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, 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

Chimichurri

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.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Tortilla de Patatas

Warning! Making this Spanish potato omelet is definitely a pain in the spud, but if you have an hour and a little patience, it’s so worth it. There’s a reason it’s one of the most common dishes found in Spain.

I modified this recipe from one I found on Smitten Kitchen. Slice a pound and a half of unpeeled Yukon gold potatoes and a peeled sweet onion as thinly has you can. In an eight-inch non-stick frying pan heat up a cup of olive oil. Once hot, add the potatoes and onion and gently simmer for fifteen minutes, turning, and occasionally jiggling, so they cook evenly without browning.

Place a colander in a large bowl and carefully slide the mixture into the colander to drain and cool for five minutes. Generously salt and pepper.

Lightly beat six to seven eggs with some additional salt and pepper. Add the drained potatoes and onions and let soak for 10 minutes.

Return the non-stick pan to medium low heat, add a couple of tablespoons of the reserved oil, then add the potato mixture. Jiggle and flatten with a spatula, then let cook undisturbed for three to five minutes. You’ll want it to be golden on the bottom, but still wet on top.

Wearing oven mitts, set a large plate over the tortilla and quickly flip upside down, return the pan to the heat and slide the tortilla back in to cook the other side for a few minutes or more depending on the thickness. Slide it out onto a plate and lightly salt and pepper.

Slice and serve hot, at room temperature, or out of the fridge for the next few days. You can also save the oil for other uses that would benefit from an infused onion flavor.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Salmon with Caramelized Leeks

This could be one of the most satisfying things you can make in twenty minutes!

Salt and pepper your salmon then preheat your grill, skillet, or oven. Next, melt a few tablespoons of butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Slice your leeks in half the long way then cut into 1/8” slices, rinse and dry if necessary. Add to the hot pan along with a teaspoon of sugar and a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper…mix well.

Stir the leeks every few minutes or so, allowing them to lightly brown, but making sure they don’t burn. While they’re caramelizing start cooking your salmon. They both should be done in approximately ten minutes. Top the salmon with the leeks and enjoy.

You see what I mean? And they’re just as amazing on chicken, beef, pork, rice, grains, or pasta. Or simply on their own.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Thai Beef Noodles

This sounds like a lot of work but it really isn’t, it’s all about prepping everything before you start cooking.

Pulse a half a cup of roasted salted peanuts in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Then, finely chop a seeded jalapeno, mince a teaspoon of fresh ginger, squeeze the juice from three limes, remove the corn from two cobs of shucked corn, and chop a large handful of mint and a half a bunch of scallions. That’s the hard part.

Now, bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a half a pound of angel hair pasta. While that’s cooking, heat some vegetable oil over medium in a large frying pan and sauté the corn, after a few minutes crumble in a pound to a pound and a half of ground beef. When it starts to brown stir in the jalapeno and ginger.

Continue to stir until the meat is cooked through, remove the pan from the heat and add the scallions, mint, peanuts, a few tablespoons of sesame oil, a quarter cup of Asian fish sauce, and the lime juice. Mix well and serve over the drained pasta, or for a gluten free option, some wilted cabbage.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Roast Calamari

Quick and easy, easy, easy…that’s what I like! Preheat your oven to 400 while you cut up about a pound of calamari. Toss quickly with a splash of olive oil as well as a healthy amount of salt and pepper. You could also add some red pepper flakes for some heat.

In a separate bowl, add three minced garlic cloves and a handful of finely chopped parsley to 3/4’s of a cup of breadcrumbs and mix well. Combine with the calamari, and using your hands, toss until it’s well coated.

Spread the calamari on a parchment lined baking sheet, as well as any breadcrumb mixture at the bottom of the bowl, and roast for 8 to 10 minutes. Serve with a squeeze of lemon, and don’t forget to transfer any calamari you’re not serving right away to a cold platter as it will overcook sitting on the hot baking sheet.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Tuscan Bread Salad

I’ve got a serious tomato problem; I just can’t get enough of them…or this salad, known in Italy as Panzanella. To really nail it you’ll need great quality ingredients, and the patience to allow the onions and croutons their required soaking time.

Toss ¾ inch cubes of baguette or sourdough bread in enough olive oil to evenly coat then brown them thoroughly on sheet trays in a 400-degree oven or in a cast iron pan on the stove. Lightly salt and pepper and set aside to cool. Figure at least 8 croutons per person as they’re the best part.

Soak some shaved red onion in a quarter cup of red wine vinegar in a small bowl. After twenty minutes remove the onion from the vinegar and put it in a large bowl with the croutons.

For the dressing, whisk a half cup of olive oil into the vinegar along with a minced garlic clove, a pinch or two each of salt and pepper, and a splash of balsamic vinegar if you have it. Pour over the onions and croutons, toss well, and leave for ten minutes.

To finish, mix the onions, croutons, and dressing together with some chunked tomatoes, a peeled and cut cucumber, fresh basil torn into large pieces, and salt to taste.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Eggplant with Parsley Vinaigrette

Summer isn’t over yet, and whether you grill the eggplant on the barbeque or bake it in the oven, this seasonal side dish is a winner. I also like the fact that you can prepare it ahead of time, even a day or two, and add the vinaigrette just before serving.

For the vinaigrette, go heavier with the vinegar than the oil then you would for a traditional dressing, maybe half and half. Stir in some minced shallot, a dab or two of Dijon mustard, lots of chopped parsley, and salt and pepper to taste.

Cut your eggplant into quarter inch slices, lightly salt both sides, and set aside for five minutes. Wipe the colored droplets away with a paper towel then toss the eggplant with some olive oil and salt.

Set the slices on a medium hot grill, or on parchment in a 375-degree oven. Cook until browned on the outside and creamy through the middle…making sure to flip once or twice. Serve right away, or later at room temperature, with some chunky spoonful’s of the vinaigrette over the top.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Lamb Chops with Spiced Yogurt Sauce

This yogurt sauce comes together in a few minutes, and it will turn your lamb chops into something you’ll be talking about the next day…the garlic may have a little something to do with it.

Combine the juice from half a lemon with a cup of plain yogurt, two teaspoons of cumin powder, a teaspoon of turmeric, a pinch of cayenne pepper, two cloves of crushed garlic, and a half a teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Salt and pepper your chops, then spoon a healthy tablespoon of the sauce onto each side to coat evenly. Cover with saran and put in the fridge for at least an hour.

Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat and cook the yogurt coated chops to your desired doneness, serve with extra sauce.