Rice and Grains

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.

Ingredients
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

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


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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.

Pesto Alla Anna
By Lidia Bastianich

Monday, August 9, 2010
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You're hungry! You just don’t feel like cooking — but you love pasta, right? Although the pasta in this recipe does have to be cooked, the pesto sauce does not!

Most of you know the traditional basil pesto: a paste of basil leaves, extra virgin olive oil, pine nuts, salt, and garlic. Make it in  the blender, and voilà! The pesto is ready! But don’t stop there. That’s not enough. Let me give you another one of my favorites — pesto alla anna — which I recently learned about in Sicily and featured in my cookbook, Lidia’s Italy.

Ingredients
About ¾ pound sweet cherry tomatoes
12 fresh basil leaves
2 plump peeled garlic cloves
1/3 cup of whole toasted almonds
A pinch of salt
A pinch of peperoncino
Half a cup or more of extra virgin oil

Directions
In a blender, drop in all ingredients.
Blend until it’s nice and smooth.
Toss this fresh and delicious pesto with cooked and drained spaghetti.
While still hot, add some pasta cooking water if it’s too dry and finish with grated cheese.

Buon appetito!
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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.

Thai Curried Clams and Chorizo
By Ming Tsai

Monday, August 9, 2010
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Not only do I look to the East and the West for sources of inspiration, I also look to the past for great ingredients about which we may have forgotten…like buttermilk, which used to be a staple in American kitchens. It’s not only a lighter alternative to cream, but also to Asian coconut milk, as I’ll show you today with my Thai Curried Clams and Chorizo. It’s a great one-pot-meal that features a clams and sausage combo that’s well-loved in both the East and West.

Serves 4

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups 1/4-inch-dice chorizo or 1/4 pound ground sausage
2 large leeks, white part julienned
2 pounds cockles or small littleneck clams, purged overnight in water/cornmeal/pinch of salt solution
3 tablespoons red Thai curry paste
1 cup white wine
1/2 cup buttermilk
Juice of 2 limes
2 cups cooked orzo
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Canola oil

Directions
In a stock pot coated lightly with oil over medium-high heat, add chorizo, leeks, cockles (discard any open cockles), and curry paste, and sauté about 2 minutes, then season. Deglaze with wine and cover; cook for 6-8 minutes. Add buttermilk, lime juice, and orzo, stir to combine and check for seasoning. Serve, discarding any unopened cockles.

Drink recommendation
Chateau Villa Bel-Air Blanc, Bordeaux, France

Taste: Rich and complex with white fruit and caramel flavors.
Aroma: Honey mixed with smoky notes
60% Sauvignon Blanc, 40% Semillon

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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.

Wok Stirred Maitakes with Blood Oranges
By Ming Tsai

Friday, August 6, 2010
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One of the things I love best about cooking is beating the bushes for hidden treasures—ingredients that are unfamiliar or underutilized. Today I bring you two terrific ingredients that are now readily available in supermarkets across country, but you may not know how to use them: Maitake mushrooms and blood oranges. They go beautifully together in my Wok Stirred Maitakes with Blood Oranges- an all in one veggie dish you can use as an entr&3234;e or a side dish. Let’s get cooking.

Serves 4

Ingredients
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 large head of white Maitake mushroom, florets broken off and stem julienned
2 tablespoons oyster sauce (can be vegetarian oyster sauce too)
5 blood oranges, segmented, 2 zested first, juice from supreming reserved
Chopped chives for garnish
House rice for serving (white/brown combo)
Canola oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions
In a wok over medium-high heat lightly coated with oil, add garlic and ginger and saute. Add maitake stems and saute, adding florets a few moments after. Add oyster sauce and saute until cooked down. Add zest and deglaze with juice and orange segments. Check for flavor and season, if necessary. Serve on steamed house rice and garnish with chopped chives.

Drink pairings
Mas de la Dame Rose du Mas 2007
—Provence, France

Taste: Subtle flavors of fresh berries and fennel with a flowery finish
Aroma: Fresh strawberries, peaches and roses

—Pairs nicely with barbecue, pesto pasta, salads, fish and grilled meat.
—50% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 20% Cinsault
—Certified organic (Agriculture Biologique) by Qualite France

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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.

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