I really got on a roll with cooking dinners last week thanks to an article on Weeknight Sheet-Pan dinners by Rozanne Gold in the March Issue of Bon Appetit. She has a new twist on one-pot dinners that fits perfectly with the way I like to cook and eat — tons of roasted vegetables with a protein, quick and easy prep and clean-up and unlimited variations, depending on what you have available. Instead of relying on the same old, same old, I felt myself getting inspired to dream up new combinations each day and by the end of the week, we had a hard time choosing one favorite. Oh and by the way, just because this method is insanely easy, doesn’t mean it’s for weeknights only. Since I like to hang out with company rather than in the kitchen, this could be my perfect solution.
Start by washing and cutting up your vegetables. On salmon night, I used baby bok choy, kale and golden turnips from the farmers market along with Washington-grown shiitake mushrooms. Toss everything in a big bowl with oil ( I used sesame), salt & pepper. Preheat the oven to 450 and put your sheet pan in to warm it up. Meanwhile, chop up a couple cloves of garlic and a piece of peeled ginger. Put everything on the warmed-up sheet pan along with a couple salmon fillets — I use my favorite, Keta from Loki Fish. Salt & pepper the fish, sprinkle chopped garlic & ginger over everything and roast for 12 -15 minutes. I stirred the vegetables and sprinkled some sesame seeds on top after 10 minutes or so. Wasabi mayonnaise and/or soy sauce make good accompaniments. That was easy and truly delicious.
Try this marinated tofu dish for your next meatless Monday. Truthfully, I’m not a huge tofu eater but I’m happy to say that now I’ll be bringing it back into our dinner rotation. Island Spring on Vashon makes my favorite firm organic tofu and it’s widely available. One block, cut into 1/2″ slices will feed about 4 people. I started with Gold’s recipe for Citrus-Marinated Tofu with Onions & Peppers but then veered in a more Asian direction since peppers aren’t in season yet. I know cumin isn’t usually found along side soy sauce and sesame oil but it worked for me and gave the tofu lots of flavor.
Multi-Cultural Tofu Marinade
Ingredients: 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice/ 1/4 cup soy or tamari sauce/ 1/4 cup toasted sesame oil/ large clove of garlic, chopped/ 1/2 t chili garlic sauce/ 2-3 t cumin/ 1/2 t smoked paprika/ big handful chopped cilantro
Directions: Mix in small bowl/ Pour over tofu slices and let it marinate for at least 15 minutes.
While the tofu is marinating, preheat the oven to 450, put your sheet pan in to warm it up. Chop up your vegetables and toss them with oil, salt & pepper. I used a red onion, a couple of spring onions and some tender broccoli from Alm Hill Gardens. Put everything on your warmed sheet pan — the recipe says to line with foil but you don’t have to. Roast everything for about 20 or until the tofu begins to brown. I served this with some brown rice cooked in my rice cooker along with the leftover marinade.
For all you Caesar salad lovers, here’s an easy version, once again, all cooked on the same sheet pan, although in this case, you stagger the cooking times and add the romaine lettuce for the last five minutes.The crunchy panko-parmesan encrusted chicken breasts cook for about 7-10 minutes first, depending on the thickness of the chicken. I used a cutlet instead of a breast and it cooked very quickly — about 12-15 minutes total.
Parmesan Chicken with Caesar Roasted Romaine
Ingredients: 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (or cutlets)/ 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese/ 1/2 cup panko or breadcrumbs/ handful of chopped parsley/ 2 cloves garlic, chopped/ 2-4 chopped anchovy filets/ 2 hearts of romaine lettuce, halved lengthwise/ olive oil/ salt & pepper/ lemon wedges for garnish
Directions: Preheat oven to 450/ Combine cheese, panko or breadcrumbs, 2 T olive oil, parsley and 1 clove chopped garlic in bowl, season with salt & pepper/ Pat mixture onto chicken breasts and roast for 7-10 minutes, until they begin to brown/ Take the sheet pan out of the oven, put the romaine hearts on the pan, drizzle with olive oil, the 2nd chopped garlic clove, the chopped anchovies, salt & pepper/ Roast until the lettuce begins to brown and the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes/ Divide among plates and generously garnish with fresh lemon.
Many thanks to Rozanne Gold for this recipe and the others but mostly for inspiring me with her new approach to one-dish cooking. If you clean up after someone that likes to use every pan in the house, get them started on sheet-pan cooking and break yourselves a break in the kitchen.