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Cook With the Chef's Secret
Ming Tsai's Recipes for Success

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Five-Herb Vinaigrette
Warm Rock Shrimp and Celery Root Salad
Curry-Ginger Oil
Wok-Stirred Curry-Ginger Chicken With Zucchini

(Family Features) - What's your kitchen secret? Every good cook has one. Chef Ming Tsai, owner of Blue Ginger restaurant and host of the public television show "Simply Ming," says "Canola oil is one of my most used kitchen staples."

"Canola oil is extremely versatile," he says. "Its light texture, neutral taste and high heat tolerance make it an ideal kitchen staple. Canola oil can be used for stir-frying, sautéing, baking and deep frying as well as in marinades, salad dressings and sauces."

Tsai's other secrets for success in the kitchen are his intensely flavored "master recipes." Made with quality ingredients, they can be used as a base for a variety of dishes. His Five-Herb Vinaigrette, for example, is wonderful in salads and marinades. For videos of Tsai making these master recipes and dishes, go to www.canolainfo.org.

Flavored Oil, a Master Chef's Secret

Flavored oils are made by steeping intense ingredients, such as herbs, chili peppers, citrus rind or even nuts, in canola oil. The safest and easiest way to do so is to heat the oil with the ingredients at a low oven temperature for the amount of time specified for the number of ingredients. Go to www.canolainfo.org for an easy how-to guide.

Five-Herb Vinaigrette

Description
"I love how canola oil allows the herbs to shine in this vinaigrette," Tsai says. "Not only is the oil great to cook with, it's good for you, too."

Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup minced shallots
  • 1 cup rice white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Chinese black vinegar or balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons dried mint
  • 2 tablespoons dried cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons dried basil, preferably Thai
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons dried tarragon
  • 2 cups canola oil

Preparation
    1. In medium non-reactive bowl, combine mustard, shallots, vinegars, mirin, sugar, mint, cilantro, basil, thyme and tarragon. Whisk in canola oil. Use immediately or store in refrigerator.
    2. Lasts 2 weeks, refrigerated

Serves
Makes 3 1/2 cups

Notes, Tips & Suggestions
All recipes adapted from Simply Ming

Warm Rock Shrimp and Celery Root Salad

Ingredients
  • 1/2 pound mixed salad greens
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 pound rock shrimp, rinsed and dried, or peeled medium shrimp cut in thirds
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions, white and green parts
  • 2 medium celery roots, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch matchsticks
  • 3/4 cup Five-Herb Vinaigrette
  • 2 large tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch dice

Preparation
    1. Divide greens among 4 plates.
    2. Heat wok or large sauté pan over high heat. Add canola oil and swirl to coat. Add shrimp seasoned with salt and pepper, and stir-fry until no longer raw-looking, about 1 minute. Add scallions and celery root and stir-fry until just beginning to soften, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup vinaigrette and toss. Remove from heat, add tomatoes and correct seasoning with salt and pepper.
    3. Place mounds of shrimp mixture on greens. Drizzle salad with remaining 1/4 cup vinaigrette and serve.

Serves
Serves 4

Notes, Tips & Suggestions
All recipes adapted from Simply Ming

Curry-Ginger Oil

Description
Canola oil is an ideal base for flavored oils. Try Tsai's Curry-Ginger Oil as a mouth-watering, healthy sauce for a variety of dishes, including stir-fry.

Ingredients
  • 1 quart canola oil
  • 1/2 cup peeled and minced fresh ginger
  • 1 cup Madras curry powder

Preparation
    1. In large, heavy saucepan, combine canola oil with ginger. Heat over medium heat until canola oil is fragrant and ginger just begins to color, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat. Cool completely, about 20 minutes.
    2. Place large, heavy sauté pan over medium heat. Add curry powder to dry skillet and toast, stirring, until curry powder smokes slightly, 8 to 10 minutes. Whisk in ginger and canola oil, remove from stove, and cool completely, 30 to 40 minutes.
    3. Transfer canola oil and spices to 1- to 1 1/2-quart glass jar, scraping pan well. Allow mixture to stand until canola oil and curry powder have separated completely, about 4 hours or overnight in refrigerator. Curry-Ginger Oil is now ready to use. Store in refrigerator.

Serves
Makes 1 quart

Notes, Tips & Suggestions
Lasts 1 month, refrigerated

All recipes adapted from Simply Ming

Wok-Stirred Curry-Ginger Chicken With Zucchini

Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 4 tablespoons Curry-Ginger Oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 medium yellow or white onions, cut into 1-inch dice
  • 2 small zucchini, roll-cut into 1-inch lengths

Preparation
    1. In medium bowl, combine chicken and cornstarch and mix to coat chicken completely.
    2. Heat wok or large, heavy sauté pan over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons Curry-Ginger Oil and swirl to coat pan. Add chicken and stir-fry until just cooked through, about 3 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove chicken to plate.
    3. Reheat wok over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon Curry-Ginter Oil and swirl to coat pan. Add onions and stir-fry until onions are soft, about 2 minutes. Add zucchini, season with salt and pepper, and stir-fry until zucchini is tender, about 4 to 5 minutes. Return chicken to wok, heat through and correct seasoning. Drizzle with remaining tablespoon of Curry-Ginger Oil. Serve immediately.

Serves
Serves 4

Notes, Tips & Suggestions
All recipes adapted from Simply Ming

SOURCE: Canola Info


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