parmesan cheese

8 C fresh broccoli florets
1/4 C olive oil

Preheat oven to 400℉. Line a cookie sheet with foil.

Prepare fresh, bite-sized, broccoli florets by placing them into a large bowl. Coat broccoli with olive oil, salt, and pepper (to your taste). Toss to ensure all the florets have been coated. Place broccoli onto your cookie sheet covered in foil. Place broccoli into the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until broccoli is bright green, with a few bits that are golden, and slightly softened.

In a small sauce pan, on medium heat, melt your butter. Once melted, add in your flour, salt, and pepper and whisk to combine. Allow mixture to cook for 1-2 minutes to ensure the  raw flour taste has been cooked out. Next, while whisking vigorously, slowly add in your lemon juice. The mixture will quickly pull away from the sides of the pan, thicken, and form a paste. While still whisking, add in your milk. The mixture will loosen up considerably and you'll need to continue whisking to break up any lumps. Now add in half of your lemon zest. Continue to whisk. The sauce will slowly start to thicken up. Take the pan off the heat once your sauce reaches a pourable pudding consistency. Add in your Parmesan cheese and whisk until it has melted completely. 

Pour warm sauce over your roasted broccoli, sprinkle with remaining lemon zest, and enjoy immediately!

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