Vegetables

Parmesan Fricco Salad Baskets By Annie Copps

Tuesday, February 22, 2011
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fricco salad basket with greens

Okay, listen up… you want people to think you are a culinary genius? This super-simple, very beautiful, and delicious twist on salads will have everyone at the table asking, "how'd you do it?"

So the twist here is sort of a Willy Wonka bit of fun in that you can eat the salad bowl you put your greens into. The idea is a traditional Italian cheese preparation called fricco.

All you do is heat a non-stick frying pan and sprinkle cheese into a thin round and cook it for a few minutes—once it melts and begins to brown underneath remove it with a wide spatula and drape the soft cheese over a water glass or muffin tin and let it cool—there you go, you've got a crunchy cheese cup into which you can put just about any salad into.

Oh, and don't splurge on high quality Parmigiano Reggiano for this—bagged, pre-shredded parmesan works best. And like pancakes, you may struggle with the first one, but once you get the hang of it, this unique presentation will become part of your repertoire and I want full credit! Okay, it can be our secret.

Ingredients
8 ounces shredded parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnish
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar or lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
8 ounces mesclun or baby greens
kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions
Heat a 10 or 12-inch non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Sprinkle cheese into a thin, round (make the outer edge uneven, for a delicate edge) and cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until cheese begins to lightly brown underneath. Remove with a spatula and immediately drape over a water glass and carefully shape into a cup. Let cool.

In a medium bowl, whisk together vinegar and oil. Add greens and toss well to coat. Season with salt and pepper.

Place cheese basket on individual serving plates and fill with greens.

Sprinkle with reserved cheese.

(Courtesy: Yankee Magazine)

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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.

Seared Haddock with Beans and Greens
By Annie Copps

Tuesday, August 10, 2010
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Not sure what to have for dinner tonight? I have a quick, easy, healthy and inexpensive meal that will put dinner on the table in 30 minutes. The main ingredients – local white fish and fresh field greens.

Serves 4

Ingredients
½ cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1 pound fresh, local white fish (cod, haddock, or whatever is on sale)
1 can of cannellini or garbanzo beans
4 cups of fresh field greens (spring mix, baby romaine, arugula)
Juice from ½ lemon
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions
Saute 2 cloves of very thinly sliced garlic in olive oil (about ½ cup—it’s a lot, but you can use the oil after for other things). Start with cold oil in the pan (it tends to burn if you start with hot oil) and let the garlic cook until just lightly golden brown — about 3 minutes, but keep your eye on it (dark brown or burned means bitter).

Drain the garlic onto paper towels. Pour all but 1 tablespoon of the oil into a bowl and set aside.

Cut the fish into portions, season with salt and pepper, and brown on both sides. Just put it in the pan and don’t move it for 2 minutes; then turn it and cook until it’s cooked through (depends on the fish and the thickness, but 3 minutes oughta do it).

Rinse well and drain 1 can of white beans (I used garbanzo, but cannellini or gigante are great for this, too). In a medium bowl, combine four cups of spring mix or baby romaine with beans, toasted garlic, the juice of half a lemon, and about 1 tablespoon of the cooled garlic oil. Season with salt and pepper. Divide onto four plates and place the fish on top.



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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.

Spaghetti with Beets, Walnuts, and Goat Cheese
By Annie Copps

Thursday, September 30, 2010
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Beets have got to be one of the sexiest of vegetables—whether they are a deep glistening ruby red, vivid sunset yellow or clown-ish, with red & white stripes. Their earthy and rich flavor are all about strength and vitality. But food writer Sara Moulton doesn't agree.

Sara doesn't care for beets, why, we don't know, but her husband is crazy for them, so she developed a quick and easy recipe that even a registered beet hater could love.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook a pound of your favorite pasta—be sure to save some of that starchy cooking liquid, that is going to help make your sauce. In a separate pan saute onions, garlic and grated uncooked beets—there's your big time saver right there. Add some of that cooking liquid and goat cheese. Toss in the pasta and top with walnuts and you are good to go with a healthy and delicious meal in 30 minutes

Yield: 6 servings
Total time: 30 minutes
Prep time: 15 minutes

Ingredients
1 pound spaghetti (or your favorite pasta shape)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large red onion, sliced (about 2 cups)
2 garlic cloves, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
2 pounds beets, peeled and grated
10 ounces soft goat cheese (about 1-1/3 cups), crumbled
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted

Directions
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add spaghetti and cook until al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid. Transfer spaghetti to a large bowl.

In a medium-size saute pan over medium heat, add oil and cook onion and garlic until softened, about 5 minutes. Add beets and cook another 8 minutes, until softened.

Add reserved cooking liquid and goat cheese; cook, stirring, until cheese softens into a sauce.

Add lemon juice; then add salt and pepper to taste.

Add sauce to spaghetti and toss well. Divide among 6 bowls and top each serving with toasted walnuts.

Adapted from Sara's Secrets for Weeknight Meals (Broadway Books, 2005), by Sara Moulton
 

Corn and Tomato Tart
By Annie Copps

Friday, August 6, 2010
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I watch the fields grow all summer long, waiting for the first opportunity to get my hands on a couple ears of fresh corn. And what goes better with corn than its farm field cousin, tomatoes? One of the best places to get corn has to be Verrill Farm in Concord, MA and this corn and tomato tart recipe is their idea.

Total time: 60 minutes; active time: 30 minutes

Yield: 8 to 12 servings

Filling ingredients
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, chopped
5 ears corn, kernels cut off
kosher or sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
½ pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half
3 scallions, chopped
2 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
Baked pie crust (see recipe below)

Directions
Heat oven to 375°

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, sauté onions and garlic in olive oil until onions are translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add corn and cook about 8 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Put half of corn mixture in pre-baked pie crust. Layer cheese evenly on top. Add remaining corn mixture. Scatter cherry tomatoes and scallions on top.

In a small bowl, whisk eggs, milk, and cream; pour egg mixture over tart.

Bake 30 minutes until tart is golden brown.

Piecrust recipe
This recipe is for a 9-by-10-inch pie pan (a tart pan may also be used)

Ingredients
3/4 cups flour
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cold water

Directions
Heat oven to 375 degrees.

In a food processor, pulse together flour, butter, and salt until mixture resembles corn kernels.

Add water and pulse just until the mixture forms a ball. Roll out dough and place in pie pan. Cover with parchment paper and a handful of dried beans or pie weights.

Bake 15 minutes. Let crust cool and add filling.

___________________________________________________________
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.

Asian Ratatouille with Couscous By Ming Tsai

Tuesday, December 7, 2010
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Asian Ratatouille with Couscous

Hopefully you've already seen Ratatouille, a fantastic movie that my kids love. Ratatouille is a traditional country dish made of healthy vegetables that originated in Nice, France. Here's an Eastern spin on this French classic.

Ingredients
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling
1 small red onion, 1/4-inch dice
1 Japanese eggplant, 1/2- inch dice, skin on
1 red bell pepper, 1/2-inch dice
1 large heirloom tomato, 1/2-inch dice
2 cups (12 ounces) whole wheat instant couscous
2 tablespoon Wanjashan wheat-free organic tamari
3 cups water, boiling
12-15 Thai basil leaves, ripped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions
In a non-stick saute pan over medium-high heat coated lightly with extra virgin olive oil add onion and eggplant and season and cook until soft, about 3 minutes.

Add bell peppers and saute until slightly softened, then add tomato, stir and season.

Meanwhile, make couscous: in a large, heat-proof bowl, combine couscous, tamari and 2 tablespoons olive oil and season. Pour boiling water over and stir quickly to blend and immediately cover bowl with plastic wrap, sealing tightly.

Allow to steam until couscous is tender, about 5-7 minutes. Fluff couscous with the back of a fork and stir in Thai basil ribbons.

Check flavor and season if necessary. To serve, using a ring mold or similar, plate couscous in mold on plate and layer ratatouille on top.

Unmold and drizzle with more extra virgin olive oil and garnish with Thai basil sprig, if desired.

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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.

Creamy Risotto with Baby Shrimp and Bok Choy
By Ming Tsai

Thursday, August 12, 2010
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Serves 4

Ingredients
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 minced shallots
2 tablespoons minced lemongrass
2 cups koshi hikari or similar sushi rice (or Arborio rice)
1 cup white wine
2-3 cups chicken stock, hot
1 pound baby Contessa shrimp
3 heads baby bok choy, shredded
4 tablespoons room temperature cream cheese
Minced chives, for garnish
Olive oil to cook
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions
Coat a skillet over medium heat lightly with olive oil and saute the garlic, shallots, and lemongrass for about 2 minutes. Add the rice, stir to coat with oil and season. Deglaze with white wine and reduce by 75%. Slowly add stock a ladle at a time, stirring rice until each ladle of liquid is absorbed. When just beyond al dente, add the shrimp and bok choy to heat through. Add cream cheese to melt, check again for flavor and garnish with chives. Serve.

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ming tsai thumbnail holding limeChef Ming Tsai is a local restaurateur and host of Simply Ming.

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