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by on June 25th, 2012

Baby Bok Choy with Brown Butter Garlic Sauce

Bok, Bok, Bok, doesn’t that sounds like some kind of strange bird?

Ok, so it isn’t a bird. I don’t think I have ever eaten this vegetable until back in February when we had our annual dinner of golf husbands and their wives. Our golfers have come to call this “wife appreciation dinner” because we let them play so much golf. Not that they really need our permission to do so, but it’s always nice of them to take us to dinner.

(I’ve been saving a few recipes so while I’m having the knee surgery and the first couple of weeks of rehab I can use some things from my draft folder — so here’s the first, hope I’m up and walking soon.)

I used the bok choy under the mashed potatoes here and then topped the potatoes with a little brown butter.  For our dinner that night we had a beef fillet on top of the potatoes. Really nice.

This is just the blanched and sautéed  bok choy. Not as exciting as the picture above with the potatoes, or, even the one below where, on another day, I just chopped and sautéed it with some garlic.

This year we did the “wife appreciation dinner” (Valentine’s Day) at the Crescent Moon Wine Bar. Everything was wonderful. One of our courses was a beef tenderloin on top of a pool of mashed potatoes with some steamed bok choy on top of the potatoes, (or maybe it was under the potatoes) topped with the filet. Rodney, the owner, and Patty the chef went out of their way to make our evening very special. We had their private room which has a very Tuscan feel to it, and one would think they were having dinner in some little trattoria in Italy. We had a five course meal with wine parings. All I can say is it was a wonderful meal. (See complete meal below.)

So, I decided it was time I try this vegetable on my own. I found a couple of heads of this Chinese white cabbage and couldn’t wait to try it in a recipe. Bok choy is a mild vegetable with crunchy white stalks and tender dark green leaves. It looks kind of like a bunch of celery but with leaves on the top and this can be stir fried or cooked as a vegetable.

Even though it is classified as a cabbage it has little resemblance to the round cabbages found in our super markets. I decided to steam mine to keep the beautiful green color since it was going to make the bed for my beef tenderloin with crab and a compound butter on top.

I served this for dinner one night with the beef tenderloin, the braised French Breakfast Radishes and Baby Carrots and a Salad Lyonnaise. Dessert was chocolate.

Very easy vegetable to prepare that adds a lot of color and texture to your plate. I want to try it again and get better at the presentation. I think it would be wonderful under the potatoes with even a chicken breast with sauce on top or I may try it in a stir fry. I will definitely try it again because I loved how it maintained it’s bright green color.

Isn’t this just the cutest vegetable.

I steamed my bok choy but you could blanch it also.

After you steam or blanch, plunge into ice water to stop the cooking. (If you plan on sautéing later. Our you can simply chop it up and sauté it with a little olive oil and garlic.

I added a little parmesan cheese.

So, the recipe below is for the chopped up bok choy in the third picture. (I tried cooking the bok choy several ways that week.)

Baby Bok Choy with Brown Butter Garlic Sauce

2 small heads of baby bok choy, cleaned and cut in 1/3’s
2-3 cloves garlic
4 Tbsp. stick butter, plus 1 Tbsp.
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. grated fresh ginger, optional
toasted sesame seeds, optional

Put the butter in a skillet and melt very slowly until you get a nice brown color. It will start to smell nutty. Chop the garlic very fine. Saute the garlic in the other one tablespoon of butter for 1 minutes. Do not brown the garlic as it will get bitter. Add the garlic back into the brown butter and set aside. Cut the ends off the baby bok choy and separate leaves. Wash thoroughly making sure you get off all the dirt, drain. Using a seamer basket set in a small saucepan, steam the bok choy until it is bright green and tender, about 5 minutes then drain quickly and put in ice water bath to stop the cooking.

When read to serve, put about 1 Tbsp. of the browned butter in a skillet or wok. Add the ginger and quickly stir fry. Add the boy choy to the skillet/wok and toss to coat with the butter and ginger. Drizzle with the 1 teaspoon of sesame oil. Add the toasted sesame seeds (optional).

Reheat the butter if it has cooled and toss with the steamed bok choy. You may not need all the butter and you can save the remainder for another day.


*Note: I put the baby bok choy under my fillet, topped that with the king crab and then added the compound butter which was suppose to melt, but the crab wasn’t hot enough so we moved the butter to the top of the steak.

Our five course tasting menu at Crescent Moon Wine Bar

1st course
Roasted Beet and Arugula Salad
2009 Feudo Arancio Sicilian (wine)

2nd Course
Seared Tuna
Yellow fin tuna, black rice, honey ponzu and braised daikon

Patch Black Chardonnay, France

3rd Course
Braised Pork Shank
Grilled Polenta cdake-upland crest greens
2007 Chime Pinot Noir, Sonoma

4th Course
Beef Filet
Tenderloin baby bok choy-brown butter mash
2008 Volteo Tempranillo, Spain

5th Course

Pear Tartlet Brulee
anjou pear-sweet pastry dough, cream anglaise
Umberto iFore Mosquito d’Asti, Italy

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