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.

Thursday, May 11, 2023

Kimchi Grilled Cheese

Not only will you be dreaming about this kimchi grilled cheese for days to come, but once you try it with mayonnaise, you’ll never make any kind of grilled cheese sandwich again with buttered bread.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat, once hot, sauté a quarter cup of chopped kimchi in a teaspoon of butter. After a few minutes, remove and set aside.

Spread an even layer of mayonnaise on one side of your bread slices then place them in the hot pan, mayonnaise side down. Top one of the slices with a half a cup of shredded cheddar or mozzarella cheese, and the other with the sauteed kimchi. If you like spicy, now’s the time for a squirt or two of Sriracha.

After a minute or two, flip the cheesy slice on top of the kimchi slice to make your sandwich. Turn down the heat to low and cook for another couple of minutes, pressing down with a spatula for maximum browning. Flip and do the same on the other side, then remove and serve immediately.

For a more substantial meal, you could also add some thinly sliced steak, chicken, or tofu.

Thursday, March 30, 2023

Glazed Baby Back Ribs

The snow is gone from the deck, time to roll out the barbeque! No grill, no problem, these ribs are nearly as good under the broiler…the key is an hour in the oven first.

Preheat your oven to 425, cut the racks in half, and rub all over with a mixture of salt and sugar. Approximately a tablespoon and a half of salt and a tablespoon of sugar per rack.

Wrap them individually in aluminum foil and pop them in the oven on a baking sheet. Leave them in for an hour, flipping once or twice. Once done, take them out of the oven and set aside for fifteen minutes while your grill or broiler heats up.

Remove the ribs from the foil and lather them liberally with your favorite barbeque sauce. Place on a hot grill or under the broiler for five minutes or until lightly charred. Cut into individual ribs and serve with some extra sauce.

Happy spring!

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Pea and Pecorino Pesto

Get a jump on spring, courtesy of some frozen peas. BTW, did you know that frozen vegetables are just as nutritious as fresh ones? Really!

After defrosting, remove a small handful of peas from a 12 oz. bag and set aside for later. Add the remainder of the peas to the food processor along with a garlic clove and a quarter teaspoon of kosher salt.

With the machine running, slowly add extra virgin olive oil until the mixture is smooth and runny enough to coat your pasta, about a third of a cup. You could also use a little water if you wanted to cut back on the oil.

Salt and pepper to taste then toss with a pound of cooked pasta and a half a cup of grated pecorino. Serve immediately with the reserved peas and bit of pecorino over the top.

Monday, January 16, 2023

Miso Glazed Salmon

Fire up your broiler, this miso salmon will soon be on your short list of go to meals.

For half a pound of salmon, stir together two to three tablespoons of red or white miso, a squirt of Sriracha, a quarter teaspoon of salt, and two tablespoons each of sugar, soy sauce, and sake, mirin,or dry white wine. When the sugar is dissolved, pour the marinade into a glass baking dish along with the salmon and coat well. Let marinate for at least 30 minutes, or as long as overnight.

When you’re ready to go, transfer the fillets to a foil lined broiling pan then slide it under the heat for about six minutes. Serve immediately when it’s at its crispiest.

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Squashed Tot Tacos

Unlike canned fruit cocktail and bologna sandwiches on Wonder Bread, my love for Tater Tots has never faded. So, you can imagine my excitement when I squashed, fried, and inserted them in my egg tacos not long ago only to discover that tots weren’t just for dinner anymore. Can’t wait to spread the joy of tots this Christmas morning! 

Bake tots as directed on the package, but shorten the cooking time by about five minutes. You can even bake them off the night before. Five minutes before you start cooking your eggs, add a bit of oil to a hot skillet, drop in your cooked tots, then squash them into a pancake with a spatula. When they’re good and crispy, flip, and do the same on the other side. Salt generously and insert into them your taco or cheesy burrito. 

Happy Merry!

Sunday, December 4, 2022

Cod with Scallion Ginger Soupy Noodles

Given how easy this was to prepare, I was surprised how much my family raved about it…just the kind of recipe I love. And a perfect meal after last week’s three-day turkey fest. For a pound of cod, thinly slice a two-to-three-inch piece of pealed ginger then place the coin shaped slices in a shallow pot with a little bit of oil over low heat. Once it starts to become fragrant, stir in three or four chopped scallions. After a few minutes, add a cup of clam stock. While that’s simmering lightly, salt and pepper the cod and cut into portion sized pieces. Next, cook your rice, soba, or udon noodles as directed on the package, then drain and set aside. Fifteen minutes before dinner, turn the heat on the clam broth up to medium then slide in the cod and cover. Once it starts to bubble, turn the heat to low and let simmer for about 7 or 8 minutes, or until the cod is nearly cooked through. It will depend on the thickness of your fillet. Before plating, salt and pepper the broth to taste. Then place some noodles in the bottom of each bowl, followed by a piece of cod, and lastly, the broth with ginger and scallions.

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Delicata, Wheat Berry, and Crispy Leek Salad

If you’ve been pondering your Thanksgiving menu, this could be a good one to consider. If not, this could still be a good one to consider…for any occasion! It seems like a lot of steps, but they’re all easy, and can be done a day or two ahead of time. Start by cooking the wheat berries in some slated water for 25 minutes or so, making sure not to let them get mushy. Drain and set aside. Wash, seed, and slice your Delicata into 3/8” slices then toss with a couple splashes of olive oil, a little bit of sugar, some dried herbs of your choosing, and some salt and pepper. Roast on parchment lined baking sheets at 400 until pierceable with a fork. While that’s roasting, crisp up some sliced leeks or shallots in a sauté pan with a splash of oil over medium heat. Once lightly browned all over, slide onto a paper bag to drain. In a food processor, combine half a garlic clove with some crumbled feta, a couple tablespoons of yogurt, some fresh lemon juice, and enough olive oil to get to a pourable consistency. Salt to taste. I think it’s best eaten at room temperature. To serve, puddle the whipped feta on a large plate, followed by the squash, the wheat berries, some toasted slivered almonds, the crispy leeks, and of course, some kosher salt to taste. Have a tasty November!

Thursday, October 6, 2022

Brothy Meatballs Beans and Greens

Are you still in denial about it being soup season? These brothy meatballs will ease you in slowly and scrumptiously…truly! For the greens, I used a head of escarole I bought at the farmer’s market, they had pain de sucre as well which is also in the chicory family. If you’re not a chicory fan, kale would be good, as would lettuce or spinach. Get things going in a large heavy pot by sautéing a chopped onion and several minced garlic cloves until translucent. Next, add a pinch of red chili flakes and the washed bite-sized greens and stir frequently over medium heat until they’re wilted. Pour in two to three cups of your favorite chicken stock…my go to is Better Than Bouillon. When it starts to simmer add a can of drained cannellini beans and continue to cook while you make the meatballs. Combine a pound of ground beef, turkey, or chicken thighs with a minced shallot, a handful of finely chopped parsley, a tablespoon of minced garlic, a half a cup of grated parmesan, and a generous amount of salt and pepper. Once it’s mixed well, gently stir in a lightly beaten egg and a cup of panko which has been soaking in a third of a cup of milk. One-inch meatballs are best, once formed, brown them in a heavy skillet over medium heat and immediately transfer them to the pot with the braised greens. Cover, and cook for another twenty minutes on low heat then serve with about a half-inch of the broth and some grated parmesan or pecorino over the top.

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Spicy Feta Honey Dip

Anyone thinking of throwing some pork, chicken, or veggies on the barbeque this weekend? Or maybe just considering serving a dip alongside some tasty cocktails? Either way, this spicy feta sauce/dip is just the thing with its balance of sweet and spicy…one of my current favorites in fact. And comes together in no time at all.

Bring 8oz. of feta, 4 oz. of ricotta, and 2 oz. of sour cream or yogurt to room temperature then blend smooth with a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, a couple tablespoons of fresh lemon juice, a quarter teaspoon of red chili flakes, and a bit of salt and pepper.

After a minute or so, when it’s real smooth, stop and taste to see if it needs anymore salt, pepper, or chili flakes. Once, you’re happy with the flavor, scrape it into a bowl and stir in about five tablespoons of honey. Cover with saran, then refrigerate until you’re ready to go.

As a sauce, puddle it under your grilled meat or veggies. As a dip, garnish with some sesame seeds, za’atar, harissa, or chili flakes and serve with some toasted pita chips.

Happy September!

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Thai Jicama Pineapple Slaw

Crunch, sweet, spice, sour, this slaw has it all!

For the dressing, combine the juice from two limes with an equal amount of rice wine vinegar, a quarter cup of extra virgin olive oil, three tablespoons of fish sauce, a tablespoon of honey, and salt and pepper to taste.

Cut the skin from half of a ripe pineapple, remove the core, cut into quarter inch slices, then chop into smallish bite-size pieces. Combine with a quarter to a half of a thinly sliced green cabbage depending on the size, some coarsely chopped jicama, scallion, finely minced Thai or serrano pepper, and a generous amount of finely chopped mint or cilantro.

Add the dressing, toss, and salt and pepper to taste. If it seems dry, you can always add some more lime juice.

Happy August!

Monday, June 27, 2022

Zaatar Salmon with Tahini Lemon Vinaigrette

This is a great dish for July 4th as it can be prepared ahead of time, cooked in the oven or on the barbeque, served hot, cold, or at room temperature, and most importantly, it’s a summer crowd pleaser! I used zaatar which is a Middle Eastern mixture of dried herbs, but you could also use dill, tarragon, basil, thyme, sage or rosemary.

Start with the vinaigrette, these quantities will yield enough for the salmon and a salad to serve it over. Mix together the juice of one and a half to two lemons, two minced garlic cloves, two tablespoons of tahini, a quarter cup extra virgin olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.  Adjust the consistency by adding some more oil or even a little bit of warm water.

Next, place your heaviest oven proof frying pan on the stove over medium heat, or on high if you’re cooking on a gas barbeque. Cut a pound and a quarter of salmon into four serving sized pieces, generously salt both sides, then season the top with zaatar. Swirl a teaspoon of vegetable oil around the hot pan to coat the bottom then place the salmon in skin side down.

After approximately four minutes, no need to flip, simply transfer the pan to a preheated 350-degree oven and cook for another five minutes, or until it’s done to your liking. For grill users, turn the burner off under the pan, leave the far burner on medium, and close the lid of the barbeque. Either way, when it’s done be sure to remove the salmon from the pan immediately to prevent it from cooking further.

For the salad, coarsely chop some endive, radicchio, and cucumber, then toss with a handful of kalamata olives, and the dressing…making sure to save some to drizzle over the salmon when serving.

Monday, June 6, 2022

Lentil Salad

Our local farmers are amazing! It’s only the beginning of June and at last week’s Waitsfield farmer’s market I saw asparagus, spinach, Russian Kale, radishes, broccolini, onions, herbs, scallions, turnips, greens, and more. Be sure to check it out!

I used the parsley, spinach, and onions I bought along with the first of the Florida corn from the grocery store for my first lentil salad of the season. Lentil salads are about three things, lentils, dressing, and all the other stuff.

You want your lentils firm…not hard or mushy.  For a cup of dry lentils, eleven to twelve minutes at a low boil is usually about right. Rinse with cold water and drain after cooking.

The dressing is where most of the flavor comes from, so don’t hold back on the garlic, herbs, and spices! Start by mincing a clove of garlic or two in the Cuisinart. Next, add a full bunch of parsley, stems and all, a quarter teaspoon of kosher salt, and a tablespoon or two of extra virgin olive oil. Pulse into a coarse paste.

The oil and vinegar go in later, but for now, stir the parsley paste together with the drained lentils in a large bowl and set aside. 

As far as all the other stuff goes, there are countless options. Some of my go to ingredients include kale, arugula, squash, sweet potatoes, dried cranberries, scallions, carrots, celery, cucumber, tomatoes, bell pepper, dates, garbanzo beans, corn, feta cheese, olives, capers, and fresh herbs.

For ingredients like squash and sweet potatoes, it’s necessary to either sauté or roast them ahead of time. Corn, onions, and peppers can be used raw or cooked.

This time around I sauteed the onion and corn before mixing them together with the lentils and some sun-dried tomatoes. I then added some extra virgin olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and red wine vinegar using a 50/50 oil to acid ratio. And as always, salt and pepper to taste.

For an easy one plate meal, throw some spiced shrimp, chicken, or tofu over the top.