The Daily Dish

Molasses-Tapioca Pudding
By Ming Tsai

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Serves 4

Ingredients
1/3 cup tapioca (small pearls)
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
1 small pinch of kosher salt
1 1/2 tablespoons molasses
1/2 cup whipped cream
2 heaping tablespoons brown sugar
Toasted coconut for garnish

Directions
Soak tapioca pearls in milk for about 1-2 hours. In a non-reactive saucepot over medium-high heat, combine the tapioca with milk, coconut milk, salt, molasses, and brown sugar.

Cook, stirring constantly, for 5-7 minutes until mixture coats the back of a spoon. Tapioca will become clear and have no resistance when biting through a pearl. Put mixture over an ice bath and stir. When cooled, fold in whipped cream and serve in martini glasses. Garnish top with toasted coconut.
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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 country.

Tomatoes and Panzanella for your Summer Picnic

By Lidia Bastianich
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They're red. They're round. They’re juicy and delicious, and you’ve just got to have them! Tomato-time is here!

I know you know how to make a great tomato salad, but how about a panzanella? No, it’s not a dance. It’s a great, yet simple, Tuscan tomato-bread salad. It’s a great way to use day-old bread and save yourself a little dough!

Ingredients
Tomatoes
Day-old crusty bread
Cucumber
Red onion
A few fresh basil leaves
Extra virgin olive oil
Wine vinegar
Salt and pepper

Directions
Cut your juicy tomatoes and day-old, crusty bread into 1-inch cubes.  Add some sliced cucumbers and sliced red onions, and top with shreds of ripped basil leaves. Dress with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and wine vinegar, add some salt and pepper to taste, and toss all together well.

Let it steep for 30 minutes and you’ve got yourself a great salad that will compliment any summer dish – grilled chicken, fish, meat, or even on its own with a piece of cheese will do.

And do as I do!
Pair your panzanella with a refreshing glass of Bastianich Rosato. Not only do the colors go beautifully together, but the bright acidity and berry flavors in the wine pair perfectly with the tomatoes.
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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. 

Tips for Using Olive Oil
By Lidia Bastianich

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I hear it from you out there all the time: I love it, but how do I use it? Here are my tips for how to best use olive oil.

1. Extra virgin olive oil is best when used in its raw form—to drizzle on salads and before serving a bowl of soup or pasta.

2. Do not use olive oil for frying, canola or vegetable oil is best for that, but you can add a little olive oil to the pan for flavor.

3. When cooking or sautéing, use olive oil, but keep the heat at a low temperature. Olive oil has a low smoking point.

4. Olive oil is a great antioxidant for your body when ingested.

5. To prevent oxidation or rancidity, store olive oil in full, small bottles, tightly shut in a dark and cool place.

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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."

Cooking Perfect Pasta
By Lidia Bastianich

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Do not — I repeat, do not — add oil to your pasta cooking water! And that’s an order! Follow my 10 pasta commandments, and you will make a great bowl of pasta that rivals the delicious pastas at Becco, one of our New York City restaurants.

1. Cook the pasta in abundantly salted water.

2. And again, do not add oil to the pasta cooking water.

3. Add the pasta all at once to the boiling water so it cooks evenly.

4. Drain the pasta, but do not — do not! — rinse the pasta.

5. Once drained, add the pasta to the sauce and let the two cook together for about 1 minute.

6. Dressed pasta should be flowing — never sticky or soupy.

7. With the fire off, stir in grated cheese, right before you plate it.

8. To keep pasta nice and hot, serve it in a shallow, warm bowl.

9. For that extra touch, add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil at the end.

10.  Finally — you deserve it now — pour yourself a delicious glass of Tuscan red wine like Morellino La Mozza. And cin cin to you!

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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

Scallion and Asparagus Salad
By Lidia Bastianich

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Serves 6

Ingredients
1-1/2 pounds fresh asparagus
3/4 pound scallions
1-1/2 teaspoons salt or more if needed
3-1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1-1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Freshly ground pepper to taste
3 hard-boiled eggs, peeled

Cooking the Vegetables
Snap off the hard stubs at the bottom of the asparagus stalks—they’ll break naturally at the right point. With a vegetable peeler, shave off the skin from the bottom 3-inches or so each stalk so they cook evenly.

Trim the root end of the scallions and the wilted ends of the green leaves. Peel off the loose layers at the white end, too, so the scallions are all tight, trim, and about 6-inches long.

In a wide deep skillet bring one quart of water (or enough to cover the vegetables) to a boil and add the asparagus and scallions.

Adjust the heat to maintain a bubbling boil and poach the asparagus, uncovered, for about 6 minutes, or more, until they are tender but not falling apart and cooked through but not mushy. To check doneness, pick up a spear in the middle with tongs: it should be a little droopy, but not collapsing.

As soon as they are done, lift out the vegetables with tongs and lay them in a colander (any fat asparagus spears may take a little longer so leave them in a few minutes more). Hold the colander under cold running water to stop the cooking. Drain briefly, then spread on kitchen towels and pat dry.

Making the Salad
Slice the asparagus and the scallions into 1-inch lengths and pile them loosely in a mixing bowl. Drizzle over the oil and vinegar over, sprinkle on ½ of the teaspoon salt and several grinds of black pepper. Toss well but don’t break up the vegetables.

Quarter the eggs into wedges and slice each wedge into 2 or 3 pieces; scatter these in the bowl and fold in with the vegetables. Taste and adjust the dressing. Chill the salad briefly, then arrange it on a serving platter or on salad plates.

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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.

Spring-dug Parsnips with Seared Sea Scallops
Annie Copps

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Here's a recipe for you when you are craving spring. It comes from my friend and celebrity chef Michel Nischan, who is a big advocate for healthy eating. For him, this time of year means spring-dug parsnips. The sweet root benefits from blanching and then roasting to bring out its over-wintered sweetness — and when it’s pureed, its texture is similar to very smooth apple butter.

Ingredients
1 large or two medium spring-dug parsnips, peeled (about 10 ounces)
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, about ½ lemon’s worth
1 to 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 packed tablespoons freshly chopped chervil
Kosher or sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
12 large dry sea scallops (about ¾ pound)
6 generous sprigs fresh chervil

Directions
Heat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, simmer parsnips in just enough water to cover; cook about 15 minutes. Let cool about 10 minutes. Remove parsnips from pan and discard all but ¼ cup of cooking liquid. Set aside. Slice parsnips into 1/2-inch-thick strips and lay on a lightly oiled, rimmed baking sheet. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until nicely browned; turn parsnips at least once for even browning.

Using a food processor, pulse together parsnips, lemon zest, and juice until parsnips break down. With the motor running, add reserved parsnip liquid 1 tablespoon at a time, until mixture resembles loose apple butter. Pulse in olive oil and chopped chervil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep warm.

Heat a large, dry sauté pan over high heat. Brush each scallop on all sides with grapeseed oil and season with salt and pepper. Place scallops in hot pan and do not move them for 2 to 3 minutes, or until edges are well browned. Turn scallops over and cook for 1 to 2 minutes longer.

Place on a warm plate and let rest for 2 minutes—any juices that collect, stir into parsnip puree. Divide the parsnip puree onto 6 warmed appetizer plates. Set two scallops on top of parsnips and garnish with fresh chervil. Yield 6 servings

Adapted from Michel Nischan, The Dressing Room.

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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.

About The Daily Dish

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