Cream of zucchini and broccoli spaghettini
i've seen your helpful comments in various places that I have been searching. Now I have a rather long, but specific question that I am posting here, since I am new to chowhound blog. Maybe you can help? I made cream of zucchini and broccoli spaghettini and it came out
terrific, healthy, pleasing and comforting. i was also surprised at
how refined the dish was. truly amazing!
However, i have a question on the technical end of things, since i
think it can be even better! I am mindful of 'flavor layering'
techniques. So my question has to do with some excess liquid i removed
during the early stages of the cooking process. I set it aside since
it wasn't just water, or even watery, but rather looked like it
contained alot of flavor and the 'natural' beginnings of something
creamy. i tasted it and it was actually quite a good 'broth' of sorts.
It was the water from the shredded zucchini and broccoli stems (i also
shredded some broccoli leaves). I set it aside, because my next step
(after 1) heating the saucepan over med-hi heat; 2) sauteeing in olive
oil the minced shallots and garlic; and 3) sauteeing the shredded
zucchini and broccoli stems). As I was saying step 4) add a 1/2 cup
of white wine and reduce to "almost dry" (or 1 Tbsp of liquid) --- so
I removed the vegetable liquid before adding the wine and set it aside
to use later. This was all in order to make better use of the wine
reduction in stage 4. So that's what I did.
My question is when, if ever, should I re-integrate that excess liquid?
maybe you should know the rest of the recipe. stage 5) after the
reduction put the mixture into a Blender (hurray for the new Blender
!!) and let cool before processing. 6) blend and when smooth shut off
scrape sides and 7) while blending a second time add Champagne Vinegar
and some oil (in a steady stream). Then in a new pan 8) stir the
blended creamy vegetable mixture into a roux (melted butter w flour)
just after integrating heavy cream into the roux. That's it. By now
the spaghettini was ready, rinsed/cooled in a collander and 9) mix the
pasta into the pan with the sauce...
okay, fine. So what did I do with the excess liquid? now that you
know the whole picture I will tell you. just after the initial
blending at stage 6). that's when I poured in the excess liquid.
these are my thoughts on the matter.
a) Maybe, and this is my worry and concern, maybe all i did was water
down the flavorful wine reduction mixture. so the sauce would have, in
fact, been even better had i not opted to re-integrate that excess
b) Maybe just leave it out altogether? save the liquid for vegetable
soup stock, for example.
c) prolong stage 3) and cook that excess liquid away and when stage 4)
comes to add/reduce the white wine the liquid would already have been
evaporated -- But I was afraid of overcooking the shredded vegetable
So what do you think? the most simple would be to drain the excess
liquid before adding the wine at stage 4) and leave it out
completely... rather than a) watering down my wine reduction or b)
overcooking the vegetable mixture before adding the wine.
But maybe I'm wrong and my thinking cannot be relied upon since I lack
Here's a last thought, perhaps this sort of sauce needs excess liquid
later on (stage 6 or so) because it would be way too thick -- more
like a zuc/broc puree, rather than a liquidy substance that can be
stirred into the creamy roux.
So, in that case I would 'cut' the puree thickness with the excess
liquid, rather than more oil or just regular water ... so according
to this i did the perfect thing!
or should i let the liquid mix and reduce with the wine at stage 4)...
those are my options. Please let me know what you suggest about these
solutions/problems and so on.
I think i've changed the topic of my PhD thesis...
thanks and be well.
All the best !!
I am not nearly as experienced a cook as many of the chowhounders. But I thought after that very detailed question, I didn't want to see this thread go unresponded to. :) I think I would have reduced the liquid before the wine. Since you are blending the vegetable anyways, I wouldn't worry about overcooking the vegetables. But that's just a guess. I hope a more experience Chow has an answer. This response is the blind leading the blind. Good luck.
I see two options:
1- Reserve the liquid to thin sauce at the end if needed
2- Save for veg soup or any dish you will add liquid to where the vegetal flavor will work
Reducing delicate veg liquid doesn't usually get you a deeper taste- I think it gets lost.