The Daily Dish: Scallion pancakes with dipping sauce

Makes 4 pancakes

Pot stickers, scallion cakes, dim sum… they all have one thing in common, the simplest dough in the universe: hot water dough. Add the great French ingredient, shallots, and you’ve got a combination that can morph into anything.

Hot Water Dough ingredients
2 cups (16 ounces) all-purpose flour
8 ounces hot water

Directions
In a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook, gradually add water to flour. Once dough forms a ball and all the dry ingredients are incorporated, remove from mixer. Dough should not be sticky. If it is, add more flour, tablespoon by tablespoon. Very lightly flour a flat surface and bring dough together into a disk. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and chill in fridge for up to 48 hours.

Scallion Pancake ingredients
1 tablespoon sambal
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup naturally brewed soy sauce
1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound Hot Water Dough
2 cups scallions, white and green parts, cut diagonally, 1/16 inches thick
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon grapeseed or canola oil

Directions
1. To make the dipping sauce, combine the sambal, vinegar, and soy sauce in a small bowl and mix. Set aside.

2. In a small bowl combine the sesame and olive oils and set aside.

3. Flour a work surface and on it roll the dough into a rectangle 1/8 inch thick. Brush the dough with the oil mixture, sprinkle with the scallions, and season with salt and pepper.

4. Starting with one long side nearest you, roll the dough jelly-roll fashion to make a tight log. Cut the log into 4 equal pieces.

5. Roll 1 piece with your palms to make a skinnier log about 12 inches in diameter. Twist each end of the log in opposite directions 4 or 5 times (this will make additional pancake layers), then wrap the log around itself to make a coil, tucking the outside end beneath the coil. With a rolling pin, flatten the coil to 1/4 inch thick. Repeat with the remaining dough to make 3 more pancakes.

6. Heat a large nonstick sauté pan over medium heat. Add the grapeseed oil and swirl to coat the pan. Depending on the pan’s size, add 1 to 2 pancakes and cook until brown and crispy on both sides, turning once, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Cook the remaining pancakes. Slice each pancake into 4 wedges.

Variation
For a savory pancake addition, mix 2 cups of finely chopped raw shrimp in a bowl with the scallions. Sprinkle the dough evenly with the mixture, and proceed with the recipe, frying the pancakes 3 to 4 minutes per side.

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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.

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The Daily Dish: Asparagus hummus and spiced pita chips

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.
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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: Spring-dug parsnips with seared sea scallops

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 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.