Northwest weather can be unpredictable, so be ready for it with meals that work well whether it's warm or cold. Main Market's Josh Diogo uses the best and freshest ingredients for the best results. He likes Pure Country Pork from Moses Lake and salmon from Thunder's Catch in Sandpoint.
Both of these meals are versatile, and the proteins can be served over rice or as a handheld (try topping with slaw), and they also work well as leftovers.
- 5 pounds boneless pork shoulder
- 1 quart chicken or vegetable broth (to nearly cover pork)
- 8 cloves garlic, peeled and mashed
- 2-inch piece of peeled ginger, left whole
- Two 6-inch stalks of lemongrass, mashed
- ½ cup soy sauce (or for gluten-free, use tamari)
- Olive oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Chop the pork into two-inch cubes.
Pour a little olive oil into a deep-sided, oven-safe pot and sear the pork on all sides over medium-high heat.
Add ginger, garlic and lemongrass, and cook for 2-3 minutes or until you can smell the aromatics.
Add stock to nearly cover the pork and bring to a simmer.
Cover the pot, and place in oven to braise for 1½ to 2 hours or until pork is falling apart.
Remove ginger and lemongrass. Add soy sauce to taste and stir.
- 1 cup mayonnaise (or vegan substitute)
- 1 tablespoon sambal (also known as sambal oelek), a Thai chili paste available in most groceries
- 1 tablespoon honey or agave
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- ½ head green cabbage, quartered and thinly sliced
- ½ head red cabbage, quartered and thinly sliced
Combine ingredients for dressing.
Just prior to serving, add dressing to cabbage, and mix so that cabbage stays crisp.
Lomi Lomi Salmon
- ½ pound salmon, deboned and skinned
- ½ cup kosher salt (do not use other types of salt as they will not cure the fish properly)
- ¼ cup white sugar
- 1 tomato, seeded and diced
- 3 scallions, thinly slice on the bias
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- Soy sauce to taste
Do-ahead: Mix sugar and salt and coat the salmon in it, pressing the dry mix into the flesh. Wrap the salmon tightly in plastic, and leave in the refrigerator overnight to "cure" it.
Rinse the cured salmon under cold water. It should have become firmer and a darker red color. Pat dry.
Dice the cured, rinsed salmon into 1/2 inch pieces.
Put into a bowl and add the tomato, scallion, and sesame oil. Mix and taste, adding soy sauce if it needs salt.
Portable Picnic Essentials
In a year when curbside pickup became the norm for those still wanting to feast on their favorite restaurant foods, we've learned to love dining out — as in outdoors. To make your takeout an al fresco delight, here is our recommended equipment list.
- Folding chairs, ideally with a drink holder
- Cutting board, which can double as a temporary tabletop
- A knife (wrapped in a thick towel, which can be used for cleaning up)
- Serving spoons and real flatware because those plastic utensils just don't cut it
- Sturdy, reusable, deeper-sided plastic plates and bowls. Seriously, have you ever tried to balance a Styrofoam container on your lap and not spilled something or poked through it with a knife?
- Container of water for rinsing, cleaning up, etc.
- Disinfectant wipes
- Cloth napkins — they are durable and can double as covers for food or help with cleanup
- Trashbag, and extra bags for wrapping up leftovers and things that need to be washed
- Empty lidded plastic containers (for leftovers)
- Bottle opener or Leatherman-type tool
- Seasonings you'd typically use at home — such as salt and pepper, hot sauce, packets of sauces — stored in a plastic container
- Tall, sturdy reusable glasses appropriate for whatever beverages you'll be drinking
- Reusable shopping bags
- Thermal bag (to keep hot foods hot)
- A lidded tub to store it all can double as a table
- And, if you're wanting to add a little romance, consider battery-powered candles and a tablecloth.
— CARRIE SCOZZARO