Appetizers

Asian Pistou Dumplings in Lime Broth By Ming Tsai

Friday, August 6, 2010
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Some of China’s smallest treasures are also its tastiest — dim sum — those savory little dumplings filled with meat, seafood, and vegetables. And they translate well to Western cuisine because they make great hors d’oeuvres. Today, however, we serve up a vegetarian soup version in my Asian Pistou Dumplings in Lime Broth. Let’s get cooking.

Yield: 10 dumplings

Ingredients
1 bunch scallions, sliced thinly, white and green separated
4 cups vegetarian broth
Juice of 2 limes
1 tablespoon Wanjashan low-sodium tamari
1/2 cup packed parsley
1/2 cup packed Thai basil
4 cloves garlic
1/2 cup edamame
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
10-12 thin wonton wrappers
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions
In a saucepot coated lightly with extra virgin olive oil, sweat the scallion whites and add broth. Reduce by 25%. Season and add lime juice and tamari. Meanwhile, using mortar and pestle, blend with a pinch of salt the parsley, basil, and garlic.

Fold in edamame and extra virgin olive oil and check for seasoning. Alternatively, using a food processor, pulse together salt, parsley, basil and garlic. Remove mixture to a bowl and fold in edamame and whisk in olive oil.

Make wontons with Asian pistou filling. Boil in broth and serve.

Garnish with scallions greens.

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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 country."

Parsley-Garlic Stuffed Shrimp in Yuzu-Dashi Dip
By Ming Tsai

Tuesday, August 24, 2010
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If you asked the Japanese to name their most important cooking ingredient, they'd probably say 'dashi,' the briny stock they use as a foundation for so many dishes. And if you asked an American the same thing, the ubiquitous herb, parsley, would be right up there. So today I'm combining those two east-west workhorses to flavor a straightforward recipe that produces either an impressive appetizer or entrée…my Parsley-Garlic Stuffed Shrimp in Yuzu-Dashi Dip.

Serves 4

Ingredients
1 cup panko
5 cloves garlic
1 cup packed parsley leaves
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
8 colossal shrimp, butterflied
2 cups dashi
2 tablespoon fresh yuzu juice
1 tablespoon naturally brewed soy sauce
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions
Turn on broiler and place heat-proof plates under broiler to pre-heat. In a mini food processor fitted with blade, buzz the panko, garlic and parsley with pinch of salt and drizzle in extra virgin olive oil. Pack the shrimp with the mixture.

Remove hot plates from broiler and drizzle extra virgin olive oil on plate. Top with shrimp and broil until done, about 6-8 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine dashi, yuzu and naturally brewed soy sauce; taste and season, if necessary. Serve broiled shrimp with side of dashi dipping sauce.

Drink pairings
Remy Pannier Sancerre —Sancerre, Loire Valley, France Taste: Fresh, dry fruit and well-balanced with a long finish. Aroma: Grapefruit and gooseberries —100% Sauvignon Blanc —Serve chilled; Pairs well with seafood, shellfish and goat cheese.

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

Beer and Artisanal Foods

Thursday, January 10, 2013
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Wine Loves Chocolate, Chocolate Loves Wine

Thursday, January 5, 2012
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Braised Fennel and Leeks By Annie Copps

Tuesday, February 22, 2011
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braised fennel and leeks in bowl

Typically it's a big, tough piece of meat that gets transformed by braising, but I found that when slowly cooked in a bit of wine and chicken stock, my two favorite root vegetables, fennel and leeks, turn luscious and silky. The fennel hangs on to a bit of its licorice-y-ness, while most of the onion taste of the leek converts into a vaguely sweet flavor.

Heat your oven to 400 degrees and get started with about 8 leeks. Like all vegetables, leeks come from the earth, but leeks don't like to let go of their dirty beds—be sure to wash them well, because one small grain of dirt will feel like a boulder in your mouth.

Arrange the leeks and thinly sliced fennel in a casserole dish and scatter butter over the top, then pour chicken stock and some wine into the pan. Cover with foil and cook about 40 minutes.

Remove the foil and scatter parmesan cheese and bread crumbs over the top and cook until the top is well browned. So good—the leeks and fennel are rich and creamy and the topping crunchy, a delicious and satisfying contrast of textures and flavors.

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients
8 medium leeks, trimmed and rinsed well (discard roots and all but 2-inches of the green part—leeks should be 6 to 8 inches trimmed)
3 medium fennel bulbs, root removed and thinly sliced
2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1 cup white wine
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
kosher salt
Freshly ground white pepper
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
½ cup panko bread crumbs

Directions
Heat oven to 400 degrees

In a medium casserole arrange leeks in one layer with sliced fennel on top.

Pour in stock and wine.

Scatter pats of butter over the top and season with salt and pepper.

Seal with foil and place in oven for 40 minutes. Remove foil. Return to oven for 10 minutes.

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

(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.

Panko Eggplant with Chile-Yogurt Salsa By Ming Tsai

Tuesday, January 18, 2011
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panko eggplant triangles with chile-yogurt salsa

Panko is a Japanese breadcrumb that is becoming more and more popular because it has a crisper, airier texture than most types of bradcrumbs, and I adore using it on this vegetarian appetizer that's perfect for any gathering.

Serves 4

Ingredients
3 Japanese eggplant, halved lengthwise and scored diagonally
1 tablespoon sesame oil
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons Sriracha
1 cup panko
1 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
3 scallions sliced thinly
1 large tomato, 1/2-inch dice
8 leaves Thai basil, fine ribbons
1 tablespoon sriracha

Directions
Pre-heat oven to low broil.

Lay out eggplant and season.

Mix together the oils and sriracha.

Brush mixture onto sliced side of eggplant and dip into panko, place on baking dish.

Moisten breadcrumbs on top with a drizzle of olive oil.

Place tray on middle shelf. Cook until golden, brown and delicious, about 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine Greek yogurt, scallions, tomato, basil and Sriracha, season and store salsa in fridge.

To serve, plate with a few tablespoons salsa spooned over hot eggplant.

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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.

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