Rice and Grains

Baked Penne & Mushrooms
By Lidia Bastianich

Friday, August 6, 2010
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Pasticcio di Penne alla Valdostana

Serves 6

Ingredients
1 teaspoon kosher salt
8 ounces fontina from Valle d’Aosta
1 cup freshly grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano- Reggiano, plus more for passing
4 tablespoons soft butter
1 pound mixed fresh mushrooms (such as porcini, shiitake, cremini, and common
white mushrooms), cleaned and sliced
1 cup half and half
1 pound penne
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

Directions
Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 400º. Fill the pasta pot with 6 quarts water, add 1 tablespoon salt, and heat to the boil. Shred the fontina through the larger holes of a hand grater, and toss the shreds with ½ cup of the grana (grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano).

Put 3 tablespoons of the butter in the big skillet, and set it over medium- high heat. When the butter begins to bubble, drop in the mushroom slices, stir with the butter, season with the teaspoon salt, and spread the mushrooms out to cover the pan bottom. Let the mushrooms heat, without stirring, until they release their liquid and it comes to a boil.

Cook the mushrooms, stirring occasionally, as they shrivel and the liquid rapidly evaporates. When the skillet bottom is completely dry, stir the half and half into the mushrooms, stir, and bring the sauce to a boil. Cook it rapidly for a minute or two to thicken slightly, then keep it warm over very low heat.

Meanwhile, stir the penne into the boiling pasta water and cook until barely al dente (still somewhat undercooked to the bite). Ladle a cup of the pasta cooking water into the mushroom sauce and stir. Drain the pasta briefly, and drop into the cream-and-mushroom sauce. Toss the penne until all are nicely coated, then sprinkle over them the remaining ½ cup of grana (not mixed with fontina) and the chopped parsley. Toss to blend.

Coat the bottom and sides of the baking dish with the last tablespoon of butter. Empty the skillet into the dish, spreading the penne and sauce to fill the dish completely in a uniform layer. Smooth the top, and sprinkle the mixed fontina-grana evenly all over.

Set the dish in the oven, and bake 20 to 25 minutes, until the cheese topping is crusty and deep golden brown and the sauce is bubbling up at the edges. Set the hot baking dish on a trivet at the table, and serve family-style.

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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."

Sweet and Sour Chicken and Peppers
By Ming Tsai

Friday, August 6, 2010
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One of the great things about the food of other cultures is that it’s full of surprise flavors — like tamarind, which is the source of the unique tartness in so many Thai dishes. Tamarind takes tart to a new level, and to balance its complex flavor, there’s nothing better than the deep sweetness of brown sugar. So today, East meets West and sweet meets tart in Sweet and Sour Chicken and Peppers, a super-easy wok stir-fry that gives you an all-in-one meal.

Ingredients
3/4 cup tamarind puree
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons naturally brewed soy sauce
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 1/2 pounds dark chicken meat, skin removed, 1-inch dice
1 large yellow onion, 1 inch dice
1 red bell pepper, 1 inch dice
1 yellow bell pepper, 1 inch dice
House rice (white/brown rice combo)
Canola oil to cook
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions
In a bowl, combine tamarind, sugar, naturally brewed soy sauce and ginger; add chicken and marinate for 20 minutes.

In a hot wok coated lightly with oil, stir fry the onion and ginger. Add the chicken with a slotted spoon, reserving marinade. Cook until almost cooked through, about 4 minutes, and add peppers and rest of marinade. Bring to a simmer and check for flavor. Serve on house rice.

Drink pairings
New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc
Goslings Bermuda Rum
__________________________________________________________
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.

Soba Noodle-Shrimp Pancakes By Ming Tsai

Monday, August 9, 2010
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You may think that pasta is only as flavorful as its sauce, but that would mean you haven’t tried Japanese soba noodles. Made of buckwheat, they have an earthy, nutty flavor that evokes the countryside, which is why I’ve paired them with an Italian ingredient that has the same effect, pancetta. And this east-west pair is going to be the platform for today’s all in one dish: my Soba Noodle Shrimp Pancakes.

Serves 4

Ingredients
2 eggs
1 pound shrimp
1/4 cup chopped parsley, plus some leaves for garnish
2 tablespoons yuzu or fresh lemon juice
1 cup diced, rendered pancetta, cooled
2 cups blanched soba noodles (leave a pinhole of rawness in center)
Chopped parsley, for garnish (optional)
Canola oil for frying
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions
In a food processor fitted with blade, add the eggs and shrimp and pulse until chopped into a chunky mousse. Season with salt and pepper. Have soba noodles in a large bowl and pour mousse over noodles. Fold in parsley, yuzu and pancetta. Check flavor by cooking a small portion and season if necessary. Spread noodle pancake mixture in an even layer in a sauté pan over high heat coated with oil. Shallow fry pancakes until golden, brown and delicious, both sides, about 6 minutes. Cut into wedges and garnish with parsley.

Drink pairings
Sapporo Beer
—From Japan

A lager, quite refreshing with a moderately light body. Pairs very nicely with the Soba Noodle-Shrimp Pancakes.

Jean Luc Colombo Rose
—Provence, France
Taste: Surprisingly complex, with intriguing notes of raspberry, cherry and black olive
Aroma: Subtle hints of peach, rose petals and pepper on the nose

Colombo is hailed as “the winemaking wizard of the Rhone” for introducing innovative methods in his vineyards and throughout the production process while making well-regarded, original wines. He believes good wine relies on 3 key elements: terroir, human endeavor and modern winemaking techniques.

—Enjoy on its own or with a wide range of appetizers, fish, poultry dishes and vegetarian fare. This wines pairs equally well with Michel Richard’s Beet Soba Bolognese and Ming’s Soba Noodle Carbonara.

—40% Syrah, 40% Mourvedre, 20% Counoise

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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.

Homemade Granola
By Annie Copps

Friday, August 6, 2010
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Monday through Friday, I eat breakfast on the go—usually a cup of coffee and a bowl of yogurt with granola. Store bought granola can have some hidden ingredients, too much salt, and sugar as well as extra calories that may not be the best way for you to start the day.

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Start to Finish Time: 1.5 hours
Yield: about 5 cups

Ingredients
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup whole almonds
3/4 cup shredded coconut
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1 cup raisins or chopped dried cherries

Directions
Heat oven to 250.° In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except raisins (or cherries); make sure oats, almonds, and coconut are well coated with sugar, syrup, and oil. Spread out on one large baking sheet (or two small sheets). Bake 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes for even browning.

Remove the sheet from the oven and let cool on wire racks. Scoop or pour granola into a large bowl, add raisins or cherries, and mix well. Store in well-sealed containers at room temperature up to two weeks.

(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.

Ma Po Tofu-Zucchini by Ming Tsai

Monday, February 7, 2011
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Today I'm using two of the easiest east-west ingredients to work with—and they work really well together: Tofu and zucchini. I grew up eating tofu in stir fries and salads and discovered it truly is nature's vegetarian meat. Zucchini requires very little prep and it's almost as versatile as tofu. You'll see what I mean in today's recipe.

Serves 4

Ingredients
1 medium yellow onion, 1/4-inch dice
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 large red jalapeno, minced
1 tablespoon sambal
1 bunch scallions sliced thinly, white and green separated
1 medium zucchini, 1/2-inch dice
2 packages silken tofu, 1/2-inch dice
1 pound dark meat ground chicken
1 tablespoon naturally brewed soy sauce
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Canola oil to cook
House rice (brown/white rice combo)

Directions
In a hot wok coated with oil over high heat, stir-fry the chicken, season and cook through. Remove chicken to a plate. Add more oil and stir-fry the onion, ginger, jalapeno, sambal and scallion whites for 2 minutes. Add zucchini, season, and stir-fry for 2 minutes.

Add the tofu, gently stirring/flipping, taking care not to break up the pieces, then add chicken and naturally brewed soy sauce. Serve family style with house rice, garnish with scallion greens.

Drink pairing
Qupe Chardonnay 2006 "Bien Nacido - Y Block" Qupe Chardonnay

-- from Santa Maria Valley, Santa Barbara County, California

Taste: From a cool vintage, therefore flavor is leaning more towards citrus and minerality. Feels firm in the mouth

Aroma: Honey and toasted oak with a slight bit of earthiness

—grapes are whole cluster pressed
—aged in French oak

Miso Butter Pork Udon Noodles
By Ming Tsai

Monday, August 9, 2010
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One of the most satisfying meals I’ve ever had was a big bowl of Japanese udon noodles topped with—are you ready for this—miso butter. Yes, a combination of Japan’s traditional miso paste blended with our own very western butter. It’s a rich, savory marriage made in heaven—or nirvana—and today I’m am going to show you how to make it.

So without further ado, Miso-Butter Pork Udon Noodles, an all-in-one noodle dish that enhances one of my favorite duos, pork and apples. Let’s get cooking.

Serves 4

Ingredients
3 shallots, minced
1 pound ground naturally fed pork
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced, white and green separated
1/2 cup mirin
2 quarts chicken stock
1 apple, skin on, thinly sliced
4 tablespoons shiro miso
1 pound fresh ramen noodles, blanched
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
Canola oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions
In a stockpot coated lightly with oil over medium high heat, saute shallots and pork. When pork is cooked through, add scallion whites and deglaze with mirin. Add chicken stock. Add apples and check for flavor. When simmering, whisk in miso over a strainer and check for flavor. Add ramen noodles and heat through. To serve, divide noodles and broth amongst 4 soup bowls and top each serving with scallion greens and pat of butter. Serve immediately.

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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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