Herbs and Spices

Bacon-Cilantro Fried Rice
By Ming Tsai

Tuesday, December 7, 2010
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Bacon-Cilantro Fried Rice

This great East-West combination is my favorite: Bacon-cilantro fried rice. There are two keys to a great fried rice: Dried rice (left over from the day before and super fluffy eggs. The secret to fluffy eggs? Hot oil. Here's the dish.

Ingredients
4 eggs
8 slices of bacon, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 bunch scallions sliced thinly, separate white and green
8 cups cooked jasmin rice, day old
1 tablespoon naturally brewed soy sauce
2 tablespoon chopped cilantro
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Canola oil for cooking

Directions
In a medium bowl, whisk eggs together until well-combined. In a large sauté pan over high heat coated with 1/4-inch of oil, gently lower the eggs in and season. Eggs will puff up and cook through very quickly; transfer eggs and oil to a paper towel-lined plate.

In the same pan, cook the bacon. When bacon is almost fully cooked, add the garlic, ginger and scallion whites and stir-fry for 1 minute, until softened and fragrant.

Add the rice, naturally brewed soy sauce and eggs and stir to heat through and break up the eggs. Check for flavor and season if necessary.

Toss in the cilantro and scallions greens and serve.

Bacon-Pineapple Fried Orzo
By Ming Tsai

Monday, November 29, 2010
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bacon pineapple fried orzo

Ingredients
5 slices of bacon
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1/2 cup sliced scallions, some greens reserved for garnish
1 cup 1/4-inch dice pineapple
5 cups cooked orzo
3 tablespoons Wanjashan organic ponzu
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Canola oil

Directions
In large saute pan or wok over medium-high heat, cook bacon until crisp and remove to a paper towel-lined plate. When cooled, crumble. Drain bacon fat, wipe pan clean and lightly coat with canola oil. Over medium heat, saute garlic, ginger, scallions and pineapple. Add orzo, ponzu and crumbled bacon. Toss to combine and heat through. Check flavoring and season. Serve family style, garnished with scallion greens.

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)

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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.

Asian Ratatouille with Couscous By Ming Tsai

Tuesday, December 7, 2010
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Asian Ratatouille with Couscous

Hopefully you've already seen Ratatouille, a fantastic movie that my kids love. Ratatouille is a traditional country dish made of healthy vegetables that originated in Nice, France. Here's an Eastern spin on this French classic.

Ingredients
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling
1 small red onion, 1/4-inch dice
1 Japanese eggplant, 1/2- inch dice, skin on
1 red bell pepper, 1/2-inch dice
1 large heirloom tomato, 1/2-inch dice
2 cups (12 ounces) whole wheat instant couscous
2 tablespoon Wanjashan wheat-free organic tamari
3 cups water, boiling
12-15 Thai basil leaves, ripped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions
In a non-stick saute pan over medium-high heat coated lightly with extra virgin olive oil add onion and eggplant and season and cook until soft, about 3 minutes.

Add bell peppers and saute until slightly softened, then add tomato, stir and season.

Meanwhile, make couscous: in a large, heat-proof bowl, combine couscous, tamari and 2 tablespoons olive oil and season. Pour boiling water over and stir quickly to blend and immediately cover bowl with plastic wrap, sealing tightly.

Allow to steam until couscous is tender, about 5-7 minutes. Fluff couscous with the back of a fork and stir in Thai basil ribbons.

Check flavor and season if necessary. To serve, using a ring mold or similar, plate couscous in mold on plate and layer ratatouille on top.

Unmold and drizzle with more extra virgin olive oil and garnish with Thai basil sprig, if desired.

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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.

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.

Roasted Chicken with Beer
By Lidia Bastianich

Friday, August 6, 2010
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Everyone likes a good beer now and then, and not only to drink. I like to cook with it. As much as Italians love their wine, a good beer is enjoyed every now and then, and it’s even used in cooking — so next time you’re roasting chicken, think of adding some beer to it.

Ingredients
Whole chicken
Carrots
Celery
Onion
Fresh garlic
Sage leaves
Beer
Salt

Directions
Find your favorite recipe for roasted chicken.

Set your chicken to rest in a baking casserole. Now add some carrots, celery, onion, fresh garlic and sage leaves.

Season all with salt. Pour in a bottle a beer such as a pale ale, some stock and roast.

Be sure to baste the chicken periodically and it will not only be honey golden but taste savory and delicious.

With a glass a beer, what a perfect meal!

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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.

About the Author

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