Apr 17, 2014 Updated: 4:12 AM
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Beets have got to be one of the sexiest of vegetables—whether they are a deep glistening ruby red, vivid sunset yellow or clown-ish, with red & white stripes. Their earthy and rich flavor are all about strength and vitality. But food writer Sara Moulton doesn't agree.
Sara doesn't care for beets, why, we don't know, but her husband is crazy for them, so she developed a quick and easy recipe that even a registered beet hater could love.
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook a pound of your favorite pasta—be sure to save some of that starchy cooking liquid, that is going to help make your sauce. In a separate pan saute onions, garlic and grated uncooked beets—there's your big time saver right there. Add some of that cooking liquid and goat cheese. Toss in the pasta and top with walnuts and you are good to go with a healthy and delicious meal in 30 minutes
Yield: 6 servings
Total time: 30 minutes
Prep time: 15 minutes
1 pound spaghetti (or your favorite pasta shape)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large red onion, sliced (about 2 cups)
2 garlic cloves, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
2 pounds beets, peeled and grated
10 ounces soft goat cheese (about 1-1/3 cups), crumbled
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add spaghetti and cook until al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid. Transfer spaghetti to a large bowl.
In a medium-size saute pan over medium heat, add oil and cook onion and garlic until softened, about 5 minutes. Add beets and cook another 8 minutes, until softened.
Add reserved cooking liquid and goat cheese; cook, stirring, until cheese softens into a sauce.
Add lemon juice; then add salt and pepper to taste.
Add sauce to spaghetti and toss well. Divide among 6 bowls and top each serving with toasted walnuts.
Adapted from Sara's Secrets for Weeknight Meals (Broadway Books, 2005), by Sara Moulton
By Toni Waterman | Friday, August 5, 2011
Aug. 8, 2011
BOSTON — It’s not often you get the chance to share the kitchen with a five-star chef, but once a month, Four Seasons Executive Chef Brooke Vosika opens his doors and recipe book to the public with a cooking class.
“Tonight we’ve got a BBQ class. It’s probably one of our most popular classes,” said Vosika. “We’re going to touch on gas barbeque verses charcoal barbeque, we’re going to touch on the different varieties of barbeque, whether it be a southern style, it can also be a Kansas City style, Texas style, North Carolina style.”
For $150, these eight students get a personal lesson on the art of barbequing. It's a lesson student Sarah Donovan said can’t come soon enough.
“I just got married and someone gave me a grill and it’s sitting on the deck. I haven’t even taken the tarp off,” Donovan said as she put on her apron. “So I’m here to learn how to grill.”
The classes are held in the middle of the Four Seasons Aujourd’hui kitchen. Everyone quickly finds their place around a square table, butcher blocks in front them and a glass of wine in hand.
First up, a lesson on Vosika’s self-described “volcano” sauce. For the past two weeks, Vosika has kept the chilies buried under mounds of salt. He says the salt draws the moisture out of the chilies while at the same time adding some saltiness to them.
“The process then is to wash off as much of the salt as possible, pick the stems off and then we’re going to blend it,” Vosika explained.
Everyone pitches in, in between sips of wine, pinching stems before the chilies are blended with vinegar and water.
Next up, the main course is the ever-daunting ribs. The first thing Vosika shows are baby-back ribs.
“The difference between the baby-back and the regular ribs is that it’s a smaller animal they come from,” he says. “And also they’ve been trimmed down so it’s the center of the rib. You’re not leaving that fat portion on the bottom.”
Vosika boils his ribs for 40 minutes before throwing them on the grill, giving him just enough time to get his Kansas-City-style barbeque sauce together. He starts by chopping some garlic.
“Ketchup is the next one and that’s our base,” he says while pouring it all into a mixing bowl. “Adding our vinegar, chili powder, paprika, olive oil which is important for coating and of course, our volcano sauce,” Voskia says, laughing.
Now it's time to hit the grill. Vosika says this is the point when people make their biggest mistake, using either too much heat or too little heat.
“There’s a fine line between burning something and char-grilling it, really making something so charred that that flavor takes over everything,” Vosika said.
Student Ernie Jones says he's definitely made that mistake. “Not paying attention to the grill when I was doing a low, slow cook and it just got way past the point of when it was done,” Johnson said.
After dousing the ribs with sauce, Vosika grabs them with tongs, demonstrating perfect technique.
“So I’m going to take this side, the side that we’ve done that has the BBQ sauce on it. We’ll lay that right on top. While that’s there, we’ll take some more barbeque sauce.”
After a few minutes sizzling on the grill, it’s time for the best part of the class. Chef stands at the table, doling out the goods: Baby back ribs-regular ribs, wings, homemade potato chips and good conversation.
At the end of the night, students say they’re taking home a lot more than just leftovers. “It was really easy to see how to make different things and with recipes I will actually be able to follow,” says Kara Silvia.
“I loved it,” adds her sister, Kristina. “It was so good, but we’re so full at this point,” she adds, laughing.
Full with a meal that’s finger lickin’ good.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Friday, August 6, 2010
Do you know Oleana restaurant in Cambridge? Or Sofra in Watertown? My good friend Ana Sortun is the genius behind those excellent restaurants, and in her book Spice, she shares some of her secrets. One of my addictions are her Deviled Eggs with Tuna and Black Olives. I encourage you to serve these at your next party, be it a luncheon, a barbecue, or a fancy dinner. That is assuming you don’t eat them before your guests arrive.
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Ready in: 30 mins
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 cup minced fresh tuna (about 6 ounces)
1 scallion, minced
1/2 cup minced celery
Tiny pinch curry
Salt and pepper
8 hard-boiled eggs, split in half lengthwise, with yolks and whites separated
1 cup thick mayonnaise, preferably homemade
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
8 black olives, pitted and finely chopped
1 plum tomato, finely chopped
Heat oil in a medium saucepan over high heat.
Add the tuna, scallion, celery, curry and salt and pepper.
Cook until the tuna is just opaque, about 3 minutes. Cool and drain well.
In a small mixing bowl, mash the egg yolks with a fork. Stir in the mayonnaise, tuna, and
parsley. Season with salt and pepper.
Season the egg whites with salt and pepper and fill their centers with heaping spoonfuls of the tuna egg filling. Top each with a black olive and tomato.
(From Ana Sortum, Spice)
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Ming Tsai is the host and executive producer of public television series Simply Ming.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010