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, March 18, 2019

Caper Linguini with Garlic Breadcrumbs

This pasta dish is reason enough to always have capers, anchovies, garlic, breadcrumbs, and pasta in the pantry at all times. While your bringing your pasta water to boil, sauté three sliced garlic cloves in a heavy pour of extra virgin olive oil over medium heat in a large sauté pan. Brown the garlic on both sides then discard.

Turn down the heat to low and add a cup of breadcrumbs or panko to the pan. Toss occasionally for a few minutes with a spatula until it’s thoroughly toasted, then set aside. Add some more oil to the pan along with some capers, a drained can of anchovy fillets, and a pinch of red chili flakes. As it heats, break up the anchovies with a wooden spoon.

Before draining your pasta reserve a cup of the water from the pot. Once drained, toss the pasta in the pan with the anchovies and capers, some grated parmesan, chopped parsley, and the reserved pasta water as needed. Plate and top with the garlic breadcrumbs.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Lemon Turmeric Roast Cauliflower

This tangy roast cauliflower is a favorite at the East Warren Market, our local outpost in the old one room schoolhouse. And here’s how they do it? Preheat your oven to 425 and cut your cauliflower into individual florets. Make the dressing by combining four tablespoons of olive oil, the juice of one lemon, a teaspoon of turmeric, and a large pinch each of salt and pepper.

Toss thoroughly with the cauliflower and a thinly sliced lemon and spread out in a single layer on a parchment lined cookie sheet, or in a roasting pan if you don’t mind scrubbing. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the cauliflower starts to brown. Salt and pepper to taste and serve hot or cold.

I recommend a double batch as it makes for great leftovers.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Avocado Lime Pork

Thinly slice a pound of pork into half inch strips, season liberally with salt and pepper, and sauté in a large pan over medium heat. Cook for a fast minute then set the pork to the side. Add a cup of heavy cream to the pan with a teaspoon of cumin and some chopped cilantro, lightly boil for a few minutes to thicken. 

Stir in the pork along with any juices that accumulated, a diced avocado, and fresh lime juice. Simmer until the pork is cooked to your liking, salt and pepper to taste, then serve with another squeeze of lime juice, some chopped cilantro, and lime zest.

You could also spice it up by adding some cayenne pepper along with the cumin.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Salmon and Sweet Potato Curry Stew

It’s not like I had a craving for salmon and sweet potato curry. But when I came home from the market with some salmon and Japanese sweet potatoes and heard, “oh, grilled salmon and baked sweet potatoes again,” I knew I had to pull one out of the pantry.

Start by simmering a half a cup of lentils in salted water until nearly firm, not mushy, then rinse with cold water and set aside. In a large pot, sauté a Spanish onion until translucent. Add some half inch cubed Japanese sweet potatoes, chicken stock to barely cover the potatoes, along with some yellow or red curry paste to taste. Simmer until the potatoes are cooked through but still firm.

Stir in some fresh spinach and the cooked lentils, then return to a simmer. Cut your salmon fillet into one-inch chunks and gently settle them into the broth. Cover, and continue to simmer until the salmon is cooked through, about five minutes or so, then serve.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Radicchio Feta and Date Salad

The bitter radicchio, with the salty feta, and sweet dates, makes for a complex salad that comes together quickly for dinner any night of the week. In a large bowl, combine the radicchio with some chopped pitted dates, sliced cucumber, finely chopped mint, and crumbled feta. When you’re ready to serve, drizzle with your best olive oil, fresh lemon juice, and a splash of red wine vinegar. Salt and pepper to taste.

To make it a bit more special, caramelize the dates in a hot pan and serve them over the top.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Chicken Cutlets with Celery Salad

Between the cornmeal crust, celery, lemon juice, and parmesan, this is one crunchy flavorful dish. To get your celery salad going, thinly slice the celery, then toss with some extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, shaved parmesan, mint or parsley, salt, and pepper.

Pour enough vegetable oil into a large pan to generously cover the bottom and leave over low heat. Prepare three bowls for battering the chicken, one with flour, one with some lightly scramble eggs, and the third with cornmeal tossed with some granulated garlic and paprika, or Lawry’s Seasoned Salt…but don’t tell anyone I told you that.

Liberally season the chicken breast cutlets with salt and pepper, turn up the heat on your oil, then individually coat the cutlets with flour, egg, and then the cornmeal. Cook for a few minutes per side, making adjustments to the heat so they’re golden but not burnt, and add more oil between batches if needed.

Drain on a brown paper bag and serve with the celery salad over the top.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Magic Sauce

It won’t get you very high, but it sure will make nearly everything you put it on taste exponentially better…like magic. This adaption of Melissa Clark’s Peruvian roast chicken sauce is one of the best things I’ve come across in a long time, and it’s just a matter of throwing everything into your food processor and pushing the button.

The ingredients include a bunch of cilantro including the stems, a quarter cup of crumbled feta cheese, two seeded jalapenos, a garlic clove, the juice from half a lime, half a teaspoon of Dijon mustard, a teaspoon of chili garlic paste, half a teaspoon of honey, half a teaspoon of ground cumin, and ¾ of a teaspoon of fine salt. No worries, there are lots of room for errors if you measure like I do.

Chop everything up into small pieces, put in the processor, then drizzle in a half a cup of olive oil while it’s running until you get a smooth sauce. Quickly smother your chicken, pork, beef, fish, veggies, or grains with lots of it.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Lo Mein

Like me, I’m sure you’re preoccupied with what to cook for Chinese New Year…the year of the pig. Let me tell you, there’s lots to love about this lo mein, not only is it quick and easy, but you can include pork, chicken, or just about any vegetables you happen to have in the fridge. And it’s really flavorful.

For the sauce, stir together a third of a cup of fish sauce, a quarter cup of maple syrup, a splash of vegetable oil, three minced garlic cloves, a tablespoon of Sriracha, and a few shakes of salt and black pepper. If you’re including meat, slice thinly and toss with a couple of tablespoons of the sauce in a separate bowl.

While you boil your lo mein noodles, or thin spaghetti, heat a large pan over high heat and cook the meat for a few of minutes until barely cooked through, then set aside. In the same pan, saute some sliced carrots, scallions, bok choy, kale, mushrooms, or any other veggies of your choice, add more vegetable oil if necessary.

Once tender, scrape them into a large bowl along with the sauce, the juice of two limes, the drained noodles, and the cooked meat. Toss well, and serve with Sriracha.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Crispy Cheddar Bacon Potato Melt

Crispy is the key word here, top and bottom. Pierce some baking potatoes with a fork, place in a roasting dish, and bake at 450 until they’re soft in the middle. Figure about one to one and a half potatoes per person. While they’re cooking, dice up some sliced bacon and fry until barely crisp in a large pan over medium heat, then set aside.

Once soft, smash the potatoes flat in the roasting dish with a potato masher then liberally drizzle them with extra virgin olive oil and a generous topping of kosher salt. Turn the oven up to 500 and cook for another twenty to thirty minutes, you want them starting to brown on the top and crispy on the bottom, without burning.

For the final step, turn down the oven to 350 and smother the potatoes with shredded cheddar. Top with the cooked bacon and cook for another fifteen minutes or until the cheese has melted completely.

Give ‘em a try for this weekend’s NFL playoff games, then again for Super Bowl…they’re that good.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Creamed Scallops on Toast

Why procrastinate any long on giving up your New Year’s resolutions? Do it now, and bring on the heavy cream, you won’t regret it…this scallop toast is well worth it. In a hot pan, quickly sear some bay, or quartered sea scallops, then set aside. Turn down the heat to medium, add some butter along with some sliced mushrooms, a large diced shallot, some minced garlic, and an overly generous amount of black pepper. Sauté for about five minutes, or until the mushrooms are soft and the shallots translucent.

After getting your toast started, add enough heavy cream to the pan, and a bit of clam stock if you have it, to barely cover the mushrooms. Cook until the liquid is reduced by half. Stir in the scallops, leave on the heat for another minute, salt to taste, then serve over the toast with some chopped parsley.

Monday, December 31, 2018

Salmon Sashimi with Jalapeno

You probably haven’t considered serving salmon sashimi, but you should. It makes any gathering a bit more special, and it comes together very quickly. The key is obviously to buy the freshest salmon you can find, and you want a piece that’s closer to the belly end of the fillet then the tail. Also, have your fishmonger take the skin off for you, a quarter pound will be plenty for two to three people.

With a long sharp knife, slice the entire piece in half along the spine, then into 1/8” to ¼” thick slices. For the jalapeno, slice the thinnest slices possible from the center of the pepper. I also like to serve them with a little sauce, either puddled on the plate or on the side. For that, simple stir some freshly grated ginger into some soy sauce.

To serve, gently place a single slice of jalapeno on each piece of salmon. If you’re adverse to jalapeno, you can also layer the salmon in a small dish with a splash of your very best extra virgin olive oil and some flakey salt. No need for soy sauce in this case.

Happy 2019!

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Shrimp and Prosciutto

Prosciutto wrapped shrimp is one of those things I think of as a wedding or catered party appetizer. But why bother to wrap them, it’s a pain in the butt. And, while it’s a great combination, especially for the holidays, when you cook them wrapped neither the prosciutto or the shrimp comes out perfect. Let’s do it the easy way, cook them right, and make it the main course.

Tear the prosciutto slices into bite sized pieces and sauté over medium heat with a little bit of olive oil. If you like them crispy, let them go longer, if not, pull them after a couple of minutes and set aside. Add some more olive oil to the pan and stir in some chopped scallions and peeled shrimp.

Toss frequently until the shrimp are nearly cooked through, then stir in the cooked prosciutto and a minced garlic clove. Leave on the heat for another minute, hit it with a healthy squeeze of fresh lemon juice, then slide onto a serving dish. Garnish with some grated parmesan, chopped basil, and serve immediately.