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Creamy Thai Basil Polenta By Ming Tsai

Thursday, August 12, 2010
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Creamy Thai Basil Polenta

Serves 4

Ingredients
4 tablespoons butter
1 yellow onion, minced
4 cups whole milk
8 cups chicken stock
3 cups instant polenta
1 cup packed Thai basil leaves
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon pink peppercorns, hand cracked
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions
Add 1 tablespoon butter to large sauce pan over medium-high heat and melt. Add onion, sauté until softened, and season with salt and pepper. Add milk and stock and bring to a simmer. Whisk in polenta and cook until creamy and smooth. Check flavor and season, if necessary. Whisk in remaining butter. Meanwhile, toss Thai basil with lemon zest and juice and season with salt and pepper. Serve polenta in bowls and top with Thai basil salad and pink peppercorns.
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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 country.

Sake-Black Pepper Mussels With Granny Smith Apples
By Ming Tsai

Wednesday, November 10, 2010
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Sake-Black Pepper Mussels With Granny Smith Apples

Apples may seem like a funny match for mussels, but believe-you-me the tartness and sweetness of apples play beautifully against the natural brininess of the mussels and a little bit of sake adds yet another element that makes this dish delicious.

Ingredients
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3 large shallots, sliced
1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
2 pounds PEI mussels, scrubbed, bearded
1 cup sake
1/4 cup ponzu
1 large green apple, peeled, julienned
2 tablespoons butter
Togarashi for garnish
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Canola oil for cooking

Directions
In a wok over high heat coated lightly with oil, stir-fry garlic, shallots, and black pepper; add mussels and season. Deglaze with sake and cover to open mussels.

When mussels are starting to open, add ponzu, green apple and butter.

Cover for about 30 seconds to allow flavors to meld.

Serve in a large bowl and garnish with togarashi.

Deviled Eggs with Tuna and Black Olives
By Annie Copps

Friday, August 6, 2010
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Do you know Oleana  restaurant in Cambridge? Or Sofra in Watertown? My good friend Ana Sortun is the genius behind those excellent restaurants, and in her book Spice, she shares some of her secrets. One of my addictions are her Deviled Eggs with Tuna and Black Olives. I encourage you to serve these at your next party, be it a luncheon, a barbecue, or a fancy dinner. That is assuming you don’t eat them before your guests arrive.

Prep time: 20 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Ready in: 30 mins

Ingredients
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 cup minced fresh tuna (about 6 ounces)
1 scallion, minced
1/2 cup minced celery
Tiny pinch curry
Salt and pepper
8 hard-boiled eggs, split in half lengthwise, with yolks and whites separated
1 cup thick mayonnaise, preferably homemade
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
8 black olives, pitted and finely chopped
1 plum tomato, finely chopped

Directions
Heat oil in a medium saucepan over high heat.

Add the tuna, scallion, celery, curry and salt and pepper.

Cook until the tuna is just opaque, about 3 minutes. Cool and drain well.

In a small mixing bowl, mash the egg yolks with a fork. Stir in the mayonnaise, tuna, and
parsley. Season with salt and pepper.

Season the egg whites with salt and pepper and fill their centers with heaping spoonfuls of the tuna egg filling. Top each with a black olive and tomato.

(From Ana Sortum, Spice)


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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.

Coconut-Cranberry Chicken Curry
By Ming Tsai

Thursday, September 9, 2010
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Coconut-Cranberry Chicken Curry

What happens when you take coconut milk from the East and combine it cranberries from the west? Well, you get today's dish: a quick Coconut-Cranberry Chicken Curry that introduces India to Cape Cod.

Ingredients
6-8 chicken thighs, skin on, bone in, seasoned for 10 minutes before cooking
2 red onions, sliced
2 sweet potatoes, peeled, 1/2-inch dice
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 heaping tablespoon minced jalapeno
heaping 1/2 cup Craisins
2 tablespoon Madras curry powder
1 13.5 ounce can of coconut milk
1 cup water
Canola oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Steamed Brown Rice

Directions
In a cast iron skillet or stockpot coated very lightly with oil on medium-high heat, sear the chicken, skin-side down, and completely render the fat.

Flip and brown meat-side. Remove chicken. Wipe out excess fat and saute the onions, potatoes, ginger, jalapeno, Craisins and curry powder and season. Add coconut milk and water, check for seasoning, then add chicken back. Bring to a simmer and cook chicken through, about 45 minutes. Serve family style on rice.

Beverage pairing
Jean-Luc Colombo La Violette Viognier From Pays d'Oc, Southern France. The aroma is intensely violet, which is where it gets its name, with nuances of licorice, lychee, apricot and peach. Well-structured, finishes with elegance and opulent fruit. 100% Viognier

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

Baked Penne & Mushrooms
By Lidia Bastianich

Friday, August 6, 2010
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Pasticcio di Penne alla Valdostana

Serves 6

Ingredients
1 teaspoon kosher salt
8 ounces fontina from Valle d’Aosta
1 cup freshly grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano- Reggiano, plus more for passing
4 tablespoons soft butter
1 pound mixed fresh mushrooms (such as porcini, shiitake, cremini, and common
white mushrooms), cleaned and sliced
1 cup half and half
1 pound penne
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

Directions
Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 400º. Fill the pasta pot with 6 quarts water, add 1 tablespoon salt, and heat to the boil. Shred the fontina through the larger holes of a hand grater, and toss the shreds with ½ cup of the grana (grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano).

Put 3 tablespoons of the butter in the big skillet, and set it over medium- high heat. When the butter begins to bubble, drop in the mushroom slices, stir with the butter, season with the teaspoon salt, and spread the mushrooms out to cover the pan bottom. Let the mushrooms heat, without stirring, until they release their liquid and it comes to a boil.

Cook the mushrooms, stirring occasionally, as they shrivel and the liquid rapidly evaporates. When the skillet bottom is completely dry, stir the half and half into the mushrooms, stir, and bring the sauce to a boil. Cook it rapidly for a minute or two to thicken slightly, then keep it warm over very low heat.

Meanwhile, stir the penne into the boiling pasta water and cook until barely al dente (still somewhat undercooked to the bite). Ladle a cup of the pasta cooking water into the mushroom sauce and stir. Drain the pasta briefly, and drop into the cream-and-mushroom sauce. Toss the penne until all are nicely coated, then sprinkle over them the remaining ½ cup of grana (not mixed with fontina) and the chopped parsley. Toss to blend.

Coat the bottom and sides of the baking dish with the last tablespoon of butter. Empty the skillet into the dish, spreading the penne and sauce to fill the dish completely in a uniform layer. Smooth the top, and sprinkle the mixed fontina-grana evenly all over.

Set the dish in the oven, and bake 20 to 25 minutes, until the cheese topping is crusty and deep golden brown and the sauce is bubbling up at the edges. Set the hot baking dish on a trivet at the table, and serve family-style.

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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."

Sweet and Sour Chicken and Peppers
By Ming Tsai

Friday, August 6, 2010
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One of the great things about the food of other cultures is that it’s full of surprise flavors — like tamarind, which is the source of the unique tartness in so many Thai dishes. Tamarind takes tart to a new level, and to balance its complex flavor, there’s nothing better than the deep sweetness of brown sugar. So today, East meets West and sweet meets tart in Sweet and Sour Chicken and Peppers, a super-easy wok stir-fry that gives you an all-in-one meal.

Ingredients
3/4 cup tamarind puree
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons naturally brewed soy sauce
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 1/2 pounds dark chicken meat, skin removed, 1-inch dice
1 large yellow onion, 1 inch dice
1 red bell pepper, 1 inch dice
1 yellow bell pepper, 1 inch dice
House rice (white/brown rice combo)
Canola oil to cook
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions
In a bowl, combine tamarind, sugar, naturally brewed soy sauce and ginger; add chicken and marinate for 20 minutes.

In a hot wok coated lightly with oil, stir fry the onion and ginger. Add the chicken with a slotted spoon, reserving marinade. Cook until almost cooked through, about 4 minutes, and add peppers and rest of marinade. Bring to a simmer and check for flavor. Serve on house rice.

Drink pairings
New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc
Goslings Bermuda Rum
__________________________________________________________
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.

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