Tag Archives: rice vinegar

Roasted Garden Panzanella Pasta

I tried to get the essentials into the title—roasting, garden harvest, classic panzanella, and pasta. From the garden, I’m roasting tomatoes and green beans. My husband doesn’t care for tomatoes, but he tends the garden—sometimes you have to eat what you sow. The green beans are meant to draw him into the dish. I’m going to roast the bread cubes, as well, instead of toasting the bread in a skillet. Then it’s just a matter of making the right dressing and tossing it all with pasta and cheese curds. I know mozzarella is traditional, but I’m in love with Yancey’s Fancy® Fresh Cheddar Cheese Curds, and I think they will be perfect.

I’m going to use rice vinegar in the dressing, because it’s the mildest of the vinegars. I’m also going to seed the tomatoes before roasting and add all that liquidy stuff to the dressing, straining out the tomato seeds. But olive oil will be the star. The bread cubes, green beans, and tomatoes will all be tossed with extra virgin olive oil before roasting, and then some more will be in the final dressing.

I’m roasting more ingredients than I will use, but nothing is lost. The extra roasted tomatoes, beans, and bread cubes, will probably end up in lunches or snacks.

Roasted Garden Panzanella Pasta

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cubed crusty bread, such as from a batard or baguette—I toasted the whole loaf, but only used 2 cups in the dish
  • enough tomatoes to make about 1.5-2 cups—use any type of tomato; mine were Early Girls, the first to ripen here. I roasted 10 tomatoes, but used only 4 in the dish.
  • 1.5 cups fresh green beans
  • 4 oz. pasta cooked according to package directions—I used whole wheat penne
  • 6 oz. cheese curds—mine were fresh cheddar, which is much more mild than aged cheddar
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil for dressing
  • 4-6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil for roasting vegetables
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar or other mild vinegar
  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely grated
  • salt & pepper

Preparation

Preheat oven to 425º; line 2-3 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

  1. Bread: Toss bread cubes in large bowl with 2-3 tablespoons olive oil—I used 3 for the whole loaf—don’t overdo it. Spread on one of the baking sheets and toast in oven for about 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove and set aside 2 cups for the dish.
  2. Vegetables: Core and seed the tomatoes, reserving the tomato seeds and pulp for the dressing—I had about 1 cup of liquid from the tomatoes. Place the halved tomatoes, cut side up, on one of the lined baking sheets. Drizzle with olive oil. Salt and pepper.
  3. Toss the green beans with about 2 tablespoons olive oil. Spread on the second lined sheet; salt and pepper.
  4. Roast the vegetables on separate racks in the oven, about 15 minutes for the green beans and about 30 minutes for the tomatoes. I like a little caramelization on the tomatoes.
  5. Dressing: In bowl with reserved tomato seeds and pulp, add the 3/4 cup olive oil and vinegar. Whisk until combined, then pour through strainer to remove seeds—whisking helps to separate the gel from the seeds before you strain them out. Whisk in garlic. Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add more oil or vinegar to taste.
  6. Panzanella: In large bowl toss pasta, bread, vegetables, and cheese with dressing until well coated. Set aside and allow the dressing to be absorbed by all the ingredients. Serve at room temperature.

We also had a roasted pork tenderloin, but that was really just a bonus for the gardener, who did eat a few of the tomatoes.

Pork Tenderloin: Two Spanish Dishes

I had one of those packages of two pork tenderloins, about 3 pounds, and I didn’t feel like just using one and freezing the other, because I’m all about the cook once, eat twice way of cooking when I can, so I can do other things, like finish the pirate costume for my granddaughter that you can read about on my sewing blog. I almost didn’t get to the second meal on this trip, though, as the first dinner was so good, my husband went back for more. But it’ll work out because the second dinner is one where a smaller amount of meat can be stretched.

The first meal was Spanish-Style Pork Kabobs from the Weber Grilling site, without the onion and peppers, and substitutes of rice vinegar for sherry vinegar and ground chipotle for cayenne. I think I cut my chunks a little larger than the original, but the important thing was the marinade, which set up the meat for the second meal of Spanish Rice. Sometimes it’s hard to find marinades or sauces for grilling that aren’t sweet, but this one scores on that point. In addition, it has that splash of vinegar that brightens up a spicy dish.

You can follow the link above for the specifics, but it’s really just 3 steps: marinate, skewer, and grill. Here are the ingredients for the marinade, with my substitutions:

  • ⅓ cup finely chopped parsley
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced or grated
  • ¼ teaspoon ground chipotle pepper

The second meal is a Spanish Rice made with tomatoes from our garden, roasted poblano peppers from our friend Greg, and the remaining grilled pork, shredded. Spanish rice is one of those dishes that is often simply an accompaniment to a meal, but it becomes a main dish with the addition of meat. Technically a Mexican recipe, not a version of the Spanish Paella, I’m going to slip in a pinch of saffron for a nod to that famous Spanish dish. The marinade used for the pork kabobs has the flavors I’m looking for, but there won’t be enough on the cooked meat to flavor the rice, so I’ll be adding a little more of some of the original marinade ingredients.

Spanish Rice with Pork Tenderloin

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

The time depends on the kind of rice you use and how quickly it cooks.

12 oz cooked pork tenderloin, shredded (about 1-2 cups)

2-3 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

1 cup long grain rice (mine was Jasmine), rinsed

about 8 small-medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and pulsed in a food processor

1 tablespoon garlic, minced or grated

3 roasted poblano peppers, peeled and seeded

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 pinch saffron threads

1 teaspoon salt

chicken stock to make about 2 1/2 cups of liquid with the tomatoes

  1. Rinse and drain the rice and set aside to dry a bit.
  2. Heat olive oil in large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Saute onions until translucent, then add rice and continue sauteing and stirring until the rice is well coated with oil and crackling in the pan.
  3. Add tomatoes, mashing them in the pan as they heat. Cook the tomatoes until all the water evaporates or is absorbed by the rice. This gives the rice a head start in cooking.
  4. Stir in the garlic, peppers, and spices.
  5. Stir in the shredded pork.
  6. Add enough chicken stock to make about 2 1/2 cups total liquid. In the end, I used about 1 1/2 cups chicken stock before the rice was done.
  7. Cover and simmer until the rice is done, which could be anywhere from 15 to 45 more minutes, depending on your rice. I have had rice that will not cooperate, so I’m not going to be too prescriptive about the time here. I don’t know how or why it works, but if you have exhausted the cooking time and your rice is not tender, turn off the heat and let it steam, covered, for 15 minutes and it will usually be done.

Asian-Marinated Country Style Ribs

Although this is another slow-cooked grill recipe, you could certainly make it in the oven in a roasting pan or even in a slow cooker. I just needed a change from my usual rub flavors of chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, and brown sugar. I still want the same tender, pulled pork in the end, but I’ll combine it with some Napa cabbage in a tortilla for a kind of fusion soft taco, drizzled with a honeyed hot sauce.

This marinade is wet, but thick, so it sticks to the meat better during the long cooking process.

Asian-Marinated Country Style Ribs

  • Servings: makes about 8 tortillas
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Set up grill for indirect heat. I used the snake charcoal method to keep the heat between 250°-300° for at least 3 hours.

  • 3 lbs country style pork ribs—these are cut from the pork shoulder and may or may not have bones
  • Marinade:
    • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
    • 2 tablespoons grated ginger
    • 2 large garlic cloves, grated
    • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, unsweetened
    • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
    • 1 tablespoon Asian hot sauce, like sriracha or chili-garlic sauce
  • Napa cabbage, thinly sliced
  • tortillas, fajita or soft taco size
  • Drizzling sauce: 2 tablespoons Asian hot sauce, like sriracha or chili-garlic sauce; 2 tablespoons honey; 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  1. Combine marinade ingredients and pour over ribs in large zippered plastic bag. Marinate for at least 2 hours, turning occasionally.
  2. Place ribs on pre-heated grill over drip pan. Cook with lid closed for about 3 hours or until tender.
  3. Shred ribs into bit-sized pieces.
  4. Serve on tortilla with Napa cabbage, drizzled with hot honey sauce.

Cook ALL the Chicken!

Okay, so I miscalculated how much time the giant package of chicken thighs and the over 7 lb roasting chicken needed to thaw in the refrigerator, and instead of it falling on two consecutive days, it arrived all at once today. Obviously, we can’t eat it all in one day, but cooking it all is not that big a deal. I simply roasted the thighs this morning with a little olive oil and salt & pepper and will remove the meat to use in some kind of casserole or pot pie, although that crispy skin might be a lunchtime snack. One future meal with the hard part done:

The roasting chicken is what I intended to cook today, so that’s going as planned. I spatchcocked the roaster and it’s sitting in a simple marinade (thank you Martha Stewart) until later this afternoon when it goes on the grill. I find the large roasters to be a little too big to work well in my Weber® chicken roasting slash beer can cooking device, so spatchcocking works best. As long as you have a good pair of kitchen shears, cutting out the backbone is easy, and that’s really the only hard part. Here’s a good video of how to do it:

Here’s what my large bird looked like after spatchcocking and then with a marinade:

Advice varies about how to place these birds on the grill and how long to cook them. Direct or indirect heat, skin side up or down? Here’s a good (and long) discussion of all the issues: http://www.seriouseats.com/2012/08/the-food-lab-how-to-grill-a-whole-chicken.html Because this is a big bird, I want to make sure the thighs are done before I turn over the skin side to get charred and crispy, so I’m using a two heat setup where the bird will cook over indirect heat until almost done, and then be flipped on the skin side over direct heat to get crispy and finish cooking. As with all whole birds, you want the dark meat done, but you don’t want the breasts overdone and dry. It’s the same dilemma you have when you oven roast a bird for the holidays. Wish me luck.

It went well, but it took longer than I thought it might because of the size of the bird. It took about 30 minutes over indirect heat for the breast to come to 110° but then it took just as long or a little longer over direct heat for both the breast and thighs to be done. Still, it all came out juicy and the skin was crispy.

You’ll notice that I did put two short skewers through the thighs, which made it easy to turn and move around, and may have helped increase the temperature in the thighs. So here are the basics of this method:

  1. Spatchcock the chicken by removing the backbone and flattening at the breastbone.
  2. Rub with a marinade and let sit, covered in the refrigerator for 2-4 hours.
  3. Set up grill for two heat zones, direct and indirect. I used a full chimney of briquettes.
  4. Insert skewers through the thighs and breast end.
  5. When the grill grate is hot and cleaned, lay the chicken, skin side up, over indirect heat and close the cover. Cook for about 20-30 minutes depending on the size of your bird, checking that the breast temperature is at least 110°.
  6. Turn the chicken skin side down over the direct heat side of the grill, close the cover and cook until the breast registers about 145° and the thighs about 160°.

Most of the advice I see has you turning the bird only once, but do what you think you need to do.