Rice and Grains

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

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

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.

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.

Best Ever Lamb Tacos with Chile-Tzatziki
By Ming Tsai

Thursday, September 30, 2010
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Who doesn't love tacos? Beef, chicken, tuna, duck, even veggie. For today's Daily Dish I want to share a recipe for tacos. But with a Greek twist!

1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 red onion, minced
1 minced jalapeno
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 pound ground lamb
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon sriracha
1 cup plain, non-fat Greek yogurt
6 mint leaves, fine ribbon
1 cup 1/4-inch diced cucumbers
1/2 head iceberg, finely shredded
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 package small corn tortillas, heated up on grill
extra virgin olive oil for cooking

In a large skillet or saute pan coated lightly with oil, sautee the garlic, onion, jalapeno and cumin until lightly caramelized.

Add in the lamb, season and cook through, about 5 minutes.

Fold in lemon juice and check for flavor.

Meanwhile, mix the sriracha, yogurt, mint, cukes and lemon zest, season.

Warm tortillas, make tacos.
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.

Dad's Chicken And Rice
By Annie Copps

Monday, January 24, 2011
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chicken and rice

In addition to being a bona fide rocket scientist, my dad is a great cook (and a great dad). He's tackled everything from baklava to tempura to grilled oysters to making waffles with his grandchildren. This is my favorite from his considerable repertoire. I never wanted to learn how to make it myself, because it was always his dish. Now I make it when I miss him or if I have to feed a crowd.

Preparation Time: 45 minutes
Start to Finish Time: 105 minutes
Yield: 6 servings

1 cup olive oil (approximately), divided
2 small onions, diced
¾ cup flour
3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2-inch pieces
4 jalapeno peppers, minced
2 14.5-ounce cans chicken broth
1 green pepper
3-1/2 cups rice (approximately)
3 small tomatoes, cut into 8 wedges each

In a large, heavy-bottomed soup pot (cast iron works well) over medium heat, add 1/4 cup olive oil and cook onions until softened. Remove onions from pan and reserve.

Place flour and chicken in a large paper bag and shake gently to coat chicken with flour. Raise heat to medium-high. Shake excess flour from chicken, and cook in pot in batches, adding more oil as needed (it may get quite dark, and that's okay), until well browned on all sides. Then remove chicken to a plate. Stir in jalapenos and cook 1 minute.

Add reserved cooked onions and chicken back to pot. Add chicken broth, saving one empty can. Add 2 cans worth of water. Bring to a boil; then lower to a simmer. Cover and cook 25 minutes.

Slice top and bottom off green pepper. Carefully run a knife in a circular motion around the inside to remove white membrane and seeds (be careful not to puncture the pepper). Slice into thin rounds.

Add rice to pot, stirring well.

Cover and cook 10 minutes. Layer pepper slices in a decorative pattern over mixture in pot, and top with tomatoes. Cover and cook 10 minutes more.

Remove from heat and let sit 10 minutes before serving.

(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.

Rice & Lentils by Lidia Bastianich

Tuesday, December 7, 2010
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rice and lentils
Riso e Lenticchie

Serves 8 or more as a first course or soup

2 ounces pancetta or bacon, cut in pieces
1 cup onion cut in 1-inch chunks
1 cup carrot cut in 1-inch chunks
1 cup celery cut in 1-inch chunks
6 fresh sage leaves
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons tomato paste
½ cup dry white wine
8 to 10 cups hot water
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 ½ cups lentils, rinsed and picked over
1 ½ cups Italian short-grain rice, such as Arborio, Carnaroli, or Vialone Nano
1 cup chopped scallions
½ cup grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for passing

Drop the pancetta or bacon pieces into the food-processor bowl, and pulse several times, to chop the meat into small bits. Scrape all the chopped pancetta right into the heavy saucepan. Put the onion, carrot, and celery chunks and the sage leaves into the empty food-processor bowl, and mince together into a fine-textured pestata.

Put the butter and olive oil into the saucepan with the minced pancetta, and set over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, as the butter melts and the fat starts to render. When the pancetta is sizzling, scrape in the vegetable pestata, and stir it around the pan until it has dried and begins to stick, 4 minutes or so. Clear a space on the pan bottom, and drop in the tomato paste, toast it in the hot spot for a minute, then stir together with the pestata.

Raise the heat, pour in the white wine, and cook, stirring, until the wine has almost completely evaporated. Pour in 8 cups of hot water and the tablespoon salt, stir well, and heat to the boil. (Add all 10 cups of hot water if you want to serve the rice and lentils as a thick soup rather than a denser riso.)

Cover the pan, and reduce the heat slightly, to keep the water at a moderate boil, and let it bubble for 20 minutes or so, to develop the flavors.

Stir in the lentils, return to a gentle boil, and cook, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until the lentils just start to soften, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the rice, return to a bubbling simmer, and cook, cover ajar, until the rice is al dente, 13 minutes or so. If the dish is thickening more than you like, lower the heat and cover the pan completely. If it seems too thin and wet, remove the cover and cook at a faster boil. When the rice and lentils are fully cooked, turn off the heat. Stir in the scallions and grated cheese.

Serve in warm bowls, passing more cheese at the table.

Curried Butternut Squash
By Annie Copps

Thursday, October 14, 2010
1 Comments   1 comments.

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curry squash

Squash is everywhere this time of year, but what to do with it? First the good news. Squash lasts a long time, so no rush to figure it out. Second, more good news, gourds are super versatile, delicious, and packed with all kinds of vitamins.

From soup to dessert, there are any number of delicious things to do with all kinds of squash and here in New England, we have dozens of varietals. One of my favorites is butternut squash and one of the ways I like to prepare it is as a curry. And like many seasonal recipes, this one makes for a quick yet deeply satisfying vegetarian (and vegan if you like) meal.

Cut the squash into small pieces and simmer it with onions, cumin, ginger, curry, and a bayleaf until it is soft and flavorful. Add some rice and stir in raisin, pistachio nuts, and a chopped orange and you have dinner on the table in no time.

Total time: 45 minutes
Prep time: 30 minutes

1 small butternut squash, peeled, deseeded, and diced into 1/2-inch pieces
1 small onion, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 bay leaf
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
3 cups cooked rice
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup toasted pistachios or pinenuts
1 orange, peeled and roughly chopped
Garnish: 1 tablespoon chopped scallions or chives

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, sauté butternut squash and onion in oil until slightly softened, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add spices and bay leaf, stir well, and cook about 2 minutes longer, stirring ingredients a few times (spices will become very fragrant). Add stock and bring to a boil. Lower heat to simmer, cover pan, and cook 8 to 10 minutes.

Chicken Salad with Apple, Quinoa, Fennel, and Pinenuts

Tuesday, October 5, 2010
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quinoa with chicken and nuts

Quinoa has been around for centuries, but this super food from Peru is my latest favorite.

Back in the days when the Incans ruled, one of their staple dishes was the dried seed, quinoa. Yes it’s a seed, thus giving it crazy nutritional benefits, but you cook it like a grain.

I have been eating it for breakfast with a poached egg on top or in a quick salad which you could vary in any number of ways, but I like to add crunchy things to it, such as thinly sliced fennel, apples and pine nuts. Add a bit of leftover roasted chicken and that is yet another quick, easy and healthy meal that is not the same old, same old.

Works as a salad on its own or filling for a wrap sandwich. This is very filling, but crunchy and light. The apple and fennel are great crunchy companions.

5 scallions, white and green parts, finely chopped
1 small fennel bulb, core removed and very thinly sliced
1 granny smith or other firm tart apple, peeled and cored, thinly sliced
2 cups cooked quinoa (wheatberries, farro, or brown rice)
Meat from 1 whole roasted chicken, roughly chopped, about 3 pounds
1 cup toasted pine nuts
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup flat leaf parsley leaves
kosher or sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients and toss well to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Yield: 8 servings.

Annie 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.

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