David Doesn't Bake

Baking is science and I don't like formulas, but cooking is art and anything goes...and the simpler the better. It's all about less time at the stove and more time at the table. With a forty year passion for food I'm excited to share what I do in the kitchen nearly every day.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Spicy Fried Shrimp

Fried seafood tastes better in the summer, and a little spice in your cocktail sauce will cool you right down on a hot night. Set up your breading station with a bowl each of flour, lightly scrambled eggs, and breadcrumbs. Cover the bottom of a large pan with vegetable oil and set on a medium hot burner.

For the cocktail sauce start with a quarter cup of ketchup then add horseradish to taste. For some spice add a quarter teaspoon of cayenne pepper, a squeeze or two of Sriracha, or chili garlic paste, depending on your mood.

Salt and pepper the peeled shrimp, in batches of two or three at a time, dust with flour, dip in the egg, and coat with breadcrumbs. Fry them in the oil until golden brown, about a minute per side, then drain on a paper bag. Give them a squeeze of lemon and serve with your sauce.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Summer Noodle Salad

I have to confess, I attempted to make Vietnamese summer rolls this week but the rice paper didn’t cooperate…talk about a frustrating experience. However, the Rt. 100 noodles I recently had at the Mehurons’ deli inspired me to throw all the summer roll ingredients together for what turned out to be a pretty awesome salad.

Fill a bowl with hot water and soak approximately 4 ounces of vermicelli rice noodles for approximately 10 minutes. Run under cold water, drain, and set aside. To make the dressing, stir together a little bit of vegetable and sesame oil, some soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, fresh lime juice, a pinch of cayenne pepper, and salt and pepper to taste.

For the salad, combine a third of a bunch each of roughly chopped basil, mint, and cilantro, some sliced radish, carrots, cucumber, and snap or snow peas. Pile the drained noodles on a cutting board, cut into quarters, then toss with the salad ingredients and dressing.

If you’re looking for more of a meal, add some thinly sliced cooked shrimp or pork.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Steak with Tomatoes and Basil

Grilling season is here and sometimes simple is best, and this combination of a perfectly grilled steak with fresh basil and tomatoes can’t be beat. Especially when you use ingredients from you local farmer's market.

While your grill is heating up prep equal parts basil and spinach then place in a large bowl with some cut up tomatoes. Salt and pepper your steak and grill to your desired doneness then place on a cutting board to rest for a few minutes.

Toss the salad with a couple splashes of your best extra virgin olive oil, a generous pour of balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. After plating your steak pile the salad over the top along with any dressing that’s left in the bowl.

Oh yea, it’s summer!

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Lazy Cod Enchiladas

Why wrap when you can stack? Preheat your oven to 350, warm up some enchilada sauce, then cut the cod into four-inch pieces and season liberally with chili powder, salt, pepper, and few pinches of cayenne pepper. In a non-stick pan, sauté the fish over medium high heat until barely cooked through and set aside.

Pour about a third of your enchilada sauce into a large oven proof dish, then one by one dip some tortillas into the sauce to coat and layer the bottom of the dish. Put some fish on top of each tortilla, then dip another layer of tortillas into the reserved sauce and stack on top.

To finish, cover with any leftover sauce, a Mexican cheese blend, and some sliced jalapenos, scallions, or sliced black olives. Bake until the cheese is fully melted and the edges start to brown.

Serve with some sour cream, salsa, or cilantro.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Thai Cucumber Peanut Salad

Even if you don’t make the cucumbers the spicy peanut cilantro mixture alone is worth doing, works amazingly well on salads, meats, and veggies. To make the topping simply throw a teaspoon of chili flakes, along with a quarter cup each of fresh cilantro and salted peanuts, and grind until finely chopped.

Cut some Persian cucumbers in half, then in two-inch pieces. Whisk together three tablespoons of peanut butter, two tablespoons each of soy sauce and rice vinegar, a teaspoon of sugar, a half teaspoon of kosher salt, and a minced garlic clove.

Toss the cucumbers with the peanut sauce and half the cilantro topping, then serve with the rest of the topping over the top.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Mushroom Spinach Spaghetti Pie

This spaghetti pie is the bomb, literally and figuratively. And just the thing for this hectic time of year when you can never have enough leftovers for last minute dinners.

Preheat your oven to 425 then boil a pound of spaghetti until al dente, drain and set aside. In a large Teflon or cast-iron pan, saute a finely chopped onion in some olive oil until translucent. Add four minced garlic cloves and a pound of sliced mushrooms…any mix of cremini, baby bellas, or wild mushrooms will work. Season with salt and pepper and saute for about ten minutes stirring frequently. Scoop the mixture into a large bowl.

In the same pan, add another splash of olive oil, 5 to 8 ounces of fresh baby spinach, and a generous amount of salt and pepper. Saute for two minutes, then add to the bowl with the mushroom mixture.

In another large bowl, scramble 3 eggs and a cup and a half of whole milk. Add the cooked spaghetti, the mushroom spinach mixture, 3 cups of Fontina cheese, 1 ½ teaspoons of salt, a teaspoon of pepper, and a cup each of fresh ricotta and grated parmesan. Mix really well then scrape back into your saute pan and bake for about a half an hour or until the top is golden.

Wait at least fifteen minutes before cutting. Serve hot, later at room temp, or cold out of the fridge. Trust me, the mess you’re going to make is worth it.

Monday, June 3, 2019

Braised Lemon Caper Chicken

I’ll take a chicken thigh over a breast any day, but if you do prefer breasts, braising gives you your best shot at keeping them moist. Liberally season your chicken with salt and pepper, dust with flour, brown on both sides over high heat in an ovenproof skillet, then set aside.

Turn down the heat to medium and add five chopped garlic cloves to the pan, sauté for a minute then pour in two cups of chicken stock and bring back to a simmer. Stir in two tablespoons each of lemon zest and coarsely chopped capers and let it cook for another couple of minutes. Return the chicken to the pan and bake in the oven for 30 to 45 minutes at 350 depending on the cut and size of your chicken.

To thicken the sauce, set the chicken to the side and return the pan to the stove and boil lightly for a few minutes…you could add some cannellini beans at this point too if you wanted. Salt and pepper to taste, stir in some chopped parsley, then pour the thickened sauce over the chicken.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Crunchy Gochujang Fennel

I’ve smothered this tangy fennel on salmon, pork loin, chicken, rice, even our Easter ham…it rocks! These quantities will give you enough for leftovers, because you’ll want them. And it lasts for days in the fridge.

Remove the tough outer layer and cores from two fennel bulbs and cut into quarter inch thick slices. Simmer for for a couple of minutes in a pot of salted water then transfer immediately to a bowl of ice water. Once cool, drain and pat dry with paper or cloth towels.

For the sauce, whisk together a three-inch piece of minced ginger, two minced garlic cloves, four tablespoons of gochujang paste, three tablespoons of rice vinegar, two tablespoons each of honey and sesame oil, a small handful of toasted sesame seeds, and Sriracha sauce to taste.

Toss the fennel with the sauce then salt to taste.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Soft Boiled Eggs

Not that I ever had to be convinced to eat soft boiled eggs before, but the arrival of salad season makes them even more irresistible. There are dozens of techniques out there all claiming perfection…here’s how I’m making them these days.

For minimal cracking and ease of peeling I’m a believer in bringing your eggs to room temperature before boiling. That being said, bring a pot of water to a boil and using a slotted spoon gently place your eggs at the bottom of the pot making sure they’re completely submerged. Immediately cover the pot, turn off the heat, and leave for seven minutes. Transfer the eggs to a bowl of ice water, wait two minutes, and peel.

They’re best served warm and oozy.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Cod Cakes

Finely dice two celery stalks, a medium yellow onion, and two to three cloves of garlic, sauté over medium heat in butter. Once translucent, set aside in a large bowl. Season a pound of cod with salt, pepper, and paprika, or a store-bought mixture like Old Bay. Sauté in butter until barely cooked through, then set aside.

Mix together a tablespoon each of mayonnaise and Dijon mustard, two eggs, a bit of the spice mixture you used on the fish, and salt and pepper to taste…don’t be shy. Scrape into the bowl with the sautéed veggie mixture, then stir in a cup of panko, a handful of chopped parsley, and the cod broken up into smallish pieces. Using your hands, form the patties, place on cookie sheets, and refrigerate for 45 minutes to firm them up.

To finish, heat some veggie oil in a large pan over high heat and gently cook the patties until golden on both sides. Serve immediately with a lemon wedge.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Braised Celery with Parmesan

I love the flavor of celery, but hardly ever use it in anything other than the base of a sauce or soup with some onion and carrots…or raw with peanut butter. This dish not only puts celery front and center, but couldn’t be easier to whip up. And now you’ll have something to do with that half a bunch of celery in the back of the veggie drawer?

Cut 8 to 10 celery stalks into two-inch pieces. In a large frying pan over medium heat, sauté a chopped shallot in a tablespoon of butter for two minutes, add the cut celery and continue to cook for another few minutes.

Add a half a cup of chicken stock, cover, and simmer for five minutes. Uncover, and leave on medium low heat for another ten to fifteen minutes, or until the celery is tender. Salt and pepper to taste, and douse with grated parmesan.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Mexican Corn Salad

Using the same ingredients as the corn sold on the streets in Mexico, this salad will work with whatever your planning for Cinco de Mayo…even if it’s just margaritas.

Defrost a box of frozen corn and toss with a little bit of vegetable oil, a tablespoon of chili powder, and some salt and pepper. Place in a roasting pan and pop it in a 400-degree oven until it starts to brown around the edges, about 30 to 40 minutes.

While that’s cooling, mix together a few tablespoons of mayonnaise, the juice from half a lime, a half cup of crumbled Cotija or feta cheese, some chopped cilantro, and salt and cayenne pepper to taste. Stir together with the corn and serve.