Tuesday, August 10, 2010
This time of year is a transitional one for local ingredients, so we turned to Josh Ziskin, chef and owner of the Italian-inspired La Morra restaurant in Brookline. The end of winter through spring can be a challenging time to write a menu, so he sticks closely to what is locally available — and right now, that means fiddlehead ferns.
Total time: 30 minutes
Active time: 20 minutes
1 pound fiddlehead ferns, well rinsed and trimmed
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 shallots, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup white wine (optional)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme (or the fresh herb of your choice: rosemary, basil, or oregano)
2 tablespoon unsalted butter
Kosher or sea salt
Bring a large sauce pot of generously salted water to boil. Blanch fiddleheads for 4 minutes; remove to ice water for 1 minute. Strain from water and dry well.
In a large saute pan over medium-high add oil and cook shallots and garlic until shallots are translucent. Add fiddleheads and saute for 2 minutes. Add wine (if using) and reduce until about 1 tablespoon of liquid remains. Add about 2 tablespoons of water and generously season with salt and pepper. Add thyme and butter and stir well.
Recipe courtesy of Josh Ziskin of La Morra.
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.
Monday, August 9, 2010
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.
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 WGBH 44.
Friday, August 6, 2010
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.
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)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
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.
Mas de la Dame Rose du Mas 2007
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.