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.

Julie's Brownies
By Annie Copps

Tuesday, August 24, 2010
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Sometimes you just need chocolate to get things on an even keel. My friend Julie Fox has a great recipe for chocolate brownies that is also super easy to make. All you need is about an hour—some chocolate, butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, flour, and walnuts. Soon enough you'll be in chocolate heaven. Enjoy!

Preparation Time: 35 minutes
Start to Finish Time: 70 minutes
Yield: About 40 pieces

1-1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, for greasing
4 tablespoons plus 3-1/2 cups sugar
3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter
8 ounces unsweetened chocolate
6 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 12x17-inch jelly-roll pan and dust with 4 tablespoons sugar. Discard any sugar that doesn't adhere to pan.

In a small saucepan over low heat, combine 3 sticks butter and chocolate. Cook, stirring occasionally, until both have melted.

Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.

In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat eggs with 3-1/2 cups sugar until blended but not "frothy." Stir in vanilla, then chocolate. Add flour, stirring until just combined. Fold in nuts if you like.

Spread batter in prepared pan and bake 35 minutes, or until set. (A wooden toothpick inserted in the center should come out almost clean.) Let cool completely before cutting.

(Courtesy: Yankee Magazine)
Annie 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.

Baked Eggs with Chives and Cream

By Susie Middleton   |   Friday, March 16, 2012
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Roasted Shrimp with Rosemary and Thyme

These eggs are surprisingly easy: Just four ingredients, and they’re ready in about 10 minutes

Serves: 2


2 tsp. unsalted butter, softened
4 large eggs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1-1/2 tsp. chopped fresh chives
2 Tbs. heavy cream


Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 425°F. Butter 2 oven-safe 6-inch gratin dishes with 1 tsp. butter each.

Crack 2 eggs into each gratin dish. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper, and sprinkle with the chives. Drizzle 1 Tbs. cream in each dish, starting over the yolks and working around the dish. Bake until the eggs are bubbly and browned on the edges but not quite set in the middle, 5 minutes. (For firmer eggs, bake an additional 1 minute .)

Heat the broiler on high. Broil the eggs, still on the center rack of the oven, until the center is just set, about 2 minutes. Remove from the oven immediately—the eggs will continue to set.

Nutrition information (per serving):

Calories (kcal): 230; Fat (g): 19; Fat Calories (kcal): 170; Saturated Fat (g): 9; Protein (g): 13; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 6; Carbohydrates (g): 1; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1.5; Sodium (mg): 290; Cholesterol (mg): 455; Fiber (g): 0;

Susie Middleton is editor at large for Fine Cooking magazine.

Spaetzle by Annie Copps

Monday, January 24, 2011
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If you are on your way home tonight and tired of pasta, I have a new idea for you—spaetzle! Spaetzle is a cross between a dumpling and a noodle and it's a fast weeknight side dish that is fun to make. You can buy a spaetzle makers, but a colander with large holes works just fine.

2 cups flour
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 to 3/4 cup milk
Salt and pepper to taste

Place flour in mixing bowl. Add eggs and mix until blended.

Slowly add milk, mixing constantly, to form a stiff dough. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Fill a soup kettle full of water and bring to a boil. Hold colander over kettle (wear heavy, long mitts to avoid burns from steam), pour spaetzle dough into colander, and press through the holes with a rubber spatula, forcing spaetzle into boiling water. When noodles rise to the surface, they are done.

Drain, spoon into a bowl, top with butter, and serve with stew or goulash.

(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.

Coriander-Crusted Tuna Salad Niçoise

By By Ming Tsai   |   Monday, January 3, 2011
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Coriander-Crusted Tuna Salad Niçoise

I've always enjoyed composed salads—salads with multiple ingredients, artfully arranged. Among these, Salade Niçoise is probably the best known and most widely enjoyed.

It features tuna—traditionally, canned albacore. I've "upped" the dish by using fresh, coriander-coated tuna that's quickly sautéed, plus frisée dressed with a sprightly caper-and-olive-laced vinaigrette.

Yield: 4 servings

2 large eggs
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons minced shallots
1/4 cup ponzu
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons chopped capers
2 tablespoons chopped pitted Niçoise olives
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin
olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound center-cut tuna steak, preferably bigeye, cut lengthwise into slices as wide as the tuna's thickness and as long as the steak
3 tablespoons coarsely ground coriander seed
2 small heads frisée lettuce, washed

1. To hard-boil the eggs, bring enough water to cover the eggs to a boil in a medium saucepan. Lower the eggs into the water and immediately reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer for 14 minutes and transfer the eggs to cold water. When cold, peel and slice the eggs 1/4 inch thick. Set aside.

2. Make the vinaigrette: In a small bowl combine the mustard, shallots, ponzu, sesame oil, capers and olives and whisk to blend. Slowly whisk in the 1/2 cup of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

3. Season the tuna with salt and pepper on both sides. Spread the coriander on a large plate and press the tuna into it on all sides.

4. Heat a medium saute pan over medium-high heat. Make sure the pan is very hot. Add the tablespoon of olive oil and swirl to coat the bottom. When the oil is hot, add the tuna and sautée on all sides until medium-rare, about 4 minutes. Remove the tuna and set aside.

5. In a large bowl, combine the frisée and eggs. Season with salt and pepper. Toss gently with the vinaigrette, reserving some for drizzling.

6. Divide the salad among four individual serving plates, top with the tuna, drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette, and serve.

Drink Pairing
A crisp, fruit-forward Sancerre like Lucien Crochet from France

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.

Stained Glass Cookies By Annie Copps

Monday, December 20, 2010
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If we get a solid snowstorm in December, then chances are, my friends get holiday cookies from me, so I am always stocked with butter, eggs, and sugar and I am always on the hunt for a special baked treat to prepare.

Since I was a child, stained glass cookies were always fascinating to me—you know, the cookies that hang from windows or holidays trees, the ones with the translucent, colorful center that looks like a stained glass window? They are so beautiful, I assumed they were for experts—turns out they're easier than you'd think.

Begin with a basic sugar dough of butter, sugar, a touch of molasses, vanilla extract and eggs. Roll out the dough and with cookie cutters cut the dough into stars, snowflakes, or diamonds—whatever you like, then using a smaller cookie cutter or a knife, cut shapes into centers of cookies. Fill the space with a crushed hard candy and cut a hole at the top of the cookie, so you can hang them after they bake. Pop them in the oven and the candy melts for a beautiful stained glass effect. I hope you'll add these to your holiday cookie repertoire.

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Start to Finish Time: 60 minutes
Yield: 3 to 4 dozen

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon molasses
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
20 hard candies (such as Jolly Ranchers or LifeSavers), preferably in several flavors

Heat oven to 375°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper (aluminum foil may be used, but parchment paper works better with these cookies).

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugars until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add molasses and vanilla extract, mixing until incorporated.

Add egg and mix until light and smooth, about 1 minute on medium speed. Sift flour, salt, and baking powder over mixture; then, using a rubber spatula, fold dry ingredients into mixture. Use electric mixer to blend just until flour is incorporated. Divide dough in half and flatten into two disks.

Wrap one disk in waxed paper and refrigerate while you work with the other disk. (Dough may be made up to this point and refrigerated up to 2 days.)

Place disk between two large sheets of waxed paper and roll to 1/4-inch thickness. Use cookie cutters to cut dough into desired shapes, such as stars, snowflakes, diamonds, or circles.

Transfer cookies to prepared baking sheets, about 1/2 inch apart. Using a smaller cookie cutter or a knife, cut shapes into centers of cookies, reserving these center bits to add into extra dough. (You may also roll dough into long, thin ropes to make shapes. Do this on the baking sheets so you don't have to transfer the dough.)

Remove any wrappers on candies and separate them by color into plastic bags. Using a mallet or the side of a rolling pin, crush candies. (Note: If you use a wooden rolling pin, the candies may dent the wood.) Use a spoon to sprinkle the crushed candy into the hollowed-out centers of the cookies, filling to the edges. You can mix colors for a mottled effect.

If cookies will be hung as ornaments or decorations, poke a small hole in the top of each cookie before baking. (Once cookies have cooled, thread string or festive ribbons through holes.)

Bake 9 to 10 minutes. The candy should be melted and bubbling and the cookies just barely beginning to brown and firm to the touch. Remove baking sheets from oven and place on wire racks to cool.

Allow cookies to cool on pans at least 10 minutes; otherwise, the candy centers may separate from the dough. When cookies are completely cooled, remove and store in an airtight container.

About the Authors
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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