Once I started roasting vegetables, whether on the grill or in the oven, it became my preference. Roasting brings out natural sweetness while keeping crispness and sometimes adding a little char. In the winter, I’m not really in the mood for cold veggies, so I didn’t see why slaw had to be cold. I like cooked cabbage, but the trick for a cooked slaw is to keep it slightly crisp, and roasting can do that for you.
This slaw can be eaten warm or cold, as long as you stick to a dressing with no fats that will congeal on chilling. That means that bacon/bacon fat—which would be great in a warm slaw—might not work with cold leftovers. My dressing here only uses fruit juices for the acid, so it’s not as tart as a vinegar based dressing. As far as uses go, it would be good as a side dish or on any sandwich where you would use a traditional cold slaw. You can see it below on a fried fish sandwich with my Everything Sauce.
Mine is a simple slaw of cabbage and carrots, but you could add bits of any vegetable or fruit that would not become watery or mushy.
Preheat oven to 400º; line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- 3-4 cups cabbage, sliced or coarsely grated—1 small head
- 2 carrots, grated
- Extra-virgin olive oil for roasting—enough to drizzle over all on the sheet pan
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon mashed roasted garlic
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1 tablespoon lime juice, with zest if you have the actual lime in hand
- I tablespoon honey—you really have to taste to see how sweet you want it
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Spread the shredded cabbage and carrots on the baking sheet. It will be about 1/2″ thick, but you will toss it halfway through the roasting. Drizzle with olive oil—I think I used at least 1/4 cup. Sprinkle with kosher salt and coarse black pepper.
- Roast for about 20 minutes, then lightly toss with tongs to expose more of the vegetables to charring. Roast for another 15 minutes or until it reaches your desired doneness. Lift the parchment paper and pour the vegetables into a large bowl.
- Whisk the dressing ingredients—garlic, orange juice, lime juice, honey, and olive oil—until emulsified. Pour over the vegetables and toss. Add more salt to taste.
- Serve warm or cold or both.
A snowy cold January Sunday seemed like a good day to have the oven on for eight hours.
I usually make pulled pork in a slow-cooker (about 5-6 hours on high), but was in the mood for some crispy pork to put in wraps with a little sweet potato hash. I followed this recipe from Serious Eats, which also allowed me to use that nice big baking sheet and rack that I used for the Thanksgiving spatchcocked turkey, and the recipe couldn’t be any simpler to follow—just an oven temperature + a length of time + a little salt and pepper. Unlike the original recipe, I used the top or butt portion of the shoulder, not the picnic portion with the shank bone, so I’m guessing my 8 lb shoulder, with just a blade bone, had more meat on it. Neither did I use a shoulder with the skin attached, which I don’t really want, but it had a good fat cap that turned out nice and crispy by the end of the cooking time.
I wanted something different than the common barbecue sauces, and decided on some oven-roasted sweet potato hash. It was a good call.
I did make a drizzling sauce of chipotles in adobo sauce whizzed up in the blender with honey and a little olive oil. Just a little of that goes a long way, but it was an interesting flavor alongside the sweet potatoes. Be sure to get a close up view of the roasted pork below and notice how much leftover pork we have!
Roasting pan and rack
You can see the blade bone here
Crispy and tender
Another nice view
Wrapped with sweet potatoes
Some people get two or three
I still have all this leftover!
Slow-Roasted Pork Shoulder and Sweet Potato Hash
Preheat oven to 250°; place a sheet of parchment paper over rack on rimmed baking pan.
- 1 pork shoulder, about 8 lbs, either the butt or picnic cut will do; get one with the skin on if you like that
- salt and pepper
- 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 2 medium onions, halved then sliced
- olive oil for tossing vegetables
- Optional: your favorite herbs for tossing vegetables
- Optional: tortillas, shredded lettuce, sauce
- Preheat oven at around 7:30 A.M.
- Salt and pepper the roast all over and place roast on parchment on roasting rack.
- Place roast in oven at 8:00 A.M. and set timer for 8 hours. It will be done at 4:00 P.M.
- Remove roast and loosely cover with foil while you make the potatoes.
- Raise oven temperature to 400°; meanwhile toss diced potatoes and onion with olive oil to coat. Add herbs if desired.
- Spread potatoes and onions on parchment-lined baking pan and sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper. Bake for about 30-40 minutes until browned and beginning to get crispy.
- Alternatively you could cook the hash in a cast iron skillet.
- Shred the meat with forks, trying not to eat all the crispy edges yourself.
- Pile shredded meat, potatoes, and some shredded lettuce in the tortillas of your choice. Good as is or with some drizzling sauce.
Drizzling sauce (hot): In a blender pulse until smooth, 1 small can chipotles in adobo sauce, 2-3 tablespoons honey, 2 teaspoons olive oil. You can adjust taste with salt and a splash of vinegar—I did.
Ted brought back a steelhead trout the last time he was out fishing for walleye on Lake Erie, even though he wants no part of eating salmon or their cousins—he says they’re fishy, but I think he probably just had a bad experience. So, I’m having the steelhead and taking out a small walleye for him—mine on the grill; his baked in the oven.
He skinned the steelhead, so I can’t rely on skin acting as a barrier to sticking on the grill. I’ll have to be careful, making sure the grill is hot and well-oiled, and then watch for that perfect moment to flip. I’m going to use a marinade with soy and brown sugar, so that may add a little layer of protection or it may act like glue—who knows?
But let’s start with the walleye. I’m using a mayonnaise base in which to briefly marinate the fish; then it gets coated with panko bread crumbs. It creates a light crispy coating with a delicate, moist fish inside. The easiest part is that you just bake it, so there’s no messy, splattering oils to clean up afterward.
Here are the two fish after marinating for an hour in the fridge and the walleye with the panko crumbs waiting to go into the oven. You can see how neat the walleye look with the panko pressed in all around; there’s no mayo leaking out:
The walleye only need to bake for about 10-15 minutes in a hot oven or until they start to brown. The steelhead fillets, which are much thinner than a salmon steak, grill up in about 5 minutes and didn’t stick at all today—just don’t try to flip them more than once.
Yes, he likes to eat off those cheap Corelle® plates and I prefer the heavier Fiesta® ones, but I have my eye on new dinnerware that we could both like.
Baked Walleye with Panko
For two fillets:
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1-2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
*I don’t like to over season the fish, but you can certainly add your favorite seasonings to the mayo mixture.
- In a glass dish that will hold your fillets without overlapping, spread the mayo mixture over each fillet. Turn and cover the other side.
- Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
Panko Crust and Baking
- Preheat oven to 425°; line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place about 2 cups unseasoned panko crumbs on a paper towel or in a shallow dish. You could use seasoned crumbs or add seasoning, but I find it unnecessary.
- Carefully place fillets in crumbs, pressing crumbs into the mayo all around. You can’t avoid breading your fingers, but it all works out.
- Place each fillet on parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Bake at 425° for about 10-15 minutes or until crumbs are browning.
Grilled Steelhead with Honey-Soy Marinade
In the summer, I usually throw together marinades on the run with what’s available, often with orange juice and ginger and soy, but today I borrowed a good recipe from Betty Crocker that is usually made with salmon: “Grilled Salmon with Honey-Soy Marinade.” I changed the preparation a little.
- 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 clove garlic, minced or garlic paste
- Mix all ingredients in a small bowl.
- Place in microwave to melt butter—my microwave button for that runs for 25 seconds.
- Whisk the warmed ingredients to dissolve the brown sugar, then set aside to cool. Do not put a warm marinade on the fish.*
- Pour the room temperature marinade over the fish in a shallow glass dish. Turn to coat.
- Cover dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
- Bring to room temperature before grilling.
- Set up grill for medium-high heat, about 400°; clean grill grate when hot.
- Mop grate generously with olive or vegetable oil just before grilling the fish.
- Place the fillets on the grill; turn after 2-3 minutes with a large, fine-edged turner. Grill for another 2 minutes.
*Leave a small amount of marinade in a separate bowl for basting, if you like.
First, about the difference between a brine and a marinade. The brine need only be salt and water—a lot of salt—and the brine period is long, to allow the salt to penetrate. A brine will keep your meat moist and tender. A marinade uses salt, too, but the focus is on the flavors it adds to the surface of meat. Marinating can be as short as 30 minutes and as long as several hours. I guess you could brine something overnight and then put it in a marinade prior to cooking. Anyway, I usually try to combine the two processes by using a good amount of salt plus a lot of flavoring ingredients—that’s why I often use the brine/marinade designation in my recipes.
After making ribs with a dry rub earlier this spring and lamenting how much sugar was in typical barbecue sauce, I took the advice of a reader to try fruit juice instead of those added sugars, resulting in the next batch of ribs I wrote about making for Memorial Day. In that recipe, I used both an overnight brine/marinade, and a glaze during the grilling. Here are those two recipes again:
Orange-Asian Brine/Marinade and Glaze
- 2 cups orange juice
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup kosher salt
- 1 -2 tablespoons grated garlic
- 1-2 tablespoons grated ginger
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
Combine all ingredients and pour over ribs in large glass dish or in sealable plastic bags. I cut my rack in half and put each half in a plastic bag, dividing the marinade between them. Marinate in the refrigerator overnight, removing from refrigerator about 1/2 hour before cooking.
Orange-Asian Grilling Glaze:
- 2 cups orange juice, reduced over medium-high heat to 1 cup
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 heaping teaspoon Huy Fong Vietnamese Chili Garlic sauce
After orange juice is reduced by half, remove to a measuring cup, then stir in other ingredients. Use to baste the ribs every 15 minutes on the grill.
So, then I still had a ton of orange juice left, because I bought the gallon jug. Next I used it in a brine for a whole chicken, which was roasted on the grill, in beer-can fashion, on my Weber chicken roaster component. It’s a much simpler recipe:
- 3 bottles (36 oz) beer—mine was Yuengling
- 36 oz orange juice
- 6 tablespoons kosher salt
Mix ingredients in smallest bowl or container that will hold your chicken. I used my 6 qt. stainless steel stockpot. Brine in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours—I went 36 hours. Remove the chicken 30 minutes prior to roasting to come to room temperature, seasoning the chicken with any sort of flavorings or rubs.
I still had plenty of orange juice left, so I marinated a pork tenderloin for about 6 hours, before cooking it indoors in a cast iron skillet. The honey in this marinade creates a nice glazed surface in the browning. As usual, I finish a pork tenderloin in the oven after browning.
- 2 cups orange juice
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Because of the shorter marinating time, I dissolved the salt in the honey and 1/2 cup of the orange juice over low heat. Then this mixture needs to cool in the refrigerator or freezer before adding to the rest of the orange juice. I used a sealable plastic bag for the marinating process.
Lastly, using up just about the rest of the orange juice, I marinated some skinless pheasant breasts in an orange-beer marinade, before cooking them on the grill. This was similar to my brine for a whole chicken, but less salty.
1 bottle (12 oz) beer—mine was Yuengling
2 cups orange juice
2 tablespoons grated or minced garlic
2 tablespoons kosher salt
Mix all the ingredients and add to a sealable plastic bag with about 2 pounds of boneless poultry. Marinate for 2-3 hours.