Rice and Grains

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.

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.

Spicy Wok Clams and Leeks By Ming Tsai

Friday, August 6, 2010
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When I come across a flavor I really love, I like to spread it around, and the best way to spread the great flavor of Indonesia’s spicy sambal is with crème fraiche, the French multitasker that also mellows sambal’s heat — which you will see in todays’ recipe: Spicy Wok Clams and Leeks, an all-in-one seafood dish with a nuance of bacon and garlic.

Serves 4

Ingredients
2 slices of bacon, finely diced
4 cloves of garlic, sliced
2 large leeks, white parts only, julienned, washed, rinsed, spun dry
1 tablespoon sambal
2 pounds small clams or cockles, purged in corn meal/water solution
1 cup white wine
1/4 cup crème fraiche
Canola oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Crusty multi grain or whole wheat bread

Directions
In a wok over medium-high heat very lightly coated with oil, render the bacon. Pour off almost all the bacon fat and add garlic and leeks, saute until softened and season with salt and pepper. Add sambal and clams and deglaze with wine and cover. Cook until clams open, about 6-8 minutes. Add crème fraiche and stir into liquid. Serve with crusty bread in large bowls.

Drink Pairing
Hopler Gewurztraminer 2003
Creamy on the palate with a long finish, this is a particularly great pairing with spicy Asian foods and seafood.
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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 nation.

Anadama Bread By Annie Copps

Tuesday, August 3, 2010
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anadama breadThis is definitely a New England recipe. Anadama bread is one of the most popular breads here, and for good reason—it's absolutely delicious. Try smearing a mixture of butter and local honey on it and, you'll be hooked. This is my friend and mentor chef Jasper White's recipe, Jasper uses a bit more corn meal and less molasses than most recipes, so it serves dual roles as a breakfast bread or alongside hearty chowders.

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Start to Finish Time: 1.5 hours
Yield: 2 loaves

Ingredients
1 package active dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1-1/4 cups (approx.) warm water (105-115 degrees), divided
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, cooled to room temperature
2 tablespoons dark molasses
2 teaspoons salt
3-1/2 cups bread flour, plus extra for work surface
1 cup yellow cornmeal
Vegetable oil or butter
1 large egg, beaten with 2 tablespoons water (egg wash)

Directions
In a medium-size bowl (or the bowl of a standing mixer with hook attachment), combine yeast, sugar, and 1/4 cup warm water; mix well. Add melted butter, molasses, salt, flour, and cornmeal. Slowly add up to 1 cup more warm water; mix to form a soft, but not sticky, dough. Add more water if necessary. Knead by machine about 10 minutes, or by hand about 15 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic.

Oil (or butter) a large bowl lightly. Shape dough into a ball and place in the bowl; turn it once so it's lightly greased all over. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp cloth and place in a warm, draft-free spot. Let dough rise until volume doubles, about 1 hour.

Grease two 9-1/2x5-inch loaf pans. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Cut in half and shape each half into a loaf. Place each loaf in a pan, return to a warm spot, and let rise until volume doubles, about 20 to 30 minutes.

Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Brush the tops of the loaves with egg wash and bake 1 hour, or until deep golden brown. To test for doneness, remove one hot loaf from its pan and tap the bottom of the bread; you'll hear a hollow sound if it's done. If it's not done, return it to the oven for 5 to 10 minutes. When loaves are done, turn them out of their pans and cool on a rack for at least 20 minutes.

(Adapted from 50 Chowders: One-Pot Meals—Clam, Corn & Beyond by Jasper White)

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