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, March 22, 2017

Pea and Bacon Risotto

Defrost a box of frozen peas and bring in spring with the help of some creamy bacon goodness. In a small pot boil approximately six cups of chicken stock then turn the heat down to very low. Next, chop a quarter pound of bacon or pancetta into small pieces and sauté in a large pan over medium heat with a bit of oil until crisp, then scoop out the bacon and set aside.

Add two finely chopped garlic cloves and a shallot to the bacon fat and cook for a minute before stirring in a cup and a half of Arborio rice. When the rice is coated completely, pour in a half cup of the chicken stock and simmer briskly until the broth is absorbed. Stir well, then pour in another half cup of stock and repeat the process until the rice is al dente, about twenty minutes. In the end you may not have to use all of the stock.

While still on the heat stir in the peas, wait a few minutes, then mix well with the bacon, a cup of parmesan, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately with some parmesan garnish.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Chicken with Tzatziki Sauce

Two cups of tzatziki is probably more than you’ll need but it keeps for at least a week and works equally well with lamb, roast veggies, or as a snack on some toasted pita. Peel and dice half an English cucumber and combine with two cups of Greek yogurt, four minced garlic cloves, the juice from half a lemon, a splash of extra virgin olive oil, a teaspoon of kosher salt and pepper to taste. For maximum flavor its best if you give it at least two hours before serving spooned over your grilled chicken. You could also mix things up with some chopped mint or dill.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Broccoli Rabe with Garlic and Lemon

I'm loving that broccoli rabe is so much easier to find these days, it’s so good in pastas, risotto, or as a tasty side dish. Most often though I simply sauté it with garlic, lemon, and chili flakes.  To start trim about an inch from the stocks then cut the remaining bunch into thirds. Heat a generous pour of extra virgin olive oil in a wide pot over medium heat. Add a quarter teaspoon of hot red chili flakes followed by the broccoli rabe and stir frequently for several minutes. 

Turn the heat to low and cover for ten minutes or until the stocks are tender. Increase the heat to medium, stir in three chopped garlic cloves and some more oil if necessary. Cook for another few minutes uncovered then squeeze half a lemon over the top and serve.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Soy Braised Short Ribs

If you’re looking for some Korean inspiration check out The Good Fork cookbook, that’s where I found this one. Salt and pepper four pounds of short ribs then brown over high heat with some oil in a large heavy pot before setting aside. Turn down the heat to medium and stir in a chopped onion, three chopped garlic cloves, and a two inch piece of peeled ginger sliced thin. Cook for five minutes.

Pour in two cups of dry red wine and reduce by half. Add two cups of chicken stock, ¾ cup of soy sauce, ½ a cup of mirin or rice vinegar, ½ a cup of brown sugar, ½ a cup of kimchi, and the cooked ribs along with their juices. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for a couple of hours or until the ribs are tender. Serve with rice and a bit of the sauce poured over the top.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Grilled Halloumi

You may be familiar with Halloumi, on Greek restaurant menus it’s called saganaki.  It's a salty semi-hard cheese that because of its unusually high melting point is amazing for grilling. There’s nothing quite like its warm, chewy goodness.

Place a large pan over medium high heat then halve the square of cheese diagonally. Once your pan is hot add a small splash of olive oil followed by the two triangles of cheese and cook until well browned on both sides. You could also grill it on the barbeque, either way, turning occasionally it will take about ten minutes.

As an appetizer you can simply serve it with a drizzle of your best olive oil, lemon juice, a bit of chopped mint, sautéed garlic, or some caramelized dates or apricots. It’s also a delicious addition to a warm or cold salad. And because it freezes well you can always have one on hand for a spontaneous halloumi fix.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Shrimp and Grits

Although traditionally served for breakfast, these shrimp and grits will satisfy any meal of the day. Peel your shrimp then season with salt and pepper and set aside. Following, boil four and half cups of water, whisk in a cup of grits and a teaspoon of salt, and gently simmer uncovered for thirty minutes.

While that’s cooking prep a cup of grated sharp cheddar, a quarter cup of parmesan, three tablespoons of butter, and half a teaspoon of freshly grated black pepper. Sauté the shrimp in a hot pan until cooked through, for more flavor you could add some bacon, garlic, and or scallions. When your grits are ready remove from the heat, stir in the cheese, butter, and pepper along with a few shakes of tabasco sauce, and serve with the shrimp over the top.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Shaved Cauliflower Salad with a Lime Vinaigrette

I think I just discovered my new favorite ingredient. Up until coming across this recipe in an old Bon Appetit the only reason we kept nutritional yeast in the pantry was for popcorn, but not anymore…it’s an umami burst worth using again and again.

In a mason jar combine a teaspoon each of lime zest, Dijon mustard, and honey with a quarter cup each of lime juice, and extra virgin olive oil. Shake until combined then add a tablespoon of nutritional yeast, a quarter cup of grated parmesan, and salt and pepper to taste. Shake again.

Quarter a head of cauliflower then with a knife or mandolin cut one of the quarters into 1/8 inch slices then toss with the dressing and let sit for at least ten minutes. To finish, stir in some arugula, spinach, or half a head of frisee. Garnish with some shaved parmesan and prepare to be blown away.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Turkey, Squash, Black Bean Chili

If you’re having any doubts about straying from your classic Super Bowl chili, don’t, this one is definitely super bowl worthy. In a large pot sauté two medium chopped onions until translucent then add a pound of the fattiest ground turkey you can find breaking it up into small pieces with a large spoon as it cooks.

After five minutes stir in three chopped garlic cloves, a ¼ cup of chili powder, a tablespoon of cumin, and some hot pepper to taste such as chipotle, ancho, or cayenne and cook for another five minutes. Next, add a large can of chopped tomatoes, a small can of tomato paste, and four cups of chicken or veggie stock. While that’s simmering peel and seed a small butternut squash and cut into half inch cubes.

Depending on your bean ratio preference add one or two cans of drained black beans and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for another fifteen minutes before adding the cubed squash, bring to a boil then turn down and simmer for 40 minutes or until the squash is tender. Before serving stir in a handful of chopped cilantro and top with shredded cheese, sour cream, and or avocado. 

 Go Pats!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Cacio e Pepe

What I love about Italian food is that it’s often the simplest dishes that are the most satisfying; this creamy combination of pasta, cheese, and black pepper is one of my favorites. Boil a pound of noodles until el dente making sure to save a cup of the pasta water just before draining.

Dump the noodles into a strainer and put the pasta pot back on the stove over low heat. Melt a half a stick of butter in the pot then add the drained pasta and toss. Stir in a tablespoon of freshly ground black pepper followed by the reserved pasta water and a cup and a half of parmesan, pecorino, or a combination of both. Mix together until the pasta is completed coated by the butter and cheese then salt to taste and serve immediately.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Pork Ricotta Meatballs

Ricotta makes lots of things just that much better and these pork meatballs are high on the list. Whether you’re craving spaghetti and meatballs, meatball soup, or fried meatballs give these ricotta enhanced meatballs a try.

In a large bowl stir together a cup of ricotta, a third of a cup of grated parmesan, a half cup of panko, a lightly scrambled egg, a teaspoon of kosher salt and half a teaspoon of pepper. Mix in a about a pound and a half of ground pork and a splash of milk then form into balls. Brown completely in a hot pan then add to your tomato sauce, soup, or deep fryer to finish. Comfort food at it’s best!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Curry Poached Cod

The holidays are over and I need a break from butter, heavy cream, bacon, sweets, alcohol, and cooking…and not necessarily in that order. This dish takes a little cooking but not much, the most demanding part is making the rice.

In a large pan heat a can of coconut milk and your favorite curry paste or spices. Cut your cod or other white fish into two inch slices, salt both sides, then add to the simmering sauce. Cook for four to five minutes on each side and serve in a bowl along with some sauce and a scoop of rice. If you have any energy left you could garnish with some chopped cilantro.

Cheers to another year of eating!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Squash Parmesan Soup

I couldn’t believe how good this soup was given how simple it was to make with so few ingredients, perfect for a New Year's dinner or après-ski. In a large soup pot begin by sautéing a large chopped onion over medium heat in a little bit of butter. While that’s cooking peel and seed approximately 2 ½ pounds of butternut squash and chop into small chunks.

Once the onion is translucent add the squash to the pot along with 5 to 7 cups of chicken stock, depending on how thick you like your soup. Bring to a boil then simmer for 30 minutes uncovered or until the squash is tender. Use a stick blender or food processor to puree the soup until its silky smooth then stir in a cup of grated parmesan cheese and salt and pepper to taste. If you like herbs you could sauté a little bit of sage with the onions just before adding the squash.

Have a safe and festive 2017!