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.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Celery Root Remoulade

It’s root vegetable season and they don’t all have to be boiled, baked, or steamed. This classic French bistro salad is served cold, and packed with flavor.

For the sauce, mix together a half cup of mayonnaise, a tablespoon of Dijon mustard, two tablespoons each of chopped capers and relish, a healthy squeeze of fresh lemon juice, and some chopped parsley. Salt and pepper to taste.

Shortly before serving, add about a pound and a half of peeled and shredded celery root and mix well.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Pickled Pepper Sauce

This is my kind of sauce, easy, tasty, and adaptable…I didn’t change a thing from a Sam Sifton recipe I found in NYT Cooking. I served it on pork chops, but could have also been chicken or beef.

In a small sauce pot, sauté a few sliced garlic cloves in a splash of olive oil. Once translucent, add the brine from a jar of hot pickled red peppers, the halved and seeded peppers, and a cup of white wine. For even more heat, add a pinch or two of chili flakes. Cook on medium heat until the liquid is reduced by half then set aside.

Salt the pork chops and cook over medium-high heat in a large frying pan. Once the meat is browned on both sides and cooked to your desired doneness, remove from the pan.

Turn down the heat to medium-low then pour the reduced sauce into the pan along with a couple tablespoons of butter. Stir until the butter melts and forms a velvety consistency. Salt and pepper to taste, then serve over the chops.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Sweet Potato, Onion, and Kale Hash

This hash is just the thing for Christmas breakfast or New Year’s Day brunch. Not only is it on the lighter side as far as hash goes, but you can prep it up to three days ahead of time. And it’s holiday worthy!

Cut your unpeeled sweet potatoes into ¼” cubes. Drop them in a pot of simmering salted water for a couple of minutes then drain well.

Sauté some chopped onion in a large frying pan over medium heat. After five minutes or so, stir the sweet potatoes into the pan and continue to cook. Give the pan a shake and a flip with a spatula every few minutes.

Once the potatoes are cooked through and the onions start to brown, add some finely chopped kale, a couple of minced garlic cloves, and a bit of salt and pepper. Turn the heat to medium low and continue to cook until the kale is tender, about seven to ten minutes. Again, an occasional flip with a spatula wouldn’t hurt.

Salt and pepper to taste, then serve immediately with an egg on top. Or let cool and store in the fridge for reheating later. Hot sauce optional.

Happy Merry!

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Pan Fried King Oyster Mushrooms

‘Tis the season for entertaining, and these pan-fried king oyster mushrooms make a special appetizer for an intimate gathering…and they’re ready in minutes. Figure a mushroom and a half per guest.

While you heat a few splashes of olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat, carefully cut your mushrooms the long way into 1/8” slices. Toss gently in a shallow dish with some olive, salt, and pepper.

Using a fork or a pair of tongs, place the mushroom slices into the hot pan and cook for approximately two minutes, or until they are lightly browned. Flip and do the same to the other side.

Turn the heat to low, remove the mushrooms from the pan and arrange on your plates. Add another splash of oil to the pan if necessary, then stir in some sliced garlic. Sauté for about a minute. Once they are browned on both sides, slide them onto your mushrooms along with some chopped parsley and serve.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Hot and Sour Soup

I made this one with chicken and black beans, but pork or tofu would have worked too, and the beans are optional. The broth and mushrooms are what it’s all about, and it all comes together in less than twenty minutes.

If you’re using meat, brown in a large stock pot then set aside. In the same pot, quickly sauté three minced garlic cloves and a couple tablespoons of fresh ginger. Add six cups of chicken stock, a large pour of soy sauce, a squirt of Sriracha, and a teaspoon of ground white pepper….no worries if you don’t have any, use half a teaspoon of black pepper.

As soon as it boils stir in ten or so thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms, then turn down the heat and simmer for ten minutes. While that’s cooking, whisk four tablespoons of rice wine vinegar and two heaping tablespoons of cornstarch together in a small bowl.

Slowly pour the mixture into the soup followed by a couple of lightly beaten eggs. Stir continually until you start to see the soup thicken and egg ribbons form.

Add the cooked meat or some diced tofu along with a few thinly sliced scallions and a couple teaspoons of sesame oil. Taste, and adjust with some more soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, or Sriracha if needed.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Radicchio Salad with an Orange Vinaigrette

Whatever you’re cooking for Thanksgiving classics, this salad’s refreshing combination of bitter and sweet makes for a light and tasty side.

For the dressing, whisk together half a cup of olive oil with a quarter cup each of fresh orange juice and red wine vinegar, a tablespoon of honey, a teaspoon of Dijon, some minced shallot and chopped parsley. Salt and pepper to taste.

You can go a lot of different directions with the greens, but start with radicchio. From there you could simply toss in some endive and watercress, or radishes and spinach for something less bitter, or maybe even some fennel.

To make it even more special, try adding toasted pistachios or walnuts, or a bit of gouda or pecorino cheese. Whatever you decide, wait until just before serving to toss everything together with the dressing.

Most importantly, have a fantastic Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Swordfish with Capers, Parsley, and Anchovies

With lots of prep going on for Thanksgiving, dinner on Wednesday night needs to be about simplicity and ease…not to mention something on the lighter side. These baked swordfish steaks check all those boxes.

Preheat your oven to 425, then grease a roasting pan using a paper towel and some olive oil. Spread out your swordfish steaks on the bottom of the pan and generously salt and pepper.

In a small bowl, combine equal amounts of finely chopped capers and parsley, along with a few minced anchovies…you can also use anchovy paste to save time. Mix well with enough olive oil so it will spread easily, then spoon it evenly over the swordfish.

Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through. Remove from the roasting pan immediately so it doesn’t get overcooked. Serve with a wedge of lemon.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Crispy Oven Baked Wings

With the dark, damp, days of November upon us, it’s time to hunker down for some football. Unless you’re a Giants or Jets fan that is…very sad.

No need to fuss with deep frying or outdoor barbequing, with a flavorful dry rub, you can get them plenty crispy in the oven. Preheat the oven to 450 then heat your heaviest and largest frying pan on a medium burner to get it good and hot.

Using your hands, toss and massage the wings in a large bowl with a little bit of vegetable oil, and enough dry rub to cover each wing well. For the rub I start with a teaspoon of salt, two of sugar, then a combination of whatever is around; cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, almost anything goes.

Turn your exhaust fan on high, then slide the wings into the hot pan. After a minute stir them around, flipping as many as possible. Give it another minute, then using pot holders, put the pan in the hot oven for approximately 30 minutes.

They’re ready to go as is, or with your favorite dipping sauce.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019


It sounds fancy, but it isn’t, just a little Cuisinart magic….and it makes whatever you put it on come alive.

Put a large handful of parsley, or half and half parsley and cilantro, in your Cuisinart along with three chopped garlic cloves, a quarter teaspoon each of salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes, a couple big splashes of red wine vinegar, and a teaspoon of oregano, if you have it.

Slowly pour up to a quarter cup of olive oil into the Cuisinart while it’s running until you’ve achieved a smooth runny consistency. You really want the vinegar to stand out, so don’t be shy about adding a bit more, salt and red pepper flakes too.

Easy, right! And your chicken, beef, pork, fish, broccoli, or potatoes will never be the same.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Squash Curry Soup with Roast Corn

The butternut squash is pretty tasty these days, and the addition of some roast corn makes for a nice twist on a classic soup.

As the chicken stock is one of two main ingredients to this recipe, it pays to use a quality brand. Personally, I prefer the roasted chicken Better Than Bouillon concentrated base. I also think its way more economical than a liquid stock in a box.

Start by preheating your oven to 400. Toss some defrosted corn with a little bit of olive oil and salt in a shallow roasting pan, then cook for 30 to 40 minutes…or until it starts to brown around the edges.

In a large soup pot, heat a few splashes of olive oil then sauté a chopped onion until translucent. Stir in some curry powder or paste, followed by the peeled, seeded, and cubed squash. After a few minutes, add enough water to cover the squash by at least an inch then boil lightly for 20 to 30 minutes.

Once the squash is very tender, stir in a teaspoon of chicken base, let dissolve, taste, and repeat until it tastes like you want it to. Take the soup off of the heat and puree until smooth with a stick blender, or let it cool slightly, and use a food processor. Stir in the roast corn, salt to taste, and serve.

To save some time, you could substitute some drained garbanzo beans for the corn.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Turnips with Crispy Shallots

You could put these crispy shallots on dog food and it would be incredible, but let’s just start with turnips.

Peel and cut the turnips into one-inch chunks, then lightly boil in an inch or so of salted water in a covered pot. While the turnips are cooking, halve and thinly slice lots of peeled shallots…you’re going to want extras for whatever you’re eating tomorrow…and the next day.

In a large non-stick frying pan melt a couple tablespoons of butter then sauté the shallots over medium heat for approximately fifteen minutes. Turn often so they brown and crisp up, but be careful not to let them burn.

When the turnips are cooked through and tender, drain and mash them with some butter, salt and pepper, and if you’re feeling it, a splash of heavy cream. Serve topped with the shallots.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Brothy Cabbage and Beans

It’s all about what’s in your pantry when it comes to weeknight cooking, chicken stock, canned beans, onions, and garlic are all must haves.

In a medium sized pot, sauté a chopped onion until translucent then add a quarter of a head of chopped up cabbage, half a minced jalapeno, and a few pinches of salt and pepper. Leave over medium heat stirring occasionally. Once the cabbage is fully wilted, stir in a few sliced garlic cloves, a can or two of undrained black beans, and a splash of water.

Bring to a quick boil then immediately lower to a simmer. After ten or so minutes stir in some concentrated chicken stock to taste, and a few squirts of ketchup to boost the flavor.

Continue to simmer until the rest of your dinner is ready to go. Salt and pepper to taste before serving.