Herbs and Spices

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.

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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.

Shucked Oysters With Two Sauces By Annie Copps

Tuesday, December 7, 2010
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Few ingredients express their hometown quite like an oyster. And the majority of oysters growing in New England are all the same species: Crassostrea virginica.

The size, shape, flavor, and texture of an oyster are not from the type of oyster they are, but rather where they come from—the salinity of the water, the temperature of the water, what the oysters feed on, and the force of the tides and speed of the currents—that's what makes an oyster from a coastal island in Maine taste completely different from the same species grown in Duxbury or Cotuit or Wellfleet. Just a squeeze of lemon or dab of cocktail sauce does a raw oyster well, but I hope you'll try these sauces to enhance their briny attributes.

A classic mignonette sauce is a simple combination of finely chopped shallots, vinegar and cracked pepper, while a remoulade involves a bit of mayonnaise mixed with a salty combo of chopped cornichons and capers and fresh herbs—either way, get yourself to a freshly shucked New England oyster.

Mignonette Sauce
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
1 cup red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons freshly ground white or black pepper

Directions
In a small bowl combine ingredients. Refrigerate one hour before serving.

Remoulade Sauce
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
1/4 cup chopped cornichon pickles
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
1/4 cup fresh chervil

Directions
In a small bowl combine ingredients. Refrigerate one hour before serving.

___________________________________________________________
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.

Grilled Marinated Flank Steak By Annie Copps

Monday, December 13, 2010
1 Comments   1 comments.

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shrimp dumplings

If you are a coupon clipper or circular reader, flank steak goes on sale quite often. It's a little tougher than some cuts, but we love the flavor and its forgiving nature when it comes to rare or well-done.

We keep our grill going all year, but you can use your broiler indoors to whip up this fast and flavorful steak dish.

Into a large zip-top bag, place a 2-pound flank steak, some red wine, a chopped onion, a few cloves of garlic, a few sprigs of thyme and a bit of sugar. Mix well to coat the steak and pop in the fridge for a few hours—you can do this before you head out to work in the morning or up to 3 days. Sometimes I buy this on sale, mix it in the bag, label and freeze for a few weeks. But if you are ready to cook it now, fire up the grill or broiler and cook the steak 3 to 4 minutes per side. Let it rest, then you are ready to slice into a flavorful steak.

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients
1 2-pound flank or skirt steak, trimmed
1/2 cup dry white or red wine
1/2 red or yellow onion, sliced
4 to 5 sprigs fresh thyme
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 to 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon sugar
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions
Place all ingredients through sugar in a large zip-top plastic bag. Toss to coat well. Refrigerate two hours or up to 3 days if you prefer.

Prepare grill or broiler to medium-high. Remove steak from marinade and shake off excess. Place on grill or under broiler about 4 minutes per side (for medium rare). Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper. Let rest 5 minutes before slicing.

Swordfish-Bacon Kebabs with Cilantro Gremolata
By Ming Tsai

Wednesday, December 22, 2010
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Swordfish-Bacon Kebabs with Cilantro Gremolata

Ingredients
1 cup chopped cilantro
3 lemons, zested and juiced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 stalks lemongrass, white part only, finely minced
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
12 slices of bacon
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 1/2 pounds center-cut swordfish, cut into 1x1-inch cubes
4-8 long satay skewers, soaked in water
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Cooking spray

Directions
Prepare a hot grill, sprayed slick.

In a bowl, combine the cilantro, lemon zest and juice, garlic, lemongrass and extra virgin olive oil. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Assemble the kebabs by first skewering one end of the bacon and following with swordfish cube.

Weave the bacon in between the swordfish and tomato as you thread each onto the skewer.

Lay the kebabs in a dish and take 1/3 of the gremolata and rub all over kebabs. Let marinate for at least 20 minutes.

Season the kebabs with salt and pepper and grill until bacon is cooked through, about 8 minutes.

Plate using a satay plate and serve with remaining gremolata in dipping bowl.

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chef ming tsai
Ming Tsai is the host and executive producer of public television series Simply Ming and chef/owner of Blue Ginger restaurant in Wellesley, Mass.

Clam Chowder
By Annie Copps

Thursday, November 4, 2010
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bowl of chowder

I'm a New Englander through and through and ergo, I enjoy clam chowder. But with apologies to my mother, I'm offerng my own recipe for this comfort food classic. This recipe includes all the traditional ingredients of true New England clam chowder: It's rich and thick without being glunky because we've all had that bad bowl of glue.

Ingredients
7 pounds cherrystone clams, well-scrubbed and rinsed
3 cups water
4 strips bacon, finely chopped
1 medium Spanish onion, diced small
2 tablespoons flour
3 large red potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 cup heavy cream

Directions
In a large soup pot over high heat, add clams to 3 cups water. Bring to a boil and cook just until clams open, about 10 minutes. Remove clams from broth and set aside. (Discard any clams that don't open.) Strain broth through a sieve lined with a coffee filter and set aside.

Clean your soup pot; then over medium-high heat, sauté bacon until it's browned and fat is rendered. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon to a paper towel. Discard all but 2 tablespoons of bacon fat.

Add diced onion to the pot and sautê until translucent. Stir in flour and cook 1 minute, being careful not to brown. Whisk in reserved clam broth. Add potatoes and thyme, and simmer 10 minutes.

Remove clams from shells, reserving liquid, and chop roughly. Strain liquid; then add clams and liquid to the pot. Stir in parsley and cream and cook just long enough to heat clams through, about 3 minutes.

(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.

Bacon-Cilantro Fried Rice
By Ming Tsai

Tuesday, December 7, 2010
0 Comments   0 comments.

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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.

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