The Daily Dish

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.

Asparagus Hummus And Spiced Pita Chips By Annie Copps

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It's spring, and that means asparagus season in Massachusetts — and nothing tastes better to me than asparagus hummus accompanied by fragrant, spiced pita chips.

Ingredients
2 cups fresh asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 15-1/2-ounce can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and well rinsed
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons tahini (sesame paste)
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground white pepper

Directions
Prepare an ice-water bath and set aside. In a large saucepan, bring 4 cups salted water to a boil. Add asparagus and return water to boil. Cook about 4 minutes or until asparagus is cooked through and bright green. Drain asparagus and refresh in ice-water bath. After 5 minutes, drain and set aside.

In a food processor, combine chickpeas, garlic, and tahini, and puree. Add zest, juice, and asparagus, and process until smooth. With machine running, pour in olive oil and process until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with spiced pita chips.

(Courtesy: Yankee Magazine)

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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.

Sauteed Fiddlehead Ferns
By Annie Copps

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This time of year is a transitional one for local ingredients, so we turned to Josh Ziskin, chef and owner of the Italian-inspired La Morra restaurant in Brookline. The end of winter through spring can be a challenging time to write a menu, so he sticks closely to what is locally available — and right now, that means fiddlehead ferns.

Total time: 30 minutes
Active time: 20 minutes

Ingredients
1 pound fiddlehead ferns, well rinsed and trimmed
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 shallots, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup white wine (optional)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme (or the fresh herb of your choice: rosemary, basil, or oregano)
2 tablespoon unsalted butter
Kosher or sea salt

Directions
Bring a large sauce pot of generously salted water to boil. Blanch fiddleheads for 4 minutes; remove to ice water for 1 minute. Strain from water and dry well.

In a large saute pan over medium-high add oil and cook shallots and garlic until shallots are translucent. Add fiddleheads and saute for 2 minutes. Add wine (if using) and reduce until about 1 tablespoon of liquid remains. Add about 2 tablespoons of water and generously season with salt and pepper. Add thyme and butter and stir well.

Recipe courtesy of Josh Ziskin of La Morra.
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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.

The Daily Drink: Thai Curried Clams and Chorizo

By Cathy Huyghe
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"Today’s dish packs some serious flavor punch, yet it takes less than 10 minutes of cooking time. It’s also one of those dishes that is as interesting to look at as it is to smell and taste. With its flavors, its quick ease, and its visual appeal, it beckons guests – whether they’re family members or visitors to your home – to hang out with you in the kitchen and sip a few bottles of beer as the whole evening comes together. Why not try Singha Beer ($8 for a 6-pack), from the first and largest brewery in Thailand, to cool off the heat of the Thai red curry paste? This full-bodied, 100% barley malt beer is rich with strong hop characteristics and makes, in its own right, for some very lively kitchen talk!

Cathy Huyghe writes for the WGBH Daily Dish blog. Read new WGBH Daily Dish posts every weekday, where you can explore myriad ways and places to experience good food and wine.
"

Seared Curried Butterfish with Warm Olive Chutney
By Ming Tsai

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You may have a hard time wrapping your brain around pairing madras curry and olives, but if you think about it a moment, it really works. The French regularly use many of the ingredients that are in curry with olives—you’ve probably tasted the combination and not even known it. But you’ll see for yourself how well these potent ingredients harmonize in my Seared curried butterfish with warm olive chutney.

Serves 4

Ingredients
2 tablespoons madras curry powder
1/4 cup rice flour
4 pieces butterfish or other fatty white fish
3 shallots minced
1/2 cup mixed olives, pitted, minced
1 large tomato, 1/4-inch dice
Juice of 1 orange
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Canola oil for cooking

Directions
On a pie plate, combine the curry and rice flour. Season fish with salt and pepper. Dredge the fish fillets on both sides into the rice flour mixture. In a cast-iron pan over medium-high heat coated lightly with oil, sear the fish until golden, brown and delicious, about 8 minutes total. Remove fish and wipe out pan. In same pan coated lightly with oil, saute the shallots, then add olives, tomato and orange juice and heat through. Toss with cilantro and serve 1 heaping tablespoon over each fillet. Serve on banana leaf.
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ming tsai thumbnail holding limeChef Ming Tsai is a local restaurateur and host of Simply Ming.

Herbs
By Lidia Bastianich

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Wake up and smell the herbs!

Herbs are one of the quickest and healthiest ways to impart flavor to any dish. They release their fresh flavor when cooked in a dish and then help to reinforce that flavor when added to a dish.

Don’t be afraid to use herbs during cooking or as a way to finish any dish, and if you have any herbs left over, here is a great tip that I also share in my cookbook, Lidia’s Family Table. It will allow you to keep your herbs fresh and usable all year long.

—Divide the fresh herbs in an ice cube trays with deep cubicles.

—Pour cold water to cover the herbs and put in the freezer to freeze.

—The herbs and their flavors will remain embedded in the ice and great for plopping into any drink, or perking up any sauce or soup!

—You now have cubed your herbs for year round use!

To keep these herb “rocks” fresh all year long, seal them in a plastic storage bag and keep them in the freezer.
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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."

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