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.

Monday, July 1, 2024

Salt and Vinegar Roasted Potatoes

I’m a huge fan of salt and vinegar potato chips, so I wasted no time when I saw this recipe when in NYT Cooking…and it didn’t disappoint.

Preheat your oven to 450. Then, in a large bowl, stir together two tablespoons of olive oil, four tablespoons of apple cider or white vinegar, a teaspoon of kosher salt, and half a teaspoon of ground black pepper.

Wash, dry, and cut a couple of pounds of Yukon gold or russet potatoes into one-inch chunks before tossing to coat well with the vinegar mixture. Lay out the potatoes on parchment lined baking sheets and roast for approximately 40 minutes, flipping once or twice.

Once the potatoes are cooked though with some nice browning, slide them back into the bowl and give a final toss with another tablespoon or two of vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Caramelized Mushroom Sauce

Here’s a sauce that will work with most anything you’re grilling! The key is to caramelize the mushrooms first to boost their natural flavors, and add lots of butter.

Figure about a pound of mushrooms for every two to four people depending on how many mushrooms you want in each serving. As far as which kind of mushrooms to use, Baby Bella, White Button, Shitake, or Beech as I opted for this time around will all work well.

Slice, or in the case of Beech, separate the mushrooms and toss in a large bowl with a generous pour of extra virgin olive oil, salt, and black pepper. Then either roast at 425 for approximately 25 minutes, or sauté in a heavy pan on the stove until they soften brown a bit. Set aside.

In a large pot over medium heat, sauté a minced shallot and garlic in some olive oil until translucent. Add a quarter cup of mushroom, chicken, vegetable, or beef stock per person. Concentrate for all of these are all available at most markets, and are much better tasting than ready made canned or boxed stocks. Stir in the cooked mushrooms and simmer for fifteen minutes on low heat.

Just before serving, turn down the heat to its lowest setting, add about a teaspoon of butter for each serving, and stir gently for a minute until you’ve achieved a silky smooth consistency. Finish with some chopped parsley and salt and pepper to taste.

Monday, May 13, 2024

Sweet and Sour Cabbage

This is one of my new favorite side dishes! No wonder they’ve been serving it up alongside lamb, chicken, beef, and duck at French restaurants forever. These quantities will serve eight, and it can be made days ahead of time.

It couldn’t be easier to prepare…once the vegetables are prepped. Finely chop a yellow onion, two peeled green apples, and a thinly sliced 2 to 2 ½ pound quartered red cabbage then set aside.

When you’re ready to start cooking, melt a couple tablespoons of olive oil or butter in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Sauté the onion for five minutes, then stir in the cabbage, green apple, three tablespoons of honey, a teaspoon of kosher salt, and a third of a cup of red wine, balsamic, or apple cider vinegar, and a pinch or two of red chili flakes. Cover, turn down the heat to medium low, and let cook for ninety minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serve warm, or at room temperature. And any leftovers will last for over a week in the fridge.

Monday, April 1, 2024

Creamy Feta Chicken


Lemon, garlic, and creamy feta, oh my! Looking for a juicy white meat chicken dish that’s overflowing with flavor? Look no further.

Start by heating up a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Cut two large skinless chicken breasts into half inch medallions, season generously with salt and pepper, then dredge the pieces in flour, shaking off any excess.

Brown the pieces in the hot oil, two to three minutes per side, then transfer to a platter and keep warm in a 200 degree oven.

In the same pan, quickly sauté a couple of chopped garlic cloves before adding a cup of chicken stock and some lemon zest. Simmer for five minutes, add the juice from half a lemon, and a couple of tablespoons of capers. Let simmer for another few minutes.

Return the chicken pieces to the pan along with 8 ounces of crumbled feta and a couple large handfuls of spinach or arugula. Stir occasionally until the greens are wilted and the chicken is cooked through. Serve with some rice, cous cous, or roast potatoes, along with every last drop of the sauce.

Monday, March 4, 2024

Blanched Asparagus with Chili Peppers

Spring is the best time for asparagus, and there’s already a lot of tender looking bunches around. This exactly a traditional recipe, but give it a try, the mild heat works well, and it’s super easy to prepare.

Start by trimming the ends, cutting the spears into thirds, then setting aside. Slice a Serrano pepper in half, remove the stem, membrane, and seeds, and thinly slice.

When the asparagus is this thin, I prefer to blanch it to keep it from breaking. It also allows you to monitor it closely so you don’t overcook, and you can throw the peppers in along with the asparagus.

In a large pot or straight sided pan, bring some salted water to a light boil. Add the asparagus, then turn the heat to low. After 30 seconds to a minute, toss in the sliced chili pepper, give it another 10 seconds, then gently pour into a strainer.

Rinse immediately with cold water to keep the asparagus from cooking any further, drain well, and set aside on a dry towel. To serve, toss together with a little bit of olive oil and salt to taste.

Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Rhode Island Clam Chowder

A Rhode Island Clam Chowder is basically the New England version without the cream…because sometimes you’re just not in the mood for a heavy soup. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have any bacon.

Sauté a quarter pound of diced bacon in a heavy pot over medium low heat until it starts to brown, approximately five minutes. Next, stir in three diced ribs of celery and a large diced onion.

Once the onions are translucent, add a pound of diced red bliss potatoes and a half a cup of clam stock and continue to cook until the potatoes start to soften. Add another 4 cups of clam stock and simmer gently for another ten minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through.

Finally, add two pints of defrosted fresh frozen chopped clams, a quarter cup of finely chopped parsley, a quarter to half a teaspoon of black pepper, and salt to taste. Once it starts to simmer remove from the heat and let sit for five minutes before serving with oyster crackers.

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Crispy Roast Brussel Sprouts

It’s hard to muster much of an effort to cook anything more involved than eggs after the holidays, but here’s an easy one that will also keep your kitchen warm and toasty on a cold, dark, January night.

Preheat your oven to 450 while you prep a pound of Brussel sprouts; trim off any yellowing leaves, cut the stems short, slice in half, and toss in a large bowl with a few splashes of olive oil and a generous amount of salt and pepper.

Arrange cut side down on a parchment lined baking sheet and roast for approximately 30 minutes…or longer if you like them extra crispy like me. Serve as is, with a squeeze of lemon, a splash of vinegar, or a sprinkle of chili flakes.

Happy January!

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Pasta Bolognese


The key to a great Bolognese is to simmer the sauce for upwards of two hours. It takes time to caramelize tomatoes, but that’s what makes it so good.  

In a heavy pot or large skillet, sauté a chopped onion and a finely chopped carrot in a splash of olive oil. Once the onion is translucent, add a few minced cloves of garlic, a pinch or two of chili flakes, and a quarter teaspoon of ground black pepper.

Turn the heat up to medium high and add a pound of ground chuck, or half a pound of chuck and half a pound of Italian sausage removed from the casing.  After a few minutes, break up the meat with a spoon then pour in a can of drained diced tomatoes. Be sure to save the remaining tomato liquid and set aside.

Stir occasionally, and as the liquid in the pan evaporates, add the rest of the reserved juice from the can. When all the liquid has evaporated, add a half a cup of water and turn the heat down to low. Gently simmer for another hour and a half, adding more water when necessary. Eventually it will become quite dry and the tomatoes will begin to caramelize on the bottom of the pot, that’s when you know you’re finished.

Salt and pepper to taste then serve over a pound of buttered pasta with some grated parmesan on the side.

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Ginger Squash Soup


Happy November, and cheers to soup season! Time to roast some squash.

Preheat your oven to 350, cut a large butternut squash in half the long way, scoop out the seeds, place cut side up in a roasting pan and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake for 45 minutes, or until you can easily pierce the flesh with a fork. Scoop out the squash and set aside.

In a large soup pot, heat a couple tablespoons of vegetable and sauté a chopped onion and fennel bulb over medium heat until translucent. Add a three-inch piece of grated fresh ginger, the squash, and two to three cups of chicken or vegetable stock.

Bring to a boil then immediately lower the heat, cover, and simmer for thirty minutes.

Turn off the heat and use a stick blender to puree the soup in the pot until smooth. To finish, add a can of coconut milk, salt and pepper to taste, and the juice from one lime. Simmer for another ten minutes and serve.

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Mexican Braised Wings

 

It might not seem like Fall today, but it will by the weekend, and these wings are the perfect way to jump into the braising season.

Take two pounds of wings, separate the wings from the drums, dry with a paper towel, and generously dust with salt. The next step is to heat a heavy straight-sided pan or large pot over medium heat, add a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil, and brown the wings in batches for approximately five minutes per batch. Stir occasionally so they lightly brown all over, then set aside.

Add another splash of vegetable oil to the pan followed by a finely chopped jalapeno or two canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Give it a minute, then stir in a can of enchilada sauce, a half of a cup of water or chicken stock, and the wings. Bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for approximately 35 minutes, stirring occasionally until the wings are cooked through and tender.

Using a slotted spoon, remove the wings and arrange them on a platter. Turn up the heat to medium, let the sauce reduce for a few minutes, then pour over the wings.

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Sesame Noodles with Corn

Local corn makes this irresistibly delicious cold noodle dish even better!

Cook a half a pound of thin spaghetti or stir fry rice noodles until al dente, run under cold water, then drain and set aside.

To make the sauce, whisk together a quarter cup of tahini, four teaspoons of sesame oil, 5 teaspoons of chili crisp or Sriracha, and a quarter cup of water until smooth (the consistency of Ranch dressing). You can add more water if necessary.

When you’re ready to serve, combine the noodles, sauce, the kernels from two ears of corn, a large handful of chopped basil, and a tablespoon of toasted sesame seeds.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Steamed Mussels with Tomatoes and Corn

A bit of bacon makes these brothy steamed mussels a summer favorite! Figure a pound of mussels per person, or half of that for an appetizer portion.

Start by lightly browning a couple of slices of finely chopped bacon in a large heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid. Add two thinly sliced scallions, a large chopped tomato, a tablespoon of tomato paste, an ear of corn removed from the cob, and two or three minced cloves of garlic.

Once the garlic is translucent, stir in a cup of clam stock and simmer lightly for ten minutes. If you won’t be eating them for a while, remove the pot from the heat and set aside until you’re ready. But if you’re serving immediately, turn up the heat to medium high and add two pounds of mussels.

Cover and cook until the shells have opened and the mussels are fully cooked, about five minutes. Serve over pasta or with a great baguette…with every last drop of the broth.