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.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Crispy Fried Zucchini

I will warn you, these things are addictive. Tender, crispy, juicy, and full of the flavor of summer…make them while the zucchini is still local. Slice the zucchini or summer squash length wise into 1/8th inch strips, dust both sides with salt and pepper then set aside. Cover the bottom of a large frying pan with vegetable oil and set over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Next, prep a large bowl with a couple of scrambled egss, and another with flour, salt, pepper, and if you’re the herby type, oregano, parsley, or tarragon.

When everything is ready to go dip the zucchini slices in the egg, dredge in the flour, and then place in the hot oil. Repeat until you cover the bottom of the pan, making sure to leave a bit of room between each slice. Cook for a few minutes per side or until browned then transfer to paper towels or a brown paper bag. You may need to scrape your pan clean with a spatula between batches.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Chicken with Ratatouille

Not only is ratatouille great for making an ordinary meal extra ordinary, but this is the best time of year to make one given the availability of local vegetables. In a large pot sauté a chopped onion in a bit of oil until translucent, then add four minced garlic cloves and a cubed eggplant and cook for another ten minutes stirring occasionally.

Next into the pot goes a chopped zucchini, bell pepper, and a generous squeeze of anchovy paste for a burst of umami, continue cooking for another ten minutes. Following, stir in either a few chopped or premium canned tomatoes and a large handful of chopped basil and cook until the vegetables are tender. Salt and pepper to taste before serving over a grilled chicken breast, steak, pork chop, or lamb shoulder.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Cucumbers with Whipped Feta

I used cucumbers this time around but it could just as easily have been tomatoes, blanched green beans, or gilled zucchini…this whipped feta will make for a tasty appetizer or side dish. Puree 8 oz. of crumbled feta in a food processor for a few seconds to break up the larger chunks. Add a couple tablespoons of cream cheese or Greek yogurt, the juice from half a lemon, a peeled garlic clove, and a quarter cup of extra virgin olive oil. Run until smooth then salt and pepper to taste.

Cube your cucumber and toss with some olive, lemon juice, and salt. A few minutes before serving give each salad plate a good schmear of the feta spread then spoon the cucumber over the top. If you’re thinking appetizers, serve it as a dip with some pita chips, or on a watermelon and basil bruschetta.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Corn, Tomato, Basil Risotto

August is the time for this fresh and creamy risotto, stick with local ingredients and you can’t go wrong. Get started by heating up six cups of chicken or vegetable stock and shucking and cutting the kernels from three ears of corn.

In a large pan over medium heat, add a bit of butter and, or, olive oil and sauté a large chopped onion until 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 corn. Continue adding the remaining stock until the rice is al dente and creamy…approximately 25 minutes in total.

To finish, stir in some chopped tomato, chopped basil, a cup of grated parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper to taste. For an extra creamy risotto, add a couple more slices of butter. August at it’s best!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Poke Bowl

I just made my first Poke Bowl and I’m hooked, can’t believe it took me this long to discover one of Hawaii’s favorite foods. And what makes it so amazing for the home cook is that after the fish and rice, nearly anything goes. This time around I used salmon and scallops, but tuna would also be a great option, the fresher the better.

In a large bowl stir up a fish marinade of equal parts soy sauce and rice wine vinegar with a pinch of red chili flakes. Cut your skinless fish into chunks, about a third of a pound person, then toss with the marinade and refrigerate. Next, get a quarter cup of white or brown rice per person cooking in some salted water.

When choosing your other toppings think about varied textures and flavors, possibilities include but aren’t limited to: avocado, radish, seeds, nuts, seaweed, greens, cucumber, edamame, scallions, chills, ginger, garlic, tomatoes, mushrooms, and pickled vegetables. Combine your ingredients and mix with some rice wine vinegar, fresh lime juice, and salt and pepper to taste.

To serve, divide your cooked rice among the bowls while it’s still hot and top with the fish and other ingredients along with the excess marinade and dressing. Hit it with a bit of hot sauce and get ready for your next favorite meal. If sashimi isn’t your thing, you could also try substituting out the raw fish with some cooked shrimp, tofu, or chicken…or just lots of veggies.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Avocado Green Salsa

This tangy avocado sauce will elevate chicken, beef, pork, or veggies…and only takes a few minutes to whip up. In a food processor combine a peeled and pitted avocado, a small handful of cilantro, the juice from one lime, and approximately a half a cup of your favorite green salsa. Blend until creamy smooth then salt to taste. Looking for an appetizer? It’s also perfect alongside tortilla chips.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Roasted Radishes with Radish Greens

I’ve been throwing out radish greens for years, but after reading about this technique, never again. And roasting the radishes makes for a delicious change from the ordinary. Cut the radishes from the greens, trim the radishes, and wash the greens. Preheat your oven to 450.

Lightly char your radishes for a few minutes over high heat in an ovenproof pan with a little bit of olive. Season with salt and pepper then place the pan in the oven and roast for 15 minutes. Using an oven mitt, return the pan to the stove top, add the greens and salt to taste then sauté over medium heat with a bit of oil or butter until wilted. Squeeze half a lemon over the top and serve.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Snap Pea, Mint, and Arugula Salad

The farmer’s market is really starting to get good, and the snap peas topped my list of favorites this week. To trim, simply snap off the stem and pull it down along the length of the pea taking off the string as you go. Then it’s just a matter of cutting them into half inch chunks, shell and all.

Combine the chunks with a handful of chopped mint and toss with fresh lemon or lime juice, extra virgin olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Before serving add some chopped arugula and mix well.

Don’t wait; the snap peas won’t be around for long.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Pan Roasted Swordfish with Garlic and Parsley

Swordfish is incredibly easy to overcook, and no matter how you serve it a dried out piece of swordfish is mighty disappointing. While this preparation doesn’t guarantee success every time, if you pay attention odds are good it will turn out pretty perfect.

Preheat your oven to 400 while you melt a half a stick of butter in a small pan with a couple minced garlic cloves, some chopped parsley, ground black pepper, and salt to taste. Heat a skillet over high heat, salt and pepper your swordfish, add a splash of oil to the pan and brown for about two minutes per side. Immediately transfer the pan to the oven and roast until cooked through, approximately 7 to 10 minutes depending on the thickness of your steaks. Don’t be afraid to check often. Remove them from the hot pan immediately and serve with the butter mixture and a squeeze of lemon.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Kale, Sardine, Potato Salad

Until I had this sardine salad at a local restaurant a while back I never would have thought of using sardines this way, now I do all the time. And they’re a whole lot healthier and more flavorful than canned tuna. Give it a chance you sardine haters out there…you never know.

Cut some white potatoes into small chunks and simmer in salted water until fork tender, then run under some cold water to cool and drain. Empty a can of whole sardines along with the oil they’re packed in into a large bowl and chop up into little pieces with the side of a large spoon. Towel dry the potato chunks, then add to the bowl along with some chopped kale, sliced scallion, a small pour of extra virgin olive oil, fresh lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Barbequed Chicken

After many years of experimentation I’m pretty happy with my barbequed chicken, juicy, crispy, and flavorful…what could be bad, right? And it goes without saying my technique isn’t very complicated. After washing and drying your chicken and lighting the barbeque, mix together some of your favorite spices, cumin, chili, paprika, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, or curry. It’s really hard to go wrong as long as you include salt and sugar. Quantities depend on how much chicken you’re cooking but you want to make sure you’re left with a couple of tablespoons of the mixture after liberally dusting your chicken pieces on both sides.

After dusting the chicken stir the remaining spice mixture into a bowl of your favorite barbeque sauce then divide into two parts, one for basting, and the other for serving. Start the dark meat chicken skin side down on the hot grill and cook until it lifts up easily, five minutes on high. Flip each piece, baste the cooked side with your sauce, and then add the white meat pieces skin side down to the grill. Cook all the chicken for another five minutes on high, flip, baste, and then turn the grill to low. Continue to cook, flip and baste every five minutes until the chicken is cooked through; you’re aiming for a good char without overcooking. Serve right off of the grill with the sauce you set aside.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Fresh Tuna Salad Nicoise

Fresh tuna takes this French summer classic to another level. In addition to potatoes, green beans, olives, and eggs, don’t be shy about serving with some tomatoes, cucumbers, or radishes…whatever is in season. Start by setting a large pot of salted water on the stove to boil while you prepare the vinaigrette; anchovies, garlic, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, and salt and pepper.

Once the water comes to a boil add the small red potatoes, return to a boil, then carefully add the eggs with a slotted spoon and simmer for exactly seven minutes. Scoop your eggs from the pot, chill in a bowl of ice water for two minutes, then set aside. Continue to cook your potatoes until fork tender, adding the picked green beans to the pot for the last minute of cooking time. Drain the potatoes and beans in a strainer.

Finally, heat a sauté pan over high heat, peel and halve your eggs, quarter your potatoes, set aside your Kalamata olives, then salt and pepper your tuna slices and cook until medium rare…don’t overcook whatever you do, it only takes a couple of minutes per side. Immediately serve everything together with a generous drizzle of the vinaigrette and salt and pepper to taste.