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WGBH Kitchen Crew: Testing out the Daily Dish

Ming Tsai's Thai Basil Polenta

The Kitchen Crew tests Daily Dish recipes from Ming Tsai of Simply Ming, Lidia Bastianich of Lidia’s Italy, and Annie Copps, senior editor of food at Yankee Magazine. They’re a diverse group of foodies in locations throughout the Boston area.

Ming Tsai’s recipe for Thai Basil Polenta is the Kitchen Crew’s first test. Each day this week, a different Kitchen Crew member will try out Ming’s recipe in his or her own kitchen and report back here on how it turned out.


Kitchen Crew Member: Judy Lebel

Bio: “Some might call me a ‘veg-aholic’ as I couldn’t imagine dining without fresh vegetables — and fresh fish. There’s nothing better than striking the perfect match of wine to food, maximizing the flavors of both!”

Feedback: The recipe was easy to cook and the ingredients were affordable. Prep took 15 minutes, and the cooking another 15. The second butter addition added a nice sheen to the polenta. We loved the pink peppercorns! The finished dish was nice and light, and the polenta had a nice texture.

Kitchen Crew Member: Rebecca Miller

Bio: “I was a foodie before the word existed! I learned to cook out of necessity, and necessity begat love.”

Feedback: The recipe was easy to make. It wasn’t complicated or difficult. I couldn’t find Thai basil, so I used regular basil. The recipe made a huge amount; we will be eating polenta for a week! This is probably a better winter dish than a summer dish.

Kitchen Crew member: Adam Centamore

Bio: “I’m a cheese cave manager at Formaggio Kitchen in Cambridge. I loves Harriet van Horne, who said, ‘Cooking is like love. It must be entered into with abandon, or not at all.’”

Feedback: This recipe brought flavors together I hadn’t considered combining before. I ultimately found Thai basil at Kam Man market in Quincy; it has a wonderfully subtle anise note that opens it up to all sorts of ingredient pairings. The lemon juice and zest gave the basil a pleasant citrus tang that partnered well with the basil’s flavors. I’ll be incorporating Thai basil into more of my own dishes!


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