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.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Spinach Bacon Bean Dip

Bacon makes everything better, especially in July. Start by coarsely chopping a couple slices of thick cut smoked bacon and cook in a frying pan until crisp, remove and set on a paper bag to drain.

Using the same pan with the bacon fat, sauté a chopped shallot and four cloves of garlic. After a few minutes, stir in two cans of drained cannellini beans and cook for another five minutes over medium heat. Transfer the hot bean mixture to a large bowl and toss together with a bag of baby spinach.

Once it’s cooled down scrape the mixture into a food processor with half the bacon bits, a large pinch of red pepper flakes, or, a couple of shakes of your favorite hot sauce. While processing, stream in approximately a third of a cup of extra virgin olive oil until smooth. Then, salt and pepper to taste, garnish with the remaining bacon bits, and serve with crackers, a sliced baguette, or some toasted pita chips.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Radish Leaves

I’m loving the radishes at the Farmer’s market these days, and the leaves too. No need to let them go to waste, here are a few great things to do with them. But before trying any of them wash and dry the leaves well in cold water to remove any dirt.

The easiest option is to add them to a salad. This time of year the leaves are small and delicate and will make for a delicious peppery accent to most greens. As they get larger, coarser, and bitterer, it’s better to sauté them with olive oil and garlic until tender. Use them right away or stick them in the fridge for another time, they’ll keep for at least a week. They’re delicious as a room temperature side dish, or added to scrambled eggs, soup, or stew.

If you’re feeling more adventurous, try a radish leaf pesto, it’s definitely for lovers of all things bitter. For a less bitter pesto, use half radish and half spinach leaves. Happy summer!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Mint Chive Yogurt Sauce

Mint and chives are the best! Year after year they’re the first to reappear in the garden…with no effort required. I like to combine them with cucumber, garlic, and yogurt for a flavorful sauce that works on pork, lamb, chicken, or as a dip with toasted pita.

Peel a cucumber, cut it in half the long way, and then scrape the seeds from each half with a spoon. Finely chop the cucumber halves and combine in a bowl with a handful each of chopped mint and chives, two minced garlic cloves, one to two cups of plain yogurt, a splash of olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.

For optimal flavor it’s best to prepare at least a few hours before serving. And don’t be shy about making lots, it’s great to have around, and will last for at least a week covered in the fridge.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Honey Butter Corn

Honey, butter, and corn…so good, so right. How could I not have thought of this combination before? In a small bowl blend together equal parts honey and softened butter with a fork, about a tablespoon of each per two ears of corn. Scrape the mixture from the bowl with a spatula and schmear it on the bottom of a large glass dish and set aside.

Husk your corn, then boil or barbeque to your liking. Once cooked, immediately roll the cobs in the butter mixture until generously coated, then salt and serve. For even more flavor, you could also add some garlic powder or a pinch of cayenne to the butter mixture.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Thai Bean Sprout Salad

I’ve been seeing bean sprouts regularly at the market these days, and they make for a refreshingly light and tasty salad. Peel, seed, and cube a medium cucumber and combine in a large bowl with a bag of bean sprouts, two chopped scallions, half a thinly sliced serrano pepper, some chopped peanuts, and a small handful of coarsely chopped cilantro leaves.

For the dressing, whisk the juice of a lime with two tablespoons of rice wine vinegar, a small splash of vegetable oil, a teaspoon of honey, and salt to taste. Because the bean sprouts will get soggy fast, gently toss the dressing into the salad immediately before serving.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Chili Roasted Swordfish

Wondering what to cook this holiday weekend? This swordfish makes for a special main course, or, appetizer. Preheat your oven to 400 then season your swordfish steaks liberally with salt and chili powder. Heat a teaspoon of oil in an oven proof pan over medium heat then brown the swordfish steaks for about a minute on each side. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook for approximately 8-10 minutes depending on the thickness. Serve with lemon or lime.

And if chili powder isn’t your thing, try using paprika, Old Bay, black pepper, or nearly any other ground spice.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Squash Risotto

With some cool nights in the forecast it still feels right to be stirring up a risotto, and roasting the squash first really brings out the nutty flavor.  Peel, seed, and cube a medium butternut squash, toss with some oil and salt, and roast in a 400 oven for 45 minutes or until it’s tender.
While the squash is cooking, heat up five cups of quality chicken or vegetable stock in a small pot.  In a large pan over medium heat, sauté a large chopped onion in a few tablespoons of butter or olive oil.  Once translucent, stir in a cup and a half of rice, and cook for another few minutes.  Next, add a cup of your stock, stirring occasionally, until completely absorbed.  Repeat with another cup of stock, after that’s absorbed, stir in the squash. 
Continue adding the remaining stock in one cup increments until the rice is al dente and creamy…approximately 25 minutes in total.  You may not end up using all of the stock. To finish, stir in another tablespoon of butter, a cup of grated parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper to taste. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Spicy Beef with Cumin

This one is going to change your mind about cooking Chinese at home; it’s as good as the real thing. Put a 1 ¼ to 1 ½ pound flank steak in the freezer for twenty minutes, and then slice it thinly across the grain into two to three inch pieces. Next, peel and halve a large onion and slice into quarter inch wide pieces.

In a large bowl, combine approximately two tablespoons of ground cumin, a tablespoon each of soy sauce and cornstarch, two teaspoons of sesame oil, a teaspoon each of sugar, crushed red pepper flakes, and ground black pepper, half a teaspoon of kosher salt, and three tablespoons of vegetable oil. Add the meat and onion to the bowl and mix together until well coated. Set aside for fifteen minutes.

Put a bit of oil into a hot pan then add the meat and onions. Stir occasionally for about six minutes, and then add a quarter cup of chicken broth and a handful of cilantro leaves. Use a spatula to toss and scrape the bottom of the pan while cooking for another few minutes. Serve immediately.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Lentils and Leeks

When was the last time you made lentils? Exactly my point, I don’t make them nearly enough ether. And as far as last minute side dishes go, they have everything going for them; long shelf life, incredible value, quick and easy to prepare, and they go with nearly everything.

Stir a cup of dry brown lentils into a pot of lightly salted boiling water, simmer for approximately fifteen minutes, or until barely tender. In the meantime, sauté a chopped leak in some butter or oil over medium heat until the edges start to brown. Add three finely chopped garlic cloves, sauté another few minutes, then toss in the drained lentils. Stir occasionally for another five minutes, salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Maple Ginger Glazed Pork Chops

Spring is here and the sap is flowing, support your local sugarmaker and give these pork chops a zesty maple glaze. In a small sauce pan saute a finely chopped shallot in a little bit of olive oil until translucent. Add two tablespoons of minced ginger, a pinch or two of cayenne pepper, give it a minute, then stir in a quarter cup each of soy sauce and maple syrup. Simmer until reduced by a third, or until it’s a syrupy consistency.

Season your pork chops with salt, then broil, bake, or barbeque until the desired doneness. In a large bowl, toss to coat with the glaze, plate, and drizzle the remaining glaze over the chops.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Cabbage Parmesan Roast

I’m loving my roast vegetables these days, and the addition of parmesan not only sharpened the flavor, but also made for an irresistible silky texture. Preheat your oven to 450 and chop a half a head of cabbage, two red onions, and a fennel bulb into medium sized pieces. Toss together with enough olive oil to barely coat the vegetables along with a healthy sprinkling of kosher salt and pepper. Transfer to a large shallow pan and throw in the oven.

After thirty minutes, turn the oven down to 350 and stir in two large handfuls of coarsely chopped kale and four to six minced garlic cloves. Roast for another twenty minutes, then remove from the oven and scrape everything into a large bowl. Toss with a cup of grated parmesan, and salt and pepper to taste. If you’re not planning on serving it right away, use an ovenproof bowl for easy reheating.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Asian Chicken and Mushroom Soup

Embrace the chilly spring temps with this brothy and flavorful combination of chicken, mushrooms, and vegetables. Salt your chicken thighs, and then brown with a little bit of vegetable oil in a large pot over high heat. Cook approximately four minutes per side, and then set aside.

Turn the heat down to medium, add some more oil, then throw in some drained canned baby corn, snow peas, chopped scallions, sliced shitake mushrooms, and a package of enoki mushrooms making sure to separate them into smaller clumps. Let it all cook for a few minutes then stir in a tablespoon of fresh ginger, followed by the cut up chicken thighs.

Add enough chicken stock to the pot to barely cover all of the ingredients, bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for fifteen minutes. Add a quarter cup of soy sauce, two tablespoons of Asian fish sauce, and a teaspoon of sesame oil. Make sure to salt and hot sauce to taste before serving.