Chef Rachael Grossman, chef-owner at Artigiano
(3302 SE Division St., 781-3040, artigianopdx.com)
Ragu, though the name's been bastardized by mass-market sauces, simply refers to any number of Italian meat sauces. Rachael Grossman makes her own fettuccine for the popular pork ragu served at her Artigiano food cart, and buys items from purveyors and farms; when you can't get it where she gets it, she recommends a store.
The Tomato Sauce:
1 large onion, minced (Springtail Farms in Southeast Portland; join its mailing list at email@example.com.)
2 carrots, minced (Springtail)
2 cloves garlic, minced (Fiddlehead Farms, at the Montavilla Farmers Market)
1 sprig rosemary (Springtail)
1 sprig sage (Springtail)
1/8 cup red wine
20 oz. can whole San Marzano tomatoes (Pastaworks; New Seasons; local co-ops)
1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil (Barbur World Foods)
Cook the onion and carrot together in a pot on low heat with butter and salt for about 20 minutes. Add garlic, rosemary and sage. Add wine and reduce for a minute. Add tomatoes and salt and pepper as needed. Cover and simmer for 2 to 4 hours. Remove herbs. Puree in a food processor, food mill or immersion blender. Taste and adjust seasonings. Finish with olive oil.
The Pork Ragu:
3 lbs. pork shoulder (Sweet Briar Farms in Eugene, available at PSU Farmers Market)
1/8 cup red wine, plus more for deglazing
1 tbsp. each of Allspice, fennel seed, salt (Stone Cottage Herbs & Spices,
1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1 sage sprig, 1 rosemary sprig (Springtail)
Tomato sauce (recipe above)
Fettucine (fresh from Pastaworks or see instructions at wweek.com)
Marinate pork with all ingredients overnight. Heat the pan with oil, and caramelize the pork on all sides. Deglaze with extra wine and transfer to a pan. Cover with foil and cook for 3 to 4 hours at 300 degrees or until the pork is falling apart and off the bone. Remove bone and herbs. Add tomato sauce and mix. There's no need to shred the pork; it will naturally fall apart.
Bring 6 qts. of water to a boil. Add salt to taste. Cook fettuccine in boiling salted water for about 3 minutes. Strain and toss the ragu with the sauce. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley (Springtail) and parmigiano reggiano (Cheese Bar; New Seasons; Trader Joe's).
Favorite place to shop: I prefer the farmers markets, and to buy directly from the farmers. Keith Cooper of Sweet Briar Farms delivers every order himself—he owns the place. He enjoys driving around and never cares if I'm ordering no more than a sole pork butt because it's raining. He comes by personally and stays to chat for a while. Echo of Springtail Farms is the same way when he comes to my house. They offer a real human connection and personal relations that I admire. (Sweet Briar is available at local farmers markets, while Springtail offers CSA opportunities.)
Favorite local items: I get excited when I get that first email saying asparagus is ready in April, meaning summer is here and you know you can stop eating copious amounts of pork and start eating what's coming straight out of the ground. By August, I'm eating sea-salt tomatoes constantly from Springtail Farms, and by fall I'm using Red Ridge Farm oils (redridgefarms.com). The fresh flavor brings me back to my days picking in Italy.
Quick and Easy Grilled Pollo Asado
Billy Schumaker, chef-founder of the former Taqueria Nueve restaurant and Food in Bloom catering (2701 NW Vaughn St., 944-6820, foodinbloom.com)
Billy Schumaker developed this recipe at the last minute before a barbecue in 1999, and he's still using it professionally 14 years later. Though he buys through purveyors, Schumaker says all ingredients here can be found at any grocery store; he encourages avoiding hormones and antibiotics, and buying local.
1 whole chicken, cut into pieces ("QFC has hormone-free chicken, which a lot of people don't know. Depending on budget, New Seasons is also good.")
7 oz. can Embasa chipotles en adobo
¾ cup white distilled vinegar or apple cider vinegar
¾ cup orange juice (fresh squeezed or store-bought)
½ cup raisins
4-5 cloves of garlic
3 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 jalapeño (or more to taste), seeded and finely diced
½ white onion, finely diced
1 bunch cilantro
Juice of 1 or 2 limes
1 package corn or flour tortillas (preferably Guerrero or La Morenita)
2-3 limes, cut into quarters
2 avocados (sliced)
30 oz. package queso fresco
Season the chicken with salt and transfer to a large bowl.
Combine the can of chipotle chilies (including adobo), vinegar, juice, raisins and garlic in a blender. Cover the chicken with the sauce and marinate 4 hours, turning once or twice to redistribute marinade over the chicken. This can be done the night before.
About 2 hours before you want to eat, light the grill and preheat it. Cook the chicken pieces over indirect heat, turning occasionally. Try to maintain a heat of approximately 300 degrees and keep the grill cover closed to concentrate the smoke. The chicken should be done in just over an hour, and reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees. When the chicken is finished grilling, transfer to a plate and cover with foil. Allow it to rest for 10 minutes.
While the chicken is cooking, make the pico de gallo. Combine the tomato, jalapeño, white onion and cilantro in a bowl. Juice 2 limes over the top, salt to taste and toss.
Serve the chicken with the pico de gallo, fresh quartered limes, grated queso fresco, and tortillas heated on the grill.
Favorite place to shop: I go through purveyors, but I like the New Seasons in Arbor Lodge. Since I've had kids, my home habits have changed; WinCo's getting a lot better produce.
Favorite local item: For junk food, Otto's sausages. I like the snap and the natural casing.
Sarah Pliner, co-chef and owner of Aviary, Willamette Week's 2012 Restaurant of the Year (1733 NE Alberta St., 287-2400, aviarypdx.com)
Aviary's Four-Cup Chicken is a play on the classic Taiwanese Three-Cup Chicken (sanbeiji), which literally uses three cups: one each for the soy sauce, rice wine and sesame oil. The fourth cup Aviary uses is tomato water (instructions provided), which adds an extra layer of umami. The chicken is served in the sauce, with taro root and wood ear mushrooms added before serving.
1 whole chicken, cut up (An Dong, page 8; Fubonn; local supermarkets)
2 cups unsalted shao xing (Most of what's imported has salt added, so it's a little cheaper; Fubonn has a wine section with unsalted shao xing, including Pavilion.)
Â½ cup soy sauce
1/3 cup sesame oil
¼ cup mirin (An Dong, Fubonn)
2 tsp. Three Crabs fish sauce (An Dong, Fubonn)
4 beefsteak tomatoes
To make tomato water, core and cut up 4 beefsteak tomatoes, then pulse in a blender till roughly pureed, then hang in cheesecloth in a refrigerator overnight with a bowl underneath to collect the water.
Mix the sauces together to create a poaching liquid for the chicken. Put the chicken in a pot with the poaching liquid (which should completely cover the chicken) and bring to boil, then allow it to simmer on very low heat till cooked through, about 30 minutes. Serve the chicken in the poaching liquid.
The Taro Root:
2 taro roots, peeled and diced (Fubonn, An Dong)
2 cups half and half
2 cups water
2 tsp. salt (any kind you like, salt snobs)
A few drops black truffle oil (Aviary uses La Truffiere, available at Local Choice, page 10.)
Cook taro in the liquid over medium heat till very soft, drain, reserving the liquid, then run through a food mill or mash with a fork, adding cooking liquid as necessary. Finish with the truffle oil to taste.
4 oz. dried wood ear mushrooms, soaked overnight and drained
(An Dong, Fubonn)
1 bunch scallions
1 tbsp. cooking oil
Salt and pepper
Slice the wood ears thinly. Do the same with the scallions. Saute the wood ears in oil over high heat for about 2 minutes. Take off the heat, add the scallions and stir until they are just barely wilting. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
The chicken is served rotisserie style, in the sauce, with the taro root and mushroom.
Favorite place to shop: For me, I go to Trader Joe's. I don't do a lot of complicated cooking at home. They have a good cheese selection—not comparable to New Seasons or Pastaworks, but for the price and location, it's very good. My options are Trader Joe's and Safeway, because I don't have a car. I go there for the cheese and the wine, and because it's affordable.
Favorite local item: The Higher Taste (thehighertaste.com) makes vegetarian sandwiches that are really good and locally made. You can get them at New Seasons and Whole Foods, and at the Alberta Co-op Grocery (1500 NE Alberta St., 287-4333, albertagrocery.coop).