I woke up this morning and made myself a cup of Gingerbread Coffee, while I settled in to watch a Valentine’s day morning Shark show with Devon. We love Sharks, so this was pretty exciting.
Now, if you don’t have a Valentine today, may I suggest Chef MIng Tsai? (I think he’s technically married with children, but one can swoon.)
(photo: People magazine)
I love Ming Tsai. I dearly miss his restaurant, Blue Ginger , in Wellesley, Massachusetts, the town where I went to college. This guy is hunky hunky, an ex-jock, engineering student turned professional chef. The food he serves at his restaurant is fusion at it’s best – bursting with flavor and the stuff I still dream about. If you ever get a chance to go, I was particularly fond of the Crispy Fried Calamari, the Sake-miso Marinated Alaskan Butterfish, and the Mom’s Famous Three Vinegar Shrimp.
I get my nostalgia fix by watching the guy on PBS – his shows ‘Simply Ming’ and ‘East Meets West’ are refreshingly down to earth, devoid of tv magic, and pretty darn entertaining. Last night, I watched a tivo’d episode of ‘Simply Ming’, and was inspired to make something using Ponzu sauce – a citrus based sauce- and bacon, his main ingredients. In the episode, Ming made bacon wrapped shrimp on radicchio with a ponzu and bacon glaze, a warm bacon, shallot and mushroom frisée salad, and some bacon-pineapple fried orzo, with a ponzu vinaigrette. Pretty mouth watering stuff.
Fortunately, I happen to have some delicious Kikkoman Ponzu Lime sauce that I received from the Foodbuzz Tastemakers Program. This was one of my favorite condiments that I tried at the Winter Fancy Food Show this year, and although they were serving it with tempura shrimp and tempura avocado, I must admit that I’ve been using the stuff in pretty boring ways such as seasoning for my rice and not much else.
So I woke up this morning with new inspiration and decided to make use of the ponzu in a kale stir-fry, to compensate for yesterday’s vegetable shortage. I sauteed some shallot and ginger in olive oil, added some chopped turkey bacon (from Trader Joe’s), dumped in my bunch of chopped dino kale, and added a tablespoon of the lime ponzu sauce. Even the kale hater liked it. Me: It’s kale! Him: Yeah, but it’s meat kale. Note to self – three slices of turkey bacon negates picky anti-kale sentiments.
This made for a good brunch on it’s own, although if more hungry, or serving a crowd, I might have served it with some poached eggs. Happy Valentines’ everyone!