Cooking

Spaghetti with Beets, Walnuts, and Goat Cheese
By Annie Copps

Thursday, September 30, 2010
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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

Ingredients
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

Directions
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
 

How To BBQ, Four-Seasons Style

By Toni Waterman   |   Friday, August 5, 2011
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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.

Sake-Black Pepper Mussels With Granny Smith Apples
By Ming Tsai

Wednesday, November 10, 2010
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Sake-Black Pepper Mussels With Granny Smith Apples

Apples may seem like a funny match for mussels, but believe-you-me the tartness and sweetness of apples play beautifully against the natural brininess of the mussels and a little bit of sake adds yet another element that makes this dish delicious.

Ingredients
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3 large shallots, sliced
1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
2 pounds PEI mussels, scrubbed, bearded
1 cup sake
1/4 cup ponzu
1 large green apple, peeled, julienned
2 tablespoons butter
Togarashi for garnish
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Canola oil for cooking

Directions
In a wok over high heat coated lightly with oil, stir-fry garlic, shallots, and black pepper; add mussels and season. Deglaze with sake and cover to open mussels.

When mussels are starting to open, add ponzu, green apple and butter.

Cover for about 30 seconds to allow flavors to meld.

Serve in a large bowl and garnish with togarashi.

Deviled Eggs with Tuna and Black Olives
By Annie Copps

Friday, August 6, 2010
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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

Ingredients
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

Directions
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)


___________________________________________________________
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.

Black Pepper Teriyaki Chicken and Pineapple
By Ming Tsai

Tuesday, August 24, 2010
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I used to make my own soy syrup, but it was very delicate and had a tendency to break like an aioli. But one day my Indonesian sous chef Budi introduced me to Kechap Manis, a great sweet soy syrup from his country. I said, "Wow, Budi, you just saved me a lot of steps!" And now I use Kechap Manis all the time as a base for glazes and sauces... like my Black Pepper-Teriyaki Chicken and Pineapple Satays, a terrific grilled appetizer you can serve any time you're looking for tasty finger food. Serves 4 as an appetizer

Ingredients
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 small pineapple, cut into 1-inch cubes
2/3 cup kechap manis
2 oranges, zested and juiced, minced zest for garnish
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon coarse ground black pepper
1 bunch scallions sliced thinly, separate white and green
Bamboo skewers, soaked in water for at least 1 hour
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Cooking spray

Directions
Assemble satays by alternating chicken and pineapple. In a large bowl, combine kechap manis, orange juice, ginger, black pepper and scallion whites. Add satays and marinate for 15 minutes.

Prepare a hot grill, sprayed slick. Remove satays from marinade, reserving marinade. Grill satays until chicken is cooked through, about 3-4 minutes per side.

Meanwhile, boil marinade for a dipping sauce and use some of it to brush onto satays while cooking.

Serve in bamboo satay plate with dipping sauce garnished with scallion greens.

Garnish satays with orange zest and scallion greens.

__________________________________________________________

Ming Tsai is the host and executive producer of public television series Simply Ming.

Lasagna Roll-ups By Annie Copps

Tuesday, December 21, 2010
2 Comments   2 comments.

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lasagna rollups

Here's a fun and delicious twist on lasagna that you'll be happy to serve for dinner any time or whip up for a large buffet.

Lasagna rollups are made of the same ingredients as traditional layered lasagnas (and can handle all the variations of fillings and sauces). But this way, everyone gets their own, individual serving and it feels just a little more special, with no extra effort.

Let's start with the pasta. Cook off lasagna noodles until they are soft and flexible, but still al dente. Combine the usual lasagna suspects of ricotta cheese, egg, a few scrapes of fresh nutmeg, mozzarella cheese, parmesan and for texture, some chopped walnuts. Spoon a few tablespoons of the mixture onto one end of a cooked noodle, then gently roll to the end.

Place the rolled bundle into a baking dish and repeat with remaining pasta and filling. Top the whole party with your favorite sauce.

Cover and bake about 20minutes.

Ta Da—lasgana roll ups!

Filling:
3/4 pound lasagna noodles
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Salt to taste
2 drops Tabasco sauce, or cayenne pepper to taste
1/2 cup whole-milk mozzarella cheese, grated
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup ground walnuts

Directions
In a large pot of salted water, cook noodles until barely done.

In a medium bowl, combine remaining ingredients.

Pesto Sauce:
2 tablespoons dried basil
1/3 cup ground walnuts
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 tablespoon minced green onion
2 garlic cloves
Kosher or sea salt
1 cup olive oil
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

Directions
In a blender or food processor, combine ingredients and blend until smooth.

Heat oven to 300 degrees. Spread 1 to 2 tablespoons of filling over each lasagna noodle. Roll up the lasagna end to end (jelly-roll style) and cut each roll-up in half, keeping jelly-roll style. Place cut-side down in a greased baking dish. Spoon 1 to 2 teaspoons of pesto sauce over each roll-up. Cover tightly with buttered foil and bake 20 minutes.

___________________________________________________________
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.

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