TEDxManhattan Viewing Party Menu Suggestions: Part 5

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As in years past, we’ll webcast TEDxManhattan live from New York City on February 16, 2013. Anyone with a computer can watch the talks for free via  https://new.livestream.com/tedx/manhattan2013. We’re also encouraging individuals, groups, and organizations to host viewing parties and start conversations with their communities on the issues of their local food systems.
Because TEDxManhattan viewing party hosts will need to provide food for their guests (and individuals will need to feed themselves), our speakers have provided recipes featuring sustainable, seasonal ingredients to inspire viewers to change the way they eat. So keep checking back here for hors d’oeuvres, appetizers, entrees, sides, and desserts!

Tama’s Foraged Flavors

Tama Matsuoka Wong, a professional forager and the principal of MeadowsandMore, which she founded to connect people with wild plants and natural landscapes. Tama recently authored the book Foraged Flavor: Finding Fabulous Ingredients in your Backyard or Farmers Market about her several year project with the chef de cuisine at Restaurant Daniel in NYC to turn edible “weeds” from nature in to delicious cuisine.

Today Tama shares two seasonal, regional recipes from Foraged Flavor: Caramelized Braised Endive with Juniper Berries and Wild Barberry Rice Pudding.

Caramelized Braised Endive with Juniper Berries
from Tama Matsuoka Wong’s Foraged Flavor

Tama says: “The juniper aroma is very subtle in this dish where the sharp, woodsy berry flavor balances that of the meltingly soft endive. You first taste the sweetness and tenderness of the caramelized endive; then the juniper flavor lingers at the end. This is a nice accompaniment to game or Thanksgiving turkey.”

Serves 4

4 medium Belgian endives
4 T (½ stick) unsalted butter
1 T ground dried eastern red cedar juniper berries, plus more for serving
1 T sugar
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 325° F.
Remove the outer leaves and cut away the tough bottom from each endive. Melt the butter in a small heavy ovenproof skillet over medium-low heat, add the endives, and sprinkle with juniper and sugar. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, turning them gently after the color changes on one side, for about 25 minutes, or until the outside edges turn a medium caramel-brown.
Cover the skillet and transfer to the oven for about 45 minutes. The endive should turn a deeper chocolate color but still be soft and melty. Sprinkle with a pinch of ground juniper before serving.

Wild Barberry Rice Pudding
from Tama Matsuoka Wong’s Foraged Flavor

Tama says: “This pudding makes a great winter holiday dessert with its jewel-like red and cream colors. The light fluffiness of the sweet rice pudding pairs nicely with the barberry’s full-bodied wild flavor with hints of cranberry. You can prepare this ahead of time, keeping it in the refrigerator and taking it out an hour before serving.

Serves 4 to 6

For the rice pudding
½ c short-grain or sushi rice
3 ½ c whole milk
7 T heavy cream
½ c sugar
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 300° F.
Rinse the rice by submerging it in a bowl of cold water, swishing it around, and draining. Repeat twice.
In a large ovenproof saucepan, heat the milk and cream, stirring in the sugar, salt and vanilla. As the mixture begins to simmer, add the rice. Cover the pan and transfer to the oven for 1 hour until the rice is cooked and has absorbed the liquid. Remove the lid and set aside to cool.

For the barberry coulis
1 ½ c ripe barberries
1 c sugar

In a medium saucepan combine the barberries and sugar with ¾ c water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until softened and the liquid is a jewel-like red color. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Pass through a food mill or strainer to remove the black seeds. Be sure to press through as much of the pulp as possible so that the coulis is nice and thick.

For the custard
1 c whole milk
½ c heavy cream
½ tsp vanilla extract
4 large egg yolks
¼ c sugar

Heat the milk, cream, and vanilla in a medium saucepan over medium heat until nearly boiling. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until well combined. Slowly pour half of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture, whisking to combine, and then pour everything back into the saucepan. Stir with a wooden spoon over medium-low heat for 2 to 3 minutes, or until thickened. Do not boil or the mixture will curdle. Remove from the heat, pour into a heatproof bowl, and cool completely in the refrigerator.

To serve
Mix the custard with the rice. Spoon half of the mixture into 4 to 6 individual serving dishes (such as ramekins or martini glasses), add a dollop of barberry coulis, and top with the remaining pudding. Serve immediately or refrigerate overnight.

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