“Even the richest meal is just an excuse for the most important thing: Sharing simple moments together.”
– Alejandro Morales (head chef at La Huella restaurant)
Every once in a while, I’m reminded of why I love to cook.
Apart from the therapeutic effect that being in the kitchen has on me, what also motivates me to keep on cooking is this – the fact that cooking a meal for others means I have a perfectly great excuse to sit down with them and enjoy their company over homecooked food.
I watched the movie Eat Drink Man Woman the other day – a 1994 Taiwan-based movie which demonstrates a widowed father’s love for his three daughters, with whom he barely has any communication with except during their set-in-stone Sunday dinner. The movie showed how the Chu, the father, would labor through entire Sunday afternoons to create elaborate dishes so that when his daughters gathered around the dinner table later at night, there would be food, a way of showing his love.
I’d grown up in the Asian culture, and can understand how the generation gap between parents and children sometimes results in a lack of communication.
I could appreciate Chu pouring his effort and energy into creating a meal – especially one that he deemed incredibly important, a tradition that was inked in stone.
The movie made me think about my need to spend time with loved ones crowded together over a meal – whether it be homecooked food or Chinese takeout or at a fancy restaurant.
I was reminded of this deep desire and longing that everyone has to feel a sense of love and communication, and when words sometimes fail us, a bowl of steaming hot soup that has been stewed for hours on the stove says all that is necessary.
Since this notion of eating together has been on my mind, it came as no surprise when I read the quote above by Alejandro Morales, the head chef of the La Huella restaurant in Brava Beach, Uruguay.
Whether we may be at a fine-dining restaurant feasting on fresh lobsters and oysters in tobasco sauce alongside glasses of bubbly champagne, or whether we are crowded at grandma’s eating simple chicken porridge, it really doesn’t matter.
What does matter though, and what really is important, is this – the fact that we are sharing simple moments together.
With that in mind, I want to leave you a super simple recipe today.
This dish is one that takes less than half an hour to whip up from scratch; a delicious yet uncomplicated recipe for those days that you want to have dinner with your loved ones without much fuss. It’s a dish that was inspired by my trip to Brazil earlier this year, where broccoli rice is a common side dish.
This is broccoli garlic rice, that is really just a mix of stir-fried garlic, broccoli couscous and rice.
Top this fragrant rice with a sunny side up egg and you’re all set – a homecooked meal in less than 30 minutes!
Go enjoy your meal with your loved ones today!
- 1 large head of broccoli, florets only
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 4 cups of cooked long grain white rice (or 2 cups of uncooked long grain white rice)
- Olive oil
- Salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon of ground chilli flakes, optional
- 4 eggs, optional
- Cook the rice according to package instructions.
- While rice is cooking, cut the broccoli florets from the head (you cankeep the stalks for another use)
- Wash the broccoli florets and then roughly cut them into smaller pieces
- Process the broccoli florets in small portions in a processor until they attain a couscous-like texture
- Mince the garlic and then sauté the garlic in a large por/wok in a little olive oil over low heat for 30 seconds
- When garlic starts turning golden brown, add in the broccoli couscous and mix, letting it cook for five minutes.
- Add in the cooked rice and mix well till you get a homogeneous mixture
- Add salt to taste
- If using eggs, cooked four sunny-side up eggs
- Divide the rice into 4 equal portions and serve each portion with a sunny side up egg