Salmon Burgers
By Annie Copps

Wednesday, December 15, 2010
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salmon burger

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a sweet juicy burger along with some crispy fries as much as the next person, but how about a healthy and tasty twist on tradition?

The health benefits of salmon and their super hero omega-3 fatty acids are getting a lot of attention and for good reason. If you are hankering for a new way to enjoy salmon, how about disguised as a burger?

Start by finely chopping one pound of salmon. With a fork or clean hands, mix in chopped scallions, mustard, some Worcestershire sauce, and some lemon juice for some brightness and a dash of Tabsaco for some heat. Knead in bread crumbs and form into patties. Pop them in the fridge for a bit to help them set-up, then pan-fry them in a drizzle of olive oil. Top with lettuce if you like and you've got a great twist on a classic.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

1 pound salmon, skinned
4 scallions, chopped
2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce (optional)
1/3 cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 hamburger buns
tartar sauce (or ranch dressing)

Into a large bowl, finely chop/shred salmon. With your hands or a large fork, mix in scallions, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, mayonnaise, Tabasco (if using), and bread crumbs.

Form into 4 patties, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 1 hour (and up to 6).

When ready to cook, let patties rest out of the fridge 20 minutes. Heat a medium pan over medium high heat. Add olive oil for and cook patties about 3 minutes per side.

Burgers should be cooked through and crispy on the outside.

Toast hamburger buns, then top each with lettuce, salmon burgers, and dressing.

Tomato Carpaccio with Soy-Vinegar Syrup

Monday, November 15, 2010
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Tomato Carpaccio with Soy-Vinegar Syrup

Whip up this impressive dish in a matter of minutes: Tomato Carpaccio with Soy-Vinegar Syrup will make an elegant appetizer for your next dinner party with almost no work at all.

3-4 large, ripe heirloom tomatoes of different sorts if possible, thinly sliced
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup naturally brewed soy sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
Freshly ground black pepper
Sea Salt

Lay out tomato slices randomly on four plates or one platter. In a stainless steel saucepan over medium-high heat, combine vinegar, naturally brewed soy sauce and sugar.

Bring to a simmer and reduce by 50%.

Test by drawing line of syrup on a cold plate to see if the line will hold.

Transfer to a cool, heat-proof container and let cool in fridge. Season tomatoes with sea salt, ground pepper and syrup.


Braised Leeks
By Annie Copps

Wednesday, October 27, 2010
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lightly braised leeks in a dish

Braising is an easy way to soften up and draw a lot of flavor out of an ingredient. Usually we think of tough cuts of meat such as shoulders or shanks for braising, but how about some vegetables?

I am drawn to leeks, their mellow onion flavor is seductive and slow cooking them through braising coaxes out all the sweet beauty. This recipe goes well with roasted meats or a pasta dish.

Yield: 6 servings

12 medium leeks, trimmed and rinsed well
2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1 cup white wine
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Kosher or sea salt
Freshly ground white pepper
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup panko breadcrumb

Clean the leeks well, like all vegetables, they grow in soil, but leeks just don’t like to let go of their dirty beds. And one small grain of dirt will feel like a boulder in your mouth if you don’t get rid of it. Discard roots and all but 2 inches of the green part; then arrange the leeks in a single layer. Dot with some butter, add some chicken stock and cover tightly with foil. Add some parmesan and bread crumbs at the end.

Heat oven to 400°.

In a medium-size casserole, arrange leeks in one layer. Pour stock and wine over top. Scatter pats of butter over the leeks and season with salt and pepper.

Seal with foil and bake 30 minutes. Remove foil. Return to oven for 10 minutes longer.

In a small bowl, combine parmesan and breadcrumbs. Scatter over top of leeks and bake 5 to 8 minutes, or until well-browned.

Basic Vinaigrette
By Annie Copps

Tuesday, August 24, 2010
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A basic vinaigrette is a whipped concoction of vinegar and oil. When done well, the vinaigrette lightly coats fresh garden greens and nudges them towards greatness. While this recipe is very easy, it is important to get it right so that you don't end up with a glunky sauce over your delicate lettuces!

You're going for a balanced seasoning to enhance the flavors. This dressing is best used shortly after mixing, but if it sits a day or two (covered and refrigerated), add a few teaspoons of vinegar to brighten the flavors again.

Yield: about 2 cups

½ cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, smooth or grainy
1 small shallot, minced
1 ½ cups extra virgin olive oil
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together vinegar, mustard, and shallot.

While vigorously whisking, pour 2 to 3 tablespoons of oil into the mix and whisk until well incorporated. Continue whisking.

In a thin, steady stream whisk in the remaining oil. Season with salt and pepper.

(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. 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.

Pesto Alla Anna
By Lidia Bastianich

Monday, August 9, 2010
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You're hungry! You just don’t feel like cooking — but you love pasta, right? Although the pasta in this recipe does have to be cooked, the pesto sauce does not!

Most of you know the traditional basil pesto: a paste of basil leaves, extra virgin olive oil, pine nuts, salt, and garlic. Make it in  the blender, and voilà! The pesto is ready! But don’t stop there. That’s not enough. Let me give you another one of my favorites — pesto alla anna — which I recently learned about in Sicily and featured in my cookbook, Lidia’s Italy.

About ¾ pound sweet cherry tomatoes
12 fresh basil leaves
2 plump peeled garlic cloves
1/3 cup of whole toasted almonds
A pinch of salt
A pinch of peperoncino
Half a cup or more of extra virgin oil

In a blender, drop in all ingredients.
Blend until it’s nice and smooth.
Toss this fresh and delicious pesto with cooked and drained spaghetti.
While still hot, add some pasta cooking water if it’s too dry and finish with grated cheese.

Buon appetito!
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.

Asian BBQ Chicken Wings
By Ming Tsai

Monday, August 9, 2010
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If you’re like most people, your first encounter with hoisin sauce involved the Chinese dish mu shu pork, in which the sauce serves as a dipper for meat- enclosed pancakes. Today I bring you the flavor of hoisin along with one of my favorite finger foods- WINGS.

Serves 4

2 red onions, rough chopped
2 cups whole San Marzano tomatoes (canned or super ripe)
1 tablespoon sambal
1 cup hoisin sauce
1 cup naturally brewed rice vinegar
3 pounds chicken wings, washed, dried
Canola oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Jicama sticks, for serving

In a sauce pan coated lightly with oil over medium-high heat, saute onions for about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, sambal, hoisin and naturally brewed rice vinegar. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes. Add kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Using an immersion blender, buzz sauce and check seasoning. Season wings with salt and toss wings in sauce. Marinate as long as you can, up to 24 hours, ideally.
Preheat oven to 475 degrees standard or 450 degrees convection.

Line a rimmed sheet pan with foil and place wings in a single layer in pan. Bake wings for 10-12 minutes or until cooked through and crispy. You could also grill these wings. Serve with jicama sticks.

Drink pairing
Rocca delle Macie Chianti Classico
—Chianti Classico DOCG, Tuscany, Italy

Taste: Rich, well-structured, berry fruit flavors, pairs exceptionally with the Turkey-Tomato Loaf and Michela Larsen’s Hoisin-Glazed Salmon with Heirloom Tomato Salad.

Aroma: Intense, mature fruit aromas

—Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Guarantita, or “controlled and guaranteed designation of origin,” an Italian wine classification for wines with more strict regulations than DOCs, including a specific bottle size, lower allowed yield, required tasting checks and in-depth chemical analyses.

—95% Sangiovese, 5% Merlot

—Produced with grapes from estates situated in the heart of the historical zone of Chianti Classico

Ming Tsai is the host and executive producer of public television series Simply Ming.

About the Author


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