The Gastronomist Manifesto

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Archive for the tag “roasting”

Leftover Raddichio–Riddichoulous

Some ingredients can be tricky to work with when you have leftover portions from other dishes. Happened to me with raddichio, which is an amazing but excessively bitter green. Like all members of the lettuce family the countdown was on to use it fast or risk wilted spoilage, and I’m too poor for lost produce.

Cheap, easky and delicious solution was Balsamic Roasted Raddichio with Polenta.

Polenta cooks differently depending upon the size of the grain. But if you’re usually cooking rice or pasta don’t be surprised if the recommended time is quite high. A good, evenly cooked polenta can take up to 40 minutes on a low heat if the cut is coarse–the package you’re reading is no typo.

As your pot of polenta gets lovely, you can dress your raddichio. Cut the stem portion off but you can leave them in wedges or thick pieces.. Sorry that I’m not one to measure, but the mixture is salt, pepper, olive oil and a lot of balsamic. If you can’t gauge the appropriate amounts of these things chances are you probably shouldn’t be trying this at all. Just go easy on the salt, the rest with drip off. Set your oven to a hot 450 degrees (F) and when it heats you can pop those leaves in for about 13 minutes. Let them cool and then slice or chop them to your preference.

With the polenta… polenta is great but usually made poorly so few incorporate it as a food staple. Here’s my trick: you have to heavily season that shit. Milk, butter and salt. Start piling it in as you taste. For healthier versions go with stock and aromatics. Thing is, polenta has marvelous texture, but falls short on flavor.

I finished my lunch with a small bit of simple, store-bought marinara sauce (no shame in buying pre-made product if you use it well) and some diced red pepper and arugula for color. I sometimes go overboard with garnishing but I love color.

Oh, and I have soy milk and vegan butter substitute (I’m mainly lactose intolerant) so this was also 100% vegan. Light, simple, comforting.

Iberian Pulled Pork

The other day I made bigos, the national dish of the Polish people (pierogi be damned.) And I had this nice big steak of pork shoulder leftover that I wanted to use as soon as possible. The resulting creation…

Pork shoulder roasted/confit over yellow split/green peas and a spicy tomato sauce. A dish I think would be loved by the old comrades of the Confederacion Nacional del Trabajo.

For the Pork:

1 pork shoulder steak, bone in
seasoned vigorously with: salt, pepper, paprika (the real kind), garlic powder, fennel seed and a bay leaf or two.

1 Roma tomato, sliced
a few slices of onion
1 jalapeno, sliced

1. Preheat an oven to 250 degrees.

2. Rub pork generously with seasonings. Transfer to a sheet of tinfoil. Place tomato, onion and chili over top and fold the foil over to seal. Lay on a baking sheet and place in the oven.

3. After about 4 hours remove the package, open carefully! (steam burns!) and remove vegetables and juices from the foil packet (don’t spill!) Re-fold the foil over the pork and return to the oven for another 40 minutes. Meanwhile…

4. Add the contents of the the vegetables and juice to a small sauce pan and begin to reduce while breaking up the large pieces (the tines of a fork work perfectly.) Stop when you get to a “sauce” consistency.

5. When the time is up on the pork, remove it from the oven and let it rest AT LEAST 15-20 minutes. Once it’s rested, transfer to a plate or cutting board and begin pulling the meat into shreds (two forks, hand in hand, do this perfectly.)

THE LEGUMES

1. Cooking yellow peas, lentils or rice according to their nature. For simplicity and the health benefits of steaming, toss the green peas over the mix 10 minutes prior to the other thing being finished.

2. Season with salt, pepper and olive oil.

PRESENTATION

1. Bed of legumes/rice, shredded pork, sauce. Done.

The real great thing about this dish is it utilizes simple, cheap ingredients for the proletarian budget. Pork shoulder is one of the cheapest cuts of meat there is. Lentils and peas are pennies. Add a tomato, onion and a pepper, plus a few spices you’re likely to have, and you’re set. Did I mention this is also really easy to make?

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