Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Pork Bolognese

Bolognese is the classic Italian Meat Sauce that is great with almost any pasta.

It is made with "soffrito" - onion, celery, and carrot -which Italians would call a mirepoix. This combined with some great ground pork, and garlic, and finished with a great pasta make a classic dish.

Ingredients:

10 Ounces Ground Pork
4 Cloves of Garlic
1 Carrot
1 Stalk Celery
1 Yellow Onion
1 Bunch Parsley
50 g of Tomato Paste (about 2 ounces)
1/4 cup of Grated Parmesan Cheese

Prep

Peel and mince the Garlic
Peel and small dice the Carrot
Small dice the Celery
Small dice the onion

Heat a pan to medium heat. Add Grapeseed oil and salt and pepper to taste. Break up the pork with a wooden spoon and cook until the pork is browned and cooked through.
Move the pork to a small bowl.  Don't scrape the bits off the bottom we will use those.
Reheat the pan over a medium heat. Add 1 Tablespoon of Grapeseed Oil. Take the garlic, onion, celery, and carrot and place the small diced bits into the pan. If the pan is a bit dry add some Grapeseed oil (1 tablespoon should do it).  Mix together and add salt and pepper to taste. 
Add the 2 ounces (50 grams) of tomato paste and stir in until it becomes darker

To this add 1 cup of water and add the pork

Season with salt and pepper and stir as needed. Should be thick in 4-6 minutes.
Place the al dente pasta into the mix along with 1/2 of the pasta water. Add cherry tomatoes, some parsley, and plate with Parmesan Cheese

Roasted Vegetables

Vegetables:

A roasted medley of my favorite vegetables
I remember watching my grandmother make some vegetable stew and I asked her what she was putting in the pot.  She said, "vegetables." I told her they weren't because they didn't come out of a can. 

Modern transportation means year round vegetables, but of course we have some concerns:

Should we get local?
Should we eat only organic?
What pesticides and herbicides are on our vegetables that might hurt our health?
What about food borne illness - the Chipotle experiment?

Roasting vegetables provides three major benefits to raw:


  • Cooking decreases the risk of food-borne illness
  • Cooking deactivates many pesticides and reduces pesticide residue
  • Cooking makes nutrients more bio-available

But the best benefit of roasting vegetables is -- FLAVOR.  More than boiling, blanching, or microwaving - when you roast vegetables together - especially the recipe below- it is simply delicious.

Begin with the easy one: when you cook vegetables, especially when you roast vegetables you kill the bacteria that might be on or in them. Vegetables are the third leading cause of food-borne illness in the United States. All of those have been from raw vegetables.

Pesticides, it turns out, are chemicals that are broken down by heat. So with roasting vegetables you will be removing up to 95% of the pesticides.  So heat not only breaks down the bacteria, it also breaks down some of the harmful chemicals.

While there are more vitamins in a raw vegetable than a cooked vegetable, the key is what can the human body extract from the vegetable. Multiple studies have found that when people eat cooked foods the body is better able to extract the vitamins from the vegetables.  One simple experiment had people eat raw carrots, then check a blood level of vitamin A.  Then the same would eat cooked carrots and check the blood level of vitamin A.  Turns out cooked carrots is a better source of vitamin A than raw.

That in mind - here is how to make some simple raw vegetables into a roasted medley that will delight you.

Ingredients:

A bag of mixed vegetables
1/2 of an onion
1 lemon
6 cloves of garlic
3 T Kosher salt
3 T Olive oil
1/4 cup Chicken Stock


Today you can get mixed bags of vegetables. They have it prepped for you - you just need to add a few different ingredients.  While you can microwave these - it is more tasty to oven roast them. 

You need to slice half an onion into these nice rings 

Add cloves of garlic (you can take off the paper-like coating) You can crush them or just add them straight in.

Slice a lemon like this- and add to the mix

You will need to add a lot of Kosher salt to the vegetables

Extra Virgin Olive oil (use California or Arizona not European).

Then about 1/4 inch of chicken stock

Place in the oven at 400 degrees and this should be done in 30-45 minutes.  

This is also the basis of a "vegetable trivet" that you can put beneath lamb, or chicken, or pot roast, or any meat.

These roasted vegetables are delicious- and best of all- healthy.