Dinner

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
 

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.

Lasagna Roll-ups By Annie Copps

Tuesday, December 21, 2010
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lasagna rollups

Here's a fun and delicious twist on lasagna that you'll be happy to serve for dinner any time or whip up for a large buffet.

Lasagna rollups are made of the same ingredients as traditional layered lasagnas (and can handle all the variations of fillings and sauces). But this way, everyone gets their own, individual serving and it feels just a little more special, with no extra effort.

Let's start with the pasta. Cook off lasagna noodles until they are soft and flexible, but still al dente. Combine the usual lasagna suspects of ricotta cheese, egg, a few scrapes of fresh nutmeg, mozzarella cheese, parmesan and for texture, some chopped walnuts. Spoon a few tablespoons of the mixture onto one end of a cooked noodle, then gently roll to the end.

Place the rolled bundle into a baking dish and repeat with remaining pasta and filling. Top the whole party with your favorite sauce.

Cover and bake about 20minutes.

Ta Da—lasgana roll ups!

Filling:
3/4 pound lasagna noodles
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Salt to taste
2 drops Tabasco sauce, or cayenne pepper to taste
1/2 cup whole-milk mozzarella cheese, grated
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup ground walnuts

Directions
In a large pot of salted water, cook noodles until barely done.

In a medium bowl, combine remaining ingredients.

Pesto Sauce:
2 tablespoons dried basil
1/3 cup ground walnuts
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 tablespoon minced green onion
2 garlic cloves
Kosher or sea salt
1 cup olive oil
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

Directions
In a blender or food processor, combine ingredients and blend until smooth.

Heat oven to 300 degrees. Spread 1 to 2 tablespoons of filling over each lasagna noodle. Roll up the lasagna end to end (jelly-roll style) and cut each roll-up in half, keeping jelly-roll style. Place cut-side down in a greased baking dish. Spoon 1 to 2 teaspoons of pesto sauce over each roll-up. Cover tightly with buttered foil and bake 20 minutes.

___________________________________________________________
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.

My Mom's Meatloaf
By Annie Copps

Monday, January 24, 2011
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meatloaf

For some people, meatloaf is the food they ate when there was nothing left in the house. For me, the meatloaf was so good, I had to beg my mother to make it. My Mom, also a terrific cook, had a "thing" about meatloaf, I think she thinks of it as a little de classe. Occasionally she would succumb, but she couldn’t understand why we liked it so much. Now she confesses to making and enjoying it—no wonder, wait until you try this recipe, it is more dense than most meatloaves and it tastes great the next day in a sandwich with sautéed onions and ketchup.

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Start to Finish Time: 90 minutes
Yield: about 9 pieces

Ingredients
3 slices white bread, crust removed
1 cup milk
1 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground pork
1/2 pound raw chorizo sausage, casing removed
1 cup finely chopped onion
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt (approximately)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon dried sage
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons dried rosemary
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup ketchup
3 bacon strips, uncooked

Directions
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place bread in a small bowl. Pour milk over it and let the bread soak up as much liquid as it will hold.

In a large bowl, knead together beef, pork, and chorizo. Add bread, any milk left in the bowl, onion, eggs, salt, herbs, nutmeg, and ketchup. With super-clean hands, knead until ingredients are uniformly distributed.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. On the lined sheet, mold the meat into a loaf shape, about 9 inches long. Lay bacon strips lengthwise on top. Bake 1 hour. Remove and let rest 20 minutes on a cooling rack. Transfer to a cutting board; slice and serve.

(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.

Shrimp Scampi By Ming Tsai

Monday, November 8, 2010
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shrimp scampi in a bowl

If you think about the term "shrimp scampi," you may assume that "scampi" is the technique by which shrimp is prepared, but in actuality scampi is plural for scampo, the term for shrimp in Italian. In this recipe I give you my shrimp scampi, or shrimp-shrimp, with an east-west twist.

Ingredients
1 pound pappardelle
1 tablespoon minced lemongrass (white part only)
4 shallots, sliced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
12 large shrimp, U-15, peeled, deveined
Juice of 3 lemons
1/4 cup fish sauce
2 tablespoons butter
Canola or grapeseed oil for cooking
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions
Fill a stockpot 1/3 full with water and bring to a boil over high heat. When boiling, add salt. Add pappardelle and cook until al dente.

Drain pappardelle and set aside. In same stockpot over medium heat, coat lightly with oil and sautê the lemongrass, shallots and garlic for 1 minute, then season.

Add the shrimp and sautê until cooked through, about 3-5 minutes. Add lemon juice, fish sauce and pasta and toss to combine. Check for flavor and season, if necessary. Add the shrimp and sautê until cooked through, about 3-5 minutes. Add lemon juice, fish sauce and pasta and toss Add butter, toss to melt, taste and serve.

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

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

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