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Famous NET MAN Steamed Broccoli

Mediterranean cooking is all about doing as little as possible to the best ingredients. There are certain flavor combinations and cooking methods that are naturally fantastic. This is one of them. Then again, butter, garlic and chile flake could make nearly anything except Froot Loops taste good!

Note that I do this by look, feel & taste- there are no quantities - it just has to be right, which you can tell by looking & tasting as you go.

Serves 8-10 as a side dish

2-3 heads broccoli, hard/woody ends cut off, but you can use some slices of the stalk. Do not cut into florets, but spears going down to the stalk, so that each piece is 3 to 3.5 inches long or so
2 Tbsp olive oil
5+ cloves garlic, per personal preference
1/2 tsp red chile flake, to taste
1/3 cup water (may need more later)
1-2 tsp salt, to taste (preferably Kosher because larger flakes)
2 Tbsp butter

In a deep and wide pan (like a wok) for which you have a tight fitting lid, heat the olive oil over medium heat as you crush the garlic into it. The garlic needs to simmer and infuse the oil without burning or turning brown.
If your garlic turns brown, you will have to throw it out, clean the pan and start over. Yes, really.

When the garlic begins to get desiccated but still blonde, add the red chile flake and sizzle for about 15 seconds.
Then add all of the broccoli spears at once and raise the heat to high.
Quickly add the water and cover. Let steam approximately four minutes.
Then remove cover and sprinkle with salt, and put all of the butter on top. Replace cover.
Steam for another three minutes, tilting pan occasionally to make sure that there is a thin layer of liquid bubbling at the bottom at all times - the pan can not go completely dry.
After three minutes, remove cover and toss broccoli to coat. Replace cover and keep steaming.
Every few minutes, remove cover and shake it all up, move it around so the buttery goodness on the bottom comes to the top and drips down over and coats the other spears.

The goal is to completely steam away all of the liquid at the exact time that the broccoli is cooked - tender but still firm (not mushy!). You may need to add salt to taste, or water to keep a bit of liquid at the bottom as you get close to getting done. Taste a spear or two to ascertain crunchi-/cooked-ness.

This is best served immediately after cooking. As the broccoli sits longer and absorbs more heat (breaking down the cellular walls and causing internal compounds to combine rather than stay separate), the color will fade and it will go from fresh, green, but fully cooked to brown/gray/green and overcooked. Cover to keep warm until you serve.

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Dinner Menus by Samsunshine Levy


Fantastic NET Caesar Salad
Orange-Ginger Shrimp Ceviche
Salt Cod Brandade (Baccala/Bacalao)

Main Dishes
Chipotle Pork Posole Stew
Dover Sole (or Tilapia) "Meuniere"
Tenderloin Filet Au Poivre
Easy Summer Grilled Pizza
Aglio, Olio e Peperoncino con Gamberoni, Zest and Body!

Soup & Sides
Famous NET MAN Steamed Broccoli
Perfect & Easy Tuscan White Bean Soup
Bacon Mustard Brussel Sprouts
Creamy Polenta
Crunchy Vegetarian Quinoa Tabouli

Dark and Stormy cocktail
Homemade Santa Fe Hot Cocoa Mix now with the power of chipotle
Dark Rum Egg Nog

Apple Scone Cobbler
Nina's Birthday Cardamom Peach Cobbler
Italian Semifreddo Cassata
Rich & Dark Pecan Pie
Easy No-Bake Chocolate Pots de Creme
Moistest German Chocolate Cake
Christmas Morning Bacon Doughnuts
Paste di Meliga (Italian Cornmeal Cookies)
Even More Foolproof Vodka Pie Crust
Ginger Pecan Pie