My wife recently came home from the grocery store and handed me broccolini, turkey bacon, and truffled cheddar cheese balls. Then, she challenged me to make dinner with those ingredients. I borrowed from a past broccoli dinner (Broccoli and Cheddar Millet Cakes) and combined that with the concept behind Asparagus and Bacon Pancakes, and the result was an unabashedly broccoli-ish creation with a bit of saltiness…fried in some butter to make it crispy on the outside and pillowy on the inside…and then topped with an earthy cheese sauce!
My primary source of pride with this is that my sous chef has now found another way that he likes broccoli/broccolini (a month ago, if it wasn’t stir fried and drenched in soy sauce, it was a no-go). It was also the first time I had cooked with tapioca starch as a binder (yeah…same coffee grinder used to process the cheese balls also pulverized some tapioca into flour), and I definitely plan to play with that ingredient more in the future now that I have a better idea of what it does!
We served our cakes with a spinach side salad.
Time: 30 Minutes
Ingredients: (makes 3 cakes)
- For the Cakes:
- 1 LB Broccoli or Broccolini. We used Broccolini.
- 4-5 Slices Turkey Bacon
- 1/4 Cup Tapioca Starch/Flour
- 2 Eggs
- Black Pepper
- For the Sauce:
- 1.5 Tablespoons Butter
- 1.5 Tablespoons All Purpose Flour
- 1 Cup of Milk
- Truffled Cheddar Cheese Balls
- Make your Cakes
- Slice your broccolini/broccoli into inch long pieces, and steam it.
- As your broccolini/broccoli cooks, slice your turkey bacon into strips.
- Combine your broccolini/broccoli, turkey bacon, and eggs in your food processor, and pulse to mince and fully incorporate.
- Transfer your mixture to a bowl, and stir in your tapioca flour/starch and black pepper. The tapioca will serve as a binding agent to keep your cakes together as they cook.
- Heat some butter in a cast iron pan (we used three small cast iron pans), and when it is hot, form your cake mixture into patties, and press into your pans(s).
- Cook for about 6-8 minutes until the bottom is golden brown and crispy…then flip, and cook again (adding a little more butter to your pan as needed).
- As your cakes cook, make your sauce
- Crush your cheese balls. We used a coffee grinder, but putting them in a ziplock bag and doing a cathartic mashing by hand would work well too.
- Melt your butter in a saucepan, and then add in your flour. Whisk to combine, and allow to cook for a minute or two.
- Pour in your milk, and allow to begin to thicken.
- Add in your crushed cheese balls, and stir to combine. Add black pepper as you see fit.
- When your cakes are done, remove from your pan(s), and put on your plate(s).
- Scoop your sauce atop, devour, and enjoy!