Lemongrass Cheesecake By Ming Tsai

Wednesday, December 22, 2010
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lemongrass cheesecake

If you were to tell me that you don't like cheesecake, well, I'd have to call you a liar. Why? Well, how can anyone not be a fan of this creamy, indulgent dessert?

20 shortbread cookies, like Lorna Doone
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 pounds cream cheese
pinch of kosher salt
10 ounces sugar
4 stalks lemongrass, white parts only, minced
4 extra large eggs
Juice of 2 lemons
5 ounces cream

Preheat oven to 325 degrees convection.

In a bowl, combine crushed shortbread cookies and melted butter. Press cookie mixture into bottom and sides of 8-inch cake pan; a springform pan is recommended.

Bake in middle of oven for about 10 minutes. Remove to a rack and let cool.

Turn oven down to 300 degrees. In a stand mixer, cream together cream cheese, salt, sugar and lemongrass. Add eggs one at a time, alternating with the lemon juice, allowing each egg to be fully incorporated into the mixture before adding the next, scraping the bowl constantly.

Add cream. Spoon mixture into baked crust and place in a water bath. (You'll need to foil the edges of your springform pan to prevent leakage.)

Bake cheesecake in middle of oven for about 60 minutes, until edges become browned and cake is set in the center.

Remove from water bath, remove foil and place on a rack to let cool, then refrigerate until chilled and serve.

chef ming tsaiMing Tsai is the host and executive producer of public television series Simply Ming and chef/owner of Blue Ginger restaurant in Wellesley, Mass.

Molly's French Onion Soup By Annie Copps

Monday, February 21, 2011
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french onion soup

Ooh la la have I got a winter warmer that will beckon you in from the cold: French Onion Soup! A classic bowl of oniony goodness that will fill you up,  warm you up, and delight you.

Forewarned is fore-armed... you are going to have to slice 3 pounds of onions. If just the thought makes you want to cry, you can use a food processor to get through the pile you'll be using. That being said, it may seem that you have far too many onions, but don't worry they'll cook down to about one-quarter of their original volume.

So, in a wide soup pot, melt butter and slowly cook down Mount Onion until they become soft and start to turn deep blonde in color&151;it's important that they not brown.

Stir in some flour and cook that for a bit, then add some wine, then beef (or chicken) stock, a sprig each of thyme and parsley and a bay leaf and simmer away for about a half hour.

Now, let's get serious. Ladle into bowls, lay toasted bread slices on top then grate some Gruyere cheese and until the cheese gets all melty, gooey, and glorious.

Yield: 6 servings

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 to 3 1/2 pounds of yellow onions (about 6 large; larger onions means less peeling), thinly sliced
kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons flour
1 cup dry white wine
8 cups homemade beef or chicken stock or low-sodium store bought
1 sprig parsley
1 sprig thyme
1 bay leaf tied together in a bundle
1 baguette, cut into ½[[[.5]]-inch rounds 1 ½ cups (about 6 ounces)
Shredded Gruyere cheese

In a large, wide soup pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add onions and season with salt and pepper. Cook the onions gently, stirring frequently, until they are very soft and have begun to turn a deep blonde, about 40 minutes (it is important they do not brown or cook too long).

Stir in flour and cook 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently.

Pour in wine and increase heat to medium-high, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot to loosen any caramelized juices.

Cook until liquid is almost completely reduced. Add broth.

Tie herbs together with string or inside a piece of cheesecloth. Add herb bundle and bring to a simmer.

Season lightly with salt and pepper and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, the onions should be soft but not falling apart.

The soup may be made ahead up until this point and held for several hours or even a few days before serving.

To serve
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Put baguette slices on an oven rack, and toast lightly, 7 to10 minutes. Set aside.

Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees.

Set six ovenproof soup crocks on a heavy baking sheet, and ladle hot soup into crocks. Float the toasts on the soup and top each with a handful (about 1/4 cup) of Gruyere.

Bake until the cheese is melted, bubbly and just barely golden, 10 to 12 minutes.

Serve immediately when the cheese is gooey and the crock is very hot.

(Courtesy: Yankee Magazine)


annie coppsAnnie B. Copps is a senior editor at Yankee Magazine. Annie oversees the magazine's food coverage, both as an editor and as a contributor of feature stories and columns.

Beer and Artisanal Foods

Thursday, January 10, 2013
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Roasted Potato Salad with Bell Peppers

By Susie Middleton   |   Friday, April 13, 2012
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spicy red beans

Serves six


1 ear fresh corn, in the husk
1/4 cup plus 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups red, yellow, or orange cherry tomatoes (or a combination), halved
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/2 green bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/2 small red onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/2 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
2 small cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 recipe Simple Roasted Potatoes
3 Tbs. red-wine vinegar


Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 450°F. Remove the husk and put the corn on a small baking sheet. Drizzle 1 tsp. of the oil onto the corn and rub it over all the kernels. Sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper. Roast, turning the cob occasionally, until the corn kernels are light brown in a few spots, about 20 minutes. Let the corn cool. Cut the kernels from the cob.

Add the corn, tomatoes, red, green, and yellow peppers, onion, basil, and garlic to the potatoes. Toss gently. Whisk the remaining 1/4 cup oil and the vinegar together and add to the salad. Toss again. Season with kosher salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.

Nutrition information (per serving):

Size : based on six servings; Calories (kcal): 290; Fat (g): 17; Fat Calories (kcal): 150; Saturated Fat (g): 2.5; Protein (g): 4; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 12; Carbohydrates (g): 32; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2; Sodium (mg): 340; Cholesterol (mg): 0; Fiber (g): 4;

Susie Middleton is editor at large for Fine Cooking magazine.

Mac And Cheese By Annie Copps

Monday, March 28, 2011
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sliced irish soda bread

There are loads of ways to make macaroni and cheese and I make no judgments if you find yourself reaching for a box with a silver packet of dried cheese, to satisfy your mac ‘n cheese needs. I will say, again without judgment, that this recipe is easy and far more satisfying.

Start by sautéing some onions in a bit of butter, then add some spicy cayenne—these two secret weapons add another layer of flavor and helps keep this dish from being a heavy, gloppy mound of melted cheese (not that there is anything wrong with a pile of melted cheese). Whisk in flour, then milk to form your white sauce. Melt in a mix of sharp cheddar—New England if you please—a bit of Jack cheese and another secret ingredient, ricotta cheese. Mix in a pound of pasta (cooked al dente), then bake until thickened and bubbly.

If I am really seeking comfort from the kitchen, I have been known to get this little party started with chopped bacon—you decide.

Yield: 6 servings

1 pound elbow macaroni
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, finely diced
6 tablespoons flour
½ teaspoon cayenne powder
3 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
8 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese
8 ounces grated fontina or Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup ricotta cheese
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups unseasoned bread crumbs (I like panko style)

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook pasta about 2 minutes less than package instructions, so that it still has a slight crunch to it. Drain and set aside.

Butter a 13 by 9 -inch casserole pan. Heat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and gently cook onion until softened; about 5 minutes. Lower heat to medium low. Whisk in flour and cayenne to form a thick paste; cook, while constantly whisking about 2 minutes. Whisk in milk until smooth; cook, while occasionally whisking until thickened and bubbly. Whisk in heavy cream. Whisk in cheeses. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the noodles and stir well to coat.

Pour into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with bread crumbs. Bake 20 minutes or until top is lightly browned. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.

(Courtesy: Yankee Magazine)

annie coppsAnnie B. Copps is a senior editor at Yankee Magazine. Annie oversees the magazine's food coverage, both as an editor and as a contributor of feature stories and columns.

Gratin Of White Beans With Pancetta And Tomatoes By Annie Copps

Monday, February 28, 2011
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white beans on wood

Bacon, beans and tomatoes—baked. Hello? That's gotta be good tasting and good for you.

A gratin of beans, pancetta and tomatoes is a pretty quick dish as far as baking goes and it's the perfect accompaniment for a big roast or a simple piece of fish. Find your gratin or casserole dish and lather it up some olive oil. Then in a saute pan get some chopped up pancetta going—that's an Italian style un-smoked bacon, you can use regular bacon, but I'd stay away from hickory or maple flavored varieties. Add onion and garlic to the pan, then cannellini beans—you know the small white ones—a bit of water, rosemary, and bay leaf and get those flavors going.

After a while fish out the rosemary sprig and bay leaf and stir in chopped tomatoes. Pour this lovely mixture into the gratin dish and cover with a blanket of bread crumbs and parmesan cheese—bake it for about 30 minutes then put it under the broiler for a really crunchy topping. How good is that?

1 1/2 cups canned white beans, preferably cannellini, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, more for drizzling
2 ounces pancetta or slab bacon, cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 1/2 cup)
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
2 leafy sprigs fresh rosemary
1 bay leaf
1 cup of water, or as needed
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 14.5 ounce can of tomatoes, coarsely chopped with juice
1/4 cup dried bread crumbs
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat a large gratin or baking dish with olive oil.

In a heavy saucepan, combine 1 tablespoon of oil and the pancetta or bacon over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the pancetta or bacon begins to render its fat, about 5 minutes.

Add the onion and garlic, stir to coat, and sauté for about 5 minutes.

Add the beans, rosemary, and bay and enough water to cover by about 1 inch. Partially cover and bring to a simmer.

Season with salt and pepper.

Remove the rosemary stem (the leaves may have fallen off) and the bay leaf from the beans.

Stir in the tomatoes. Taste for salt and pepper.

Spread the beans into the dish. Sprinkle the top with the bread crumbs and cheese.

Drizzle generously with olive oil.

Bake until heated through and beginning to brown on top, about 30 minutes.

For a crunchy topping, run the gratin under the broiler for a few minutes just before serving.

Serve hot or warm.

(Courtesy: Yankee Magazine)


annie coppsAnnie B. Copps is a senior editor at Yankee Magazine. Annie oversees the magazine's food coverage, both as an editor and as a contributor of feature stories and columns.

About the Author
Susie Middleton Susie Middleton
Susie Middleton is editor at large for Fine Cooking magazine and the author of veggie cookbooks Fast, Fresh & Green and The Fresh & Green Table.

Follow her on Twitter at @sixburnersue


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