Recipes

Thai Curried Clams and Chorizo
By Ming Tsai

Monday, August 9, 2010
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Not only do I look to the East and the West for sources of inspiration, I also look to the past for great ingredients about which we may have forgotten…like buttermilk, which used to be a staple in American kitchens. It’s not only a lighter alternative to cream, but also to Asian coconut milk, as I’ll show you today with my Thai Curried Clams and Chorizo. It’s a great one-pot-meal that features a clams and sausage combo that’s well-loved in both the East and West.

Serves 4

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups 1/4-inch-dice chorizo or 1/4 pound ground sausage
2 large leeks, white part julienned
2 pounds cockles or small littleneck clams, purged overnight in water/cornmeal/pinch of salt solution
3 tablespoons red Thai curry paste
1 cup white wine
1/2 cup buttermilk
Juice of 2 limes
2 cups cooked orzo
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Canola oil

Directions
In a stock pot coated lightly with oil over medium-high heat, add chorizo, leeks, cockles (discard any open cockles), and curry paste, and sauté about 2 minutes, then season. Deglaze with wine and cover; cook for 6-8 minutes. Add buttermilk, lime juice, and orzo, stir to combine and check for seasoning. Serve, discarding any unopened cockles.

Drink recommendation
Chateau Villa Bel-Air Blanc, Bordeaux, France

Taste: Rich and complex with white fruit and caramel flavors.
Aroma: Honey mixed with smoky notes
60% Sauvignon Blanc, 40% Semillon

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Chef Ming Tsai is the host and executive producer of public television series Simply Ming. Each week, Simply Ming brings mouthwatering recipes inspired by the combination of East and West into homes across the nation.

Smell Your Herbs
By Lidia Bastianich

Friday, August 6, 2010
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Wake up and smell your herbs.

Fresh herbs are simply wonderful. The use of fresh herbs has exploded in the American kitchen today. I recall that as a young apprentice in Italy at my aunt’s apron strings, for every herb we had in the garden there was a pot on the stove to match.

Some herbs are better to cook with, while others were better added at the end to finish a dish. For example rosemary, bay leaves, and thyme are mostly used in long cooking where their oils are extracted slowly.

Meanwhile sage, oregano, and marjoram need very little cooking time. And herbs such as basil, parsley, and mint are great to toss in at the end—just enough to release their refreshing aromas.

And if you have small children, a wonderful way to introduce them to these aromas is to gently crush the herbs in your hands and let them smell it.

I always did this with my children and grandchildren when they were very small. It’s a great way to get them excited about the world of herbs and food at an early age.

At New York’s Felidia and Becco in New York and Lidia’s Kansas City and Pittsburgh we actually do spring herb menus where all these wonderful ingredients are used.

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Lidia Matticchio Bastianich was born in Pola, Istria, on the northeastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. She is a cookbook author, restaurateur, and TV chef extraordinaire. Watch Lidia’s Italy Saturdays at 1:30pm on WGBH 2 or Sundays at 4pm on WGBX 44.

German Potato Salad
By Lidia Bastianich

Friday, August 6, 2010
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Who doesn’t love a good potato salad? Well, here is my twist on the classic: Insalata Patate Tedesca. Serve it with a refreshing glass of Bastianich Rosatto. It’s the perfect pairing.

Recommended equipment
A heavy-bottomed skillet or sauté pan, 10-inch diameter; a large bowl for dressing, tossing, and serving.

Ingredients
2-½ pounds red potatoes
1 cup finely chopped scallions
¾ cup sweet pickles (about 4 ounces), coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons kosher salt
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 ounces slab bacon, cut in ½-inch pieces
3 tablespoons German-style mustard
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions
Put whole, unpeeled potatoes into a pot with 2 to 3 quarts cold water, enough to cover them by a couple of inches. Bring the water to a gentle boil, and cook the potatoes until a knife blade pierces them easily to the center — but don’t let them overcook, split, or get mushy.

When done, drain the potatoes in a colander, peel them as soon as they’re cool enough to handle, and slice into 1-inch cubes. Immediately toss the warm cubes in a bowl with the chopped scallions and pickles and 1 teaspoon salt.

Meanwhile, put the olive oil and bacon pieces in the skillet, and set it over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, until the bacon has rendered its fat and starts to crisp, 4 minutes or so.Whisk in the mustard and vinegar, and heat to a boil. Continue whisking until the dressing is smooth and emulsified, then pour it over the warm potatoes and toss. Sprinkle over it the chopped parsley, grinds of black pepper, and remaining teaspoon salt. Toss well, and serve right away.

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Lidia Matticchio Bastianich was born in Pola, Istria, on the northeastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. She is a cookbook author, restaurateur, and TV chef extraordinaire. Watch Lidia’s Italy Saturdays at 1:30pm on WGBH 2 or Sundays at 4pm on WGBX 44.

WGBH Kitchen Crew: Asian BBQ Chicken Wings

By Cathy Huyghe   |   Friday, August 6, 2010
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"I am on vacation this week with my family in rural Pennsylvania, so I was especially close to fresh-grown produce when it came time to shop for ingredients for Ming Tsai’s chicken wings. My family lives near several Amish and Mennonite communities in central Pennsylvania, which meant super-crisp celery for dipping and super-creamy (and not mass-produced) blue cheese.

I was off to a good start, including the step of brining the chicken in a water-salt-sugar solution overnight. It was an easy step that I think helped to keep the chicken moist in the final product, though it was difficult to tell precisely since I didn’t keep no-brined chicken pieces for comparison.

Tamari isn’t a difficult ingredient to find in Boston but in rural Pennsylvania I had to substitute regular soy sauce. Assembling the sauce was another easy step, even though I had forgotten to leave the butter out to come to room temperature. My sister, who was testing the recipe with me, suggested melting the butter slowly – in 4 to 8 second increments – in the microwave, which we did. We zapped, then whisked the rest of the ingredients (hot sauce and soy sauce) together. Zapped, then whisked. It worked fine.

The temperature of the oil, however, was a problem. It may have been easier to keep the temperature more precise if we were working on a gas stove – the stove we used was electric – but I would have appreciated more detailed instructions on how to keep the temperature steady at 375 degrees. I understand the importance of not adding too many pieces of chicken to the oil at once, since that would decrease the temperature of the oil too dramatically and the chicken would cook unevenly. We only cooked 4 or 5 pieces of chicken at a time, which left plenty of room in the pot, but still the oil burned and so did a few of the smaller pieces of chicken. Ten to 12 minutes of cooking time was more accurate, in our test of this recipe, than the stated cooking time of 15 to 20 minutes.

We immediately dipped the chicken pieces into the hot and spicy sauce before serving it alongside the celery sticks and ranch/blue cheese mixture. Most of our guests tasted the wings straight first, and from the on dipped them into the “cooling” ranch/blue cheese mixture before their next bites.
"

WGBH Kitchen Crew: Roasted Chicken with Beer

By Cathy Huyghe   |   Friday, August 6, 2010
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"The instructions for this recipe were very simple:

Turn on the oven.

Put a whole chicken in a pan and surround it with carrots, celery, onions, garlic and sage leaves.  Sprinkle everything with salt.

Pour a bottle of beer over it all, put it in the oven, and pull it out when it looks done.

This will be one of the easiest and most delicious meals you’ve ever had.  And, okay, there was one more step in there, namely to baste the chicken every 20 minutes. I didn’t even use a formal baster, just a ladle I normally use for soup. It worked great.

But that really was all there one to it. The beer was definitely the key ingredient, because it added to the color of the chicken on the outside and basting with it kept the meat moist on the inside. The surprising aspect of including beer with a roasting chicken was that the beer cooked down from its original consistency to an almost gravy-like density that added depth and a very appetizing sheen to the vegetables.

This was one of the simplest and most satisfying recipes I have tried in some time. It is definitely a keeper!

Cathy Huyghe writes for the WGBH Daily Dish blog. Read new WGBH Daily Dish posts every weekday, where you can explore myriad ways and places to experience good food and wine."

Wok Stirred Maitakes with Blood Oranges
By Ming Tsai

Friday, August 6, 2010
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One of the things I love best about cooking is beating the bushes for hidden treasures—ingredients that are unfamiliar or underutilized. Today I bring you two terrific ingredients that are now readily available in supermarkets across country, but you may not know how to use them: Maitake mushrooms and blood oranges. They go beautifully together in my Wok Stirred Maitakes with Blood Oranges- an all in one veggie dish you can use as an entr&3234;e or a side dish. Let’s get cooking.

Serves 4

Ingredients
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 large head of white Maitake mushroom, florets broken off and stem julienned
2 tablespoons oyster sauce (can be vegetarian oyster sauce too)
5 blood oranges, segmented, 2 zested first, juice from supreming reserved
Chopped chives for garnish
House rice for serving (white/brown combo)
Canola oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions
In a wok over medium-high heat lightly coated with oil, add garlic and ginger and saute. Add maitake stems and saute, adding florets a few moments after. Add oyster sauce and saute until cooked down. Add zest and deglaze with juice and orange segments. Check for flavor and season, if necessary. Serve on steamed house rice and garnish with chopped chives.

Drink pairings
Mas de la Dame Rose du Mas 2007
—Provence, France

Taste: Subtle flavors of fresh berries and fennel with a flowery finish
Aroma: Fresh strawberries, peaches and roses

—Pairs nicely with barbecue, pesto pasta, salads, fish and grilled meat.
—50% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 20% Cinsault
—Certified organic (Agriculture Biologique) by Qualite France

__________________________________________________________
Chef Ming Tsai is the host and executive producer of public television series Simply Ming. Each week, Simply Ming brings mouthwatering recipes inspired by the combination of East and West into homes across the nation.

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