The Daily Dish: Mediterranean Pork Chops

pork chops

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Pork has come a long way in recent years, so don’t look to your grandmother’s old cookbook for a recipe. If you do, chances are you will overcook the meat ending up with tough chops. These days most people like to cook pork to a medium pink – I like to lightly dust the chops with flour before cooking which helps protect the meat when you sear it.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Start to Finish Time: 20 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients
4 1/2-inch-thick pork chops
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup dried tomatoes, cut into thin strips
1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted and halved
2 tablespoons capers
1 14-ounce jar whole artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained, and halved
3 to 4 cups hot cooked couscous or rice

Directions
Sprinkle pork chops with salt and pepper; dredge in flour and shake off excess. Set aside.

Heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add chops and cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until browned.

Remove chops; tent with foil to keep warm.

Add broth, tomatoes, olives, capers, and artichoke hearts to pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Spoon over pork chops and hot cooked couscous or rice.
(Courtesy: Yankee Magazine)

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Annie 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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The Daily Dish: Pan-Seared Striped Bass with Tomato Vinaigrette

Pan-Seared Striped Bass with Tomato Vinaigrette

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We tend to think of seasonal ingredients as the good stuff that we patiently wait for all year as it slowly rises from the soil and that is certainly true, but a summer staple I look forward to all year comes from the ocean—I’m talking about striped bass.

Yield: 4 servings

Bluefish, also abundant in Martha’s Vineyard waters, works well in this dish, too.

Ingredients
1 cup pesto
1-1/2 cups plain breadcrumbs
4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
4 8-ounce fillets striped bass or bluefish, skin on

Directions
Place pesto and breadcrumbs into two separate shallow dishes. Divide vegetable oil into two medium-size frying pans over medium-high heat. Press each portion of fish, skin side up, into pesto and then into breadcrumbs. Place fish, crumb side down, into the hot oiled frying pans and sear 3 minutes.

Turn fish and cook 4 to 5 minutes. Arrange on serving plates and top with Tomato Vinaigrette.

Tomato Vinaigrette
Ingredients
4 medium tomatoes, cut into half-inch chunks
1 small red onion, diced
3 scallions, finely sliced
6 fresh basil leaves, cut into thin strips
1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions
Combine all recipe ingredients in a non-aluminum bowl and let stand, covered, at room temperature 30 minutes.

Adapted from Doug Hewson, Mediterranean Restaurant, Matha’s Vineyard, MA

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Annie 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 Dish: Bored with Beans?

green beans with gorgonzola and nuts

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Getting bored with your green beans? Add some creamy Gorgonzola cheese to add a gorgeous complexity.

Let’s face it, green beans are delicious, but they can get boring. So let’s give them some new life by melting a little Gorgonzola into the beans for a spicy appetizer or a side dish that goes perfectly with grilled or sauteed meats.

Ingredients
Green beans
1/4 cup olive oil
Gorgonzola cheese
Garlic
Kosher salt

Directions
First, simply rinse and dry the beans and trim off both ends.

Set a large skillet over medium heat.

Pour in 1/4 cup olive oil and toss in 5-6 mashed garlic cloves.

Cook all for about 4 minutes or until the garlic is lightly colored.

Add the beans to the skillet, shake a few times, pour in a 1/4 cup of water and cover.

Lower the heat, cook for 15 minutes until the beans are tender to the bite and lightly caramelized.

When they are done, salt lightly.

Raise the heat and drop bits of crumbled Gorgonzola into the beans and cook with no cover until the cheese melts. It will take just over a minute.

When the cheese has melted and coated the beans, but before it coats the bottom of the pan, remove beans and cheese from the pan and place on a plate and serve immediately.

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lidia bastianichLidia 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 WGBH 44.

The Daily Dish: Grape Nut Pudding

grape nut pudding

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Grape Nut Pudding is an old New England recipe that I get a lot of phone calls and e-mails about, but had never tried. But curiosity got the best of me recently and I poked into the archives and decided to give it a shot.

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients
1 quart milk, scalded
1 cup Grape-Nuts cereal
4 large eggs
Scant 1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter (approx.)
Whole nutmeg
Water

Directions
Heat oven to 350°, In a medium-size bowl, pour scalded milk over Grape-Nuts and let sit 5 minutes. In a second medium-size bowl, beat eggs, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Add egg mixture to milk and Grape-Nuts and stir well. Pour into a buttered 2-quart casserole dish. Generously grate nutmeg over the top.

Place the casserole into a deep roasting pan. Place in the oven and pour water into the roasting pan, enough to reach halfway up the side of the casserole.

Bake 45 to 60 minutes, until almost set in the center (very slight jiggle).

(Courtesy: Yankee Magazine)

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Annie 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 Dish: Buttermilk and Banana Pancakes

buttermilk and banana pancakeslisten icon Listen to the Daily Dish

I confess, I am not a morning person, but making pancakes is worth getting up for. My nephew James and I have also discovered that these will taste much better if you have not showered and are still in your pajamas—really. This is a pretty standard pancake recipe. In the summer I make these with blueberries and peaches.

Yield: 2 dozen pancakes

Ingredients
3 cups flour
1 tablespoon plus a pinch baking powder
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 quart buttermilk
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 bananas, sliced into about 20 rounds
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup warm maple syrup

Directions
In a medium bowl, whisk dry ingredients. In a separate large bowl, whisk eggs. Whisk in buttermilk and butter. Whisk in the dry mix-just until incorporated—do not overmix. Let rest 5 minutes.

Heat a large nonstick saute or griddle pan to medium (about 350 degrees). Melt enough butter to spread a thin even film over the surface of the pan. Ladle about ¼ cup of batter per pancake into the pan and let it spread into a round. Let the pancake cook about 30 seconds.

Place 4 or 5 pieces of sliced banana onto the pancake and let cook until bubbles break the surface. Gently flip and cook about 1 minute (or until golden brown) on the other side. Serve with warm maple syrup.

(Courtesy: Yankee Magazine)

___________________________________________________________
Annie 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 Dish: Pasta with Uncooked Sauce (Pesto!)

pesto pastalisten icon Listen to the Daily Dish

Do you want a delicious pasta without the headaches of cooking the sauce?

Directions
While your spaghetti is cooking—cut about one pound of cherry tomatoes in half, place in a large bowl, sprinkle with coarse sea salt and set aside.

Then make your pesto.

Put in a blender ½ cup of basil, ¼ cup of mint leaves, ¼ cup of pine nuts, 2 garlic cloves, a pinch of peperoncino, one cup of extra virgin olive oil, season all with salt and blend until creamy.

Drain your pasta, reserving some of the pasta cooking water.

Add the drained pasta to the bowl with the cherry tomatoes, spoon in the pesto, toss well, adding some of the pasta cooking water only if needed.

Finish with grated Grana Padano and you’re ready to serve.

And then pour yourself a glass or two of Bastianich Vespa Bianco.

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lidia bastianichLidia 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 WGBH 44.

The Daily Dish: Soba Noodle-Shrimp Pancakes

Soba Noodle-Shrimp Pancakes

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You may think that pasta is only as flavorful as its sauce, but that would mean you haven’t tried Japanese soba noodles. Made of buckwheat, they have an earthy, nutty flavor that evokes the countryside, which is why I’ve paired them with an Italian ingredient that has the same effect, pancetta. And this east-west pair is going to be the platform for today’s all in one dish: my Soba Noodle Shrimp Pancakes.

Serves 4

Ingredients
2 eggs
1 pound shrimp
1/4 cup chopped parsley, plus some leaves for garnish
2 tablespoons yuzu or fresh lemon juice
1 cup diced, rendered pancetta, cooled
2 cups blanched soba noodles (leave a pinhole of rawness in center)
Chopped parsley, for garnish (optional)
Canola oil for frying
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions
In a food processor fitted with blade, add the eggs and shrimp and pulse until chopped into a chunky mousse. Season with salt and pepper. Have soba noodles in a large bowl and pour mousse over noodles. Fold in parsley, yuzu and pancetta. Check flavor by cooking a small portion and season if necessary. Spread noodle pancake mixture in an even layer in a sauté pan over high heat coated with oil. Shallow fry pancakes until golden, brown and delicious, both sides, about 6 minutes. Cut into wedges and garnish with parsley.

Drink pairings
Sapporo Beer
—From Japan

A lager, quite refreshing with a moderately light body. Pairs very nicely with the Soba Noodle-Shrimp Pancakes.

Jean Luc Colombo Rose
—Provence, France
Taste:
Surprisingly complex, with intriguing notes of raspberry, cherry and black olive
Aroma: Subtle hints of peach, rose petals and pepper on the nose

Colombo is hailed as “the winemaking wizard of the Rhone” for introducing innovative methods in his vineyards and throughout the production process while making well-regarded, original wines. He believes good wine relies on 3 key elements: terroir, human endeavor and modern winemaking techniques.

—Enjoy on its own or with a wide range of appetizers, fish, poultry dishes and vegetarian fare. This wines pairs equally well with Michel Richard’s Beet Soba Bolognese and Ming’s Soba Noodle Carbonara.

—40% Syrah, 40% Mourvedre, 20% Counoise

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chef ming tsaiMing 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.