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Oct 22, 2017
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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Posts Tagged ‘roasting’

Baked: Roasted Green Beans

Friday, June 23rd, 2017

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Roasted green beans are a great way to add veggies to your diet. Roasting them with some simple seasonings results in nicely charred, full flavored beans that make a great side or even just a mid-afternoon snack. Drizzle with a bit of balsamic, a strong cheese like feta or Parmesan or your favorite herbs for a final flourish. You can do this with broccoli, cauliflower or Brussels sprouts, but green beans are my personal favorite.

 

Roasted Green Beans
2 to 3 servings

1 cup balsamic vinegar
1 to 2 Tbsp. honey
1 cinnamon stick
1 lb. green beans, washed and trimmed
3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. garlic powder
Sprinkle sea salt
Sprinkle freshly ground black pepper
Handful chopped basil, for garnish

• Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
• In a small saucepan over low heat, gently reduce the balsamic vinegar, honey and cinnamon stick until the mixture is thick and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and set aside.
• Toss the green beans in a bowl with the oil until evenly coated.
• On a wide baking sheet, spread the green beans in a single layer, then evenly sprinkle them with the garlic powder, salt and pepper.
• Roast 20 minutes, until nicely charred and crisp.
• Remove to a serving plate, drizzle with 1 tablespoon balsamic reduction, garnish with basil and serve immediately.

Amrita Song is the owner and baker at Mila Sweets and blogs at Chai & Dumplings. 

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By the Book: Sean Brock’s Slow-Roasted Pork Shoulder

Saturday, December 6th, 2014

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I have a new celebrity chef crush. Ever since catching his episodes of The Mind of a Chef, Sean Brock has become my famous chef obsession. What joy, then, to have the opportunity to make a dish (four, actually) from his first cookbook, Heritage. Brock approaches heritage food and farm-to-table cooking with a sentimental, reverent curiosity and a dogged pursuit not only to cook the food of the South, but also to find the regional ingredients that give this cuisine its soul.

 

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And what could be more soulful than a slow-roasted pork shoulder with tomato gravy and roasted Vidalia onions? And by slow-roasted, I mean slooooow-roasted. Brock required me to roast this porky goodness at 250 degrees for a whopping 14 hours. To make that happen, I painted the roast with Dijon mustard, sprinkled on his spice rub, popped it in the oven and went back to bed – but not before I took this picture to prove that, yes, I did put the roast in at 4 a.m. This is the view out my front window just after the roast went in the oven.

 

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At about 3 p.m., I was afraid I would serve pork jerky for dinner. At 4 p.m., my oven actually shut itself off, as if to say, “Hello? I’ve been working for 12 hours, here. Why haven’t you managed to cook something in that amount of time?” I turned the tired oven back on and briefly celebrated the victory of man over machine.

To be honest, I did remove the roast an hour before I was supposed to, and I’m glad I did. It wasn’t jerky, but it hadn’t produced the pan drippings with which I was supposed to baste it. Still, the meat was moist and flavorful, but I’ve produced similar results without my oven going on strike.

 

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I prepared the side dishes during the last few hours of cooking: roasted baby Vidalia onions, creamed corn and tomato gravy. The roasted onions are drop-dead simple – onions, oil, herbs are wrapped in foil and put in the oven. The tomato gravy was equally easy to prepare – cornmeal toasted in melted bacon fat, squished up whole tomatoes, seasoning. Boom and done.

 

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The most amazing side by far was was the creamed corn. I’ve made creamed corn before by adding a bechamel sauce to the cooked corn, but Brock’s version calls for you to first saute half the kernals along with the shallot and garlic before adding heavy cream. Then the genius trick: that mixture is puréed in the blender and strained for a velvety smooth sauce to coat the rest of the corn. I will never make this dish the other way again. The texture and sweetness is exactly what you’d want from creamed corn. The lurid yellow may be a little off-putting to some, but trust me – it’s delicious.

Despite this marathon roasting session, I still love Sean Brock. Heritage is beautifully photographed and warmly written. The recipes are accessible for the most part and perfect for the times you want to share a bit of carefully prepared, responsibly sourced Southern food with soul.

 

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Slow-Roasted Pork with Roasted Vidalia Onions and Tomato Gravy
12 servings

2 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. kosher salt
2 Tbsp. black pepper
1 Tbsp. paprika
1 bone-in pork shoulder (also called butt; about 6 lbs.), skin removed
½ cup Dijon mustard

Onions
6 baby Vidalia onions with greens attached (about 8 oz. each)
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
6 thyme sprigs
3 garlic cloves, lightly smashed and peeled
½ tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste

Tomato Gravy
2 Tbsp. bacon fat
2 Tbsp. cornmeal, preferably Anson Mills Antebellum Fine White Cornmeal
3 cup home-canned tomatoes or canned San Marzano tomatoes
1 Tbsp. kosher salt
1 Tbsp. freshly cracked black pepper

For the pork: Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Place a rack in a roasting pan.
• Combine the brown sugar, salt, pepper and paprika in a small bowl and blend well. Using a brush, paint the top only of the pork with the mustard. Pat on the seasoning mixture. Place the pork on the rack in the pan and roast, uncovered for about 14 hours, until the meat is tender but not falling apart. Baste occasionally with the pan juices during the last hour to make glaze. Remove the pork from the oven, transfer it to a platter and let it rest for 10 minutes. Reserve the juices in the roasting pan, skimming off any fat from the top as the pork rests.
About 2 hours before the pork is done, prepare the onions: Remove the greens from the onions, slice the greens as thin as possible and reserve to use as garnish. Place the butter, thyme and garlic on a large piece of aluminum foil and top with the onions. Fold up the edges of the foil and seal to make a closed packet. Place the packet in a baking pan. Add the onions to the oven for the last 2 hours of the pork’s cooking time.
Meanwhile, for the tomato gravy: Heat the bacon fat in a large nonreactive saucepan over high heat. Stir in the cornmeal with a wooden spoon, reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring constantly until the cornmeal turns a light brown color, about 5 minutes.
• Using your hands, crush the tomatoes into bite-sized pieces, then add the tomatoes and their juices to the pan and stir to combine. Increase the heat to medium, bring the gravy to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is slightly thickened and the cornmeal is soft, about 10 minutes; be careful that it is not sticking or scorching. Add the salt and pepper. Keep warm over low heat for up to 1 hour.
To complete: Remove the onions from the oven, carefully open the packed and cut the onions into quarters. Put the onions in a dish, baste with the liquid left inside the foil and season with the salt.
• Portion the pork by gently pulling it into large chunks with a pair of tongs. Serve with the onions, creamed corn and tomato gravy. Sprinkle the pork with the reserved onion greens.

Creamed Corn
4 servings

8 ears corn, husked
1½ Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 small shallot, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 cups heavy cream
3 thyme sprigs, tied together with kitchen string
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper

• Cut the kernels from the corn; set aside. Using a box grater, scrape the “milk” from the cobs into a wide bowl; set aside.
• Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add half the corn kernels, the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the shallots and garlic have softened considerably, about 7 minutes. Add the cream, bring to a simmer and cook stirring occasionally to prevent scorching, until thickened, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat.
• Working in batches if necessary, transfer the corn mixture to a blender and blend on high until completely smooth, about 5 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve into a saucepan.
• Add the remaining corn kernels, the reserved “milk” from the cobs, the thyme and butter to the pan, bring to a simmer over medium heat and simmer until the creamed corn has thickened and the whole kernels are soft, about 10 minutes. Remove the thyme, season with salt and white pepper and serve.

Reprinted with permission from Artisan Publishing

Heritage celebrates traditional Southern cooking in all its glory. What was the best Southern meal you ever had and what made it so special? Tell us in the comments below for a chance to win a copy of Heritage.

 

 

Stocking Up on butternut squash

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

092811_ButternutOne of the first foods my daughter enjoyed as a baby was butternut squash. Now she’s 10 and has moved on to more sophisticated fare (her current obsession is with cheese from the Basque region), so whenever those elongated vegetables start showing up around local markets, I can’t help but feel a pang of nostalgia.

Judging from the plethora of butternut squash available at local farmers’ markets, I’d say that the time is now. Be sure and look for squash that’s firm and unblemished, and remember to peel them before using. This can be a bit unwieldy given their shape and texture, so use a sharp vegetable peeler and watch those fingers! Another option is to roast the squash before peeling. Slice them lengthwise, then drizzle with a little olive oil and roast, cut-side-down, at 400 degrees until tender. This can take anywhere from 20 to 50 minutes, depending on the size.

After they’re roasted, it’s a snap to peel them. As far as serving, roasted butternut squash is fine as a side dish on its own, but the possibilities multiply when you purée it. Think about a filling for ravioli, a spicy fall soup, or a creamy, vegetarian pasta sauce. You can also substitute squash for pumpkin in any bread, tart or pound cake recipe, or make it a meal for any little ones who have just made the transition to semi-solid food.

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