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!