Jun 15, 2014

Oven ROASTING!

Honey Glazed Roast Duck
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Roasting is a simple way to prepare meat and vegetables. Originally, roasting meant putting a chunk of meat on a spit and setting it over an open fire, and turning it frequently so that the fire seared and cooked the entire cut of meat. Now, most of us do our roasting in a conventional or convection oven.

When you roast something, you are cooking it with dry heat. The heat surrounds the food, cooking it from the outside in. Roasting is different from steaming or braising where you add moisture to the food. For instance, a pot roast is actually a braised dish, because you add moisture and cover it to moisten and tenderize the food. Roast beef, on the other hand, is cooked without adding moisture.

Roasting is a good cooking method for large, tender cuts of beef, pork, lamb or venison. It’s also a great way to cook poultry and fish. You can roast vegetables, too, especially if you roast them alongside the meat. The best vegetables for roasting are starchy root vegetables. You can roast firm fruits, like pineapple, mango, apples, pears and tomatoes, too.

The first step in roasting is that you need an oven and you need to be able to regulate the oven’s temperature. That sounds pretty standard, but not all ovens deliver heat accurately. You should check your oven to make sure you are cooking at the right temperature. The way to do this is buy a oven thermometer. You can buy one on Amazon.com for $5.10. This Cooper-Atkins brand oven thermometer is one of the best.

You also need a roasting pan. The roasting pan should be shallow—2 - 3 inches deep—and plenty large enough for your food. The best roasting pans have heavy, flat bottoms so that you can put them on a burner to deglaze the drippings after you take the roast out. You can spend a lot of money on roasting pans, but for about $30 you can buy this one from Amazon.com, with a removable rack to hold the meat up out of the drippings.

Taylor Instant read meat thermometer
One of the most important things to have in your kitchen is an instant read meat thermometer, which is different than an oven thermometer in that it has a point that you stick into the meat to tell what it's internal temperature is. These little thermometers are a must have in your kitchen. Amazon.com carries the Taylor brand for just $6.58. Most cookbooks contain some kind of chart telling you how long to roast things, but if you use a meat thermometer, you can tell exactly what the internal temperature is. That way you will know that the meat is done through to the center and that it is safe to eat. If you use a meat thermometer, it’s nearly impossible not to turn out a perfect dinner. Roasting is a wonderful way to cook food. Here are a few recipes to try:

Honey Glazed Roast Duck
Ingredients:
1 (5 to 6-pound*) duck (available at Misaki's grocery store here on Moloka'i)
2 cups boiling-hot water
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon ground ginger

Ingredients for honey glaze:
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup molasses
3 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon Sriracha chili sauce, or to your taste

Procedure:
Put oven rack in the middle position and preheat oven to 425˚F. Tuck wing tips under bird (see photo above). Remove excess fat from body cavity and neck, then rinse duck. Score skin with knife, in a criss-cross pattern, then prick skin all over with a sharp fork. Rub duck with salt, pepper and ground ginger. Fold neck skin under body, then put duck, breast side up, on a rack in a 13 x 9 x 3-inch roasting pan. Pour boiling water into pan. Roast duck, 40 minutes, then remove from oven. Turn duck over using 2 wooden spoons, and roast 40 minutes more.

Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan, combine and simmer glaze, stirring until it gets thick and syrupy. Turn duck over again (breast side up), tilting duck to drain any liquid from cavity into pan. Glaze duck all over (top and bottom) and continue to roast duck until it is a beautiful mahogany color, about 20 minutes more (total roasting time: about 1 hour and 40 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 180˚F). Tilt duck to drain any more liquid from cavity into pan. Transfer duck to a cutting board, cover with foil, and let rest 15 minutes before carving. Discard liquid in roasting pan. Serve duck with a mixture of wild and brown rice, sautéed beet greens, and a nice red wine like pinot noir. Makes 4 servings.

*Note: Allow at least 1 pound of duck per person, as there is a rather large ratio of fat and bone to meat.

Roasted Pineapple-Watercress Salad
Ingredients:
1/2 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons honey
1 medium ripe pineapple, peeled, cored, cut lengthwise into 8 wedges
2 bunches of watercress
4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
salt and pepper to taste
4 tablespoons pistachio or toasted macadamia nuts

Procedure:
Preheat oven to 450˚F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Stir first 3 ingredients in a large bowl until sugar dissolves. Add pineapple; toss to coat. Let marinate, tossing occasionally, for 10 minutes. Place pineapple, one flat side down, on prepared sheet; reserve marinade.

Roast pineapple for 15 minutes. Turn, brush with marinade, and roast until tender and caramelized, 10-15 minutes, let cool. Divide watercress among salad plates and drizzle remaining marinade over watercress. Now sprinkle lime juice over the watercress and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Place two pineapple wedges on top of each plate of watercress. Sprinkle with pistachio nuts and serve. Makes 4 servings.

Whole Roasted Opakapaka with Salsa Verde
Opakapaka is a white fish similar to red snapper or sea bass, found in Hawaiian waters.

Ingredients:
2 bunches cilantro
2 bunches scallions
2 jalapeño peppers
1/4 cup drained capers, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 limes
1/2 cup plus 8 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
black pepper
4 whole fish, like opakapaka, 1 to 1 1/2 pounds each, cleaned, head on or off
3 teaspoons coarse kosher salt.

Procedure:
To make the salsa: Coarsely chop 2/3 cup of cilantro leaves and transfer to a bowl. Thinly slice 2/3 cup of the dark green scallion tops and add to the bowl, reserving the bottoms. Seed and finely chop one of the jalapeños and add it to the bowl. Stir in the capers and garlic. Finely grate in the zest of 1 lime and squeeze in its juice. Stir in 1/2 cup oil. Season with black pepper. Cover and let stand until ready to use.

Heat the oven to 450˚F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Pat each fish dry and coat with 2 teaspoons oil. Generously season the outside and cavity of each fish with the salt and black pepper. Transfer fish to the prepared baking sheet. Thinly slice the remaining 2 limes and seed and slice the other jalapeño pepper. Divide the lime slices, jalapeño slices, remaining cilantro sprigs and scallion bottoms among each fish cavity. Bake until fish is just opaque and flakes when pressed gently with a fork, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve fish with salsa verde on top or alongside. Makes 4 servings.

Hawaii Roasted Mahi Mahi-Shrimp Stew
Ingredients:
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons tamari sauce or soy sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 lemon, juice of
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
1 large green bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 pound mahi-mahi, cut into large chunks
1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp

Procedure:
Preheat oven to 450°F. Combine oil, tamari, salt and lemon juice in a small bowl to make a marinade.

In a large baking dish, combine onions, red bell peppers, green bell peppers and garlic with half of the marinade. Set aside to let marinate at room temperature for about 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine mahi-mahi and shrimp with remaining marinade. Cover and refrigerate for about 20 minutes.

Bake vegetables until just tender, about 20 minutes, then remove from oven. Add mahi-mahi and shrimp to baking dish with vegetables and toss gently to combine. Return to oven and cook until shrimp are curled and mahi-mahi is opaque, about 10 minutes more. Serve immediately with brown rice and snow peas. Makes 4 servings.

Honey Glazed Roasted Cornish Game Hens
Ingredients:
1 cornish game hen, halved lengthwise
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup ketchup

Procedure:
Preheat oven to 400˚F. Season hen halves with salt and pepper. Place game hen halves with skin sides up into a 9x13-inch roasting pan. Roast hens in the preheated oven until partially cooked, 30 minutes.

Mix orange juice concentrate, honey, and ketchup in a saucepan; bring to a boil and cook until syrup consistency, 5 to 10 minutes. Brush mixture over hens; continue roasting, basting every ten minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, near the bone reads 180˚F, 20 to 25 more minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving with wild rice. Makes 2 servings.

Fresh Green Beans Roasted with
Mushrooms and Sweet Red Bell Pepper
Ingredients:
1 pound fresh green beans or Asian long beans cut 3" long
6 cloves garlic, rough cut
1 cup oyster mushrooms, cut in half
1/2 cup thinly sliced sweet red bell pepper
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup toasted sesame seeds for garnish

Procedure:
Toss green beans with garlic, mushrooms, red bell pepper, 1/4 cup water and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Put on a baking sheet, making sure to spread everything out in a single layer). Roast at 450˚F until the beans are tender and slightly charred, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds. Makes 4 to 6 servings. Note: Use any mushroom you like.

Purple Sweet Potatoes Roasted 
with Garlic and Rosemary
The Hawaiian island of Moloka'i is famous for their purple sweet potatoes (sometimes called blue Peruvian potatoes). The color of these potatoes makes this a unique side dish, and it's a delicious combination of flavors. Serve the roasted potatoes with grilled or broiled meat, chicken, or fish.

Ingredients:
1 pound purple potatoes
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
2 cloves minced garlic
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped parsley for garnish

Procedure:
Preheat oven to 450˚F. Wash/lightly scrub purple potatoes and pat dry. Slice each potato into quarters and place in a bowl. Sprinkle with rosemary and garlic, then drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss to coat.
Arrange the wedges facing up on the cookie sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until edges are brown and crisp and fork tender. Do not over bake or leave the potatoes in the oven longer than the baking time or they'll shrink. Serve sprinkled with chopped parsley. Makes 2 servings. Note: line cookie sheet with aluminum foil and a spray of nonstick cooking spray for easier cleanup later.

Roasted Mango with Honey and Lime
Ingredients:
2 large ripe mango
4 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
4 tablespoons honey

Procedure:
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Remove the skin from the mango and slice it in half. Remove the pit. Place the mango, hollow side up, in a baking dish. Drizzle the mango halves, 1 tablespoon each, with lime juice and then honey. Bake the mango 10 minutes, or until the mango is lightly caramelized. Transfer the roasted mango halves into 4 dessert bowls while they are still warm, and top with sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Makes 4 servings.
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