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, November 9, 2017

Burnt Onion and Applesauce

My mother was ahead of her time, now burning food is all the rage. The caramelized flavor of the apples and onions gives this sauce the perfect balance of sweet and savory making it an easy way to glamorize pork and chicken.

Heat a large heavy pan over high heat while you quarter and slice a red onion and cube a couple of unpeeled apples. Add a bit of oil to the pan and blacken the apples and onion, stirring frequently for approximately ten minutes. Transfer the mixture to a small pot making sure to scrape all the good bits from the bottom of the pan. Add a sprinkle of koshers salt, two pinches of cayenne pepper, and a splash of apple cider or chicken stock. Cover and simmer for ten minutes, salt and cayenne to taste.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Honey Sriracha Delicata and Red Onions

The flavors and textures in this very simple dish make it a real winner, and you can balance the hot and sweet to your own liking. Preheat the oven to 450 while you wash, dry, deseed, and slice your squash into half inch pieces. Peel and chop a red onion and toss both together with a bit of olive oil and salt then roast in a large pan for forty minutes. Give it a good stir after twenty making sure to scrape up any pieces that may have stuck to the bottom.

For the sauce, start by combining equal parts honey and Sriracha. Taste, then add more honey or Sriracha according to your heat preference. In the end you want to end up with about a half a cup of total sauce, you can also add a splash of soy sauce to thin it out. When your squash is fork tender pull it from the oven, stir in three minced garlic cloves, then transfer to a large bowl and toss with the sauce until it’s well coated.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Puntarella and Tomato Salad

This late season mild weather has been great for hiking, stacking wood, outdoor dinners, and vegetables which were on full display at the Farmer’s market this past weekend. Mid-October and I had some of the best cherry tomatoes of the season, crazy! And it’s not over yet.

Puntarella is a pleasantly bitter green related to chicory, similar in taste to mustard greens. In Rome it’s traditional to only use the white stalks with an anchovy, garlic, and red wine vinegar dressing, but this isn’t Rome and I was in a hurry to get dinner on the table. Chop the puntarella and let it soak in some ice water for five minutes, then drain and dry thoroughly. Combine in a bowl with some tomatoes and toss with your best extra virgin olive oil, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Asian Chicken Wings

It’s the fresh ginger and garlic that make these chicken wings so good, and no frying necessary. In a large bowl combine a one inch piece of minced ginger and two garlic cloves along with an 1/8 of a cup each of rice wine vinegar and soy sauce, a tablespoon of vegetable oil, a small splash of sesame oil, a generous tablespoon of chili garlic sauce, a teaspoon of sugar, and some freshly ground black pepper.

Salt a 1 ½ pound pack of wings and either cook on a cookie sheet in a 450 oven for 25 minutes, in a cast iron pan over high heat, or on the barbeque. When the wings are crispy and cooked through simply toss with the marinade and serve making sure to include the bits of ginger and garlic from the bottom of the bowl.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Tomato Tart

I’m not a baker, but thanks to locally based, Kiss Tart, I don’t have to be. Their uber flakey and buttery ready-made dough made this late season tomato tart a memorable dinner…and breakfast and lunch the next day too.  

Thinly slice a couple of large onions and cook in a sauté pan over medium heat with three tablespoons of butter, a teaspoon of sugar, and a bit of salt and black pepper. Stir occasionally until golden brown. In the meantime, roll the thawed dough out into a thin crust and form into a half sheet pan or medium sized baking dish. Preheat your oven to 450.

Cover the bottom of the dough evenly with a cup of shredded fontina or Monterey Jack and a quarter cup of Parmesan cheese followed by the caramelized onions and a layer of small round, or sliced tomatoes. Brush the edges of the crust with an egg and milk mixture then bake for twenty minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Finish by topping it with a handful of chopped basil and a sprinkle of salt.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Golden Beets with Tahini and Pistachios

Peel and steam some golden beets until fork tender, let cool then cut into half inch pieces. For the tahini, whisk together or food process a half cup of tahini, the juice of one lemon, a quarter cup of hot water, and two minced garlic cloves until smooth, then salt to taste. Sprinkle with some chopped pistachio nuts before serving.

You are correct; there aren’t any pistachio nuts in the photo. I evidently took the picture prematurely. But they were there, and I will say without a doubt, they made the dish…as did the local beets.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Mussels with Chorizo

Lucky for us local food lovers, Vermont Salumi is just one of several local charcuterie makers utilizing the curing facility at the Mad River Food Hub, their chorizo was perfect for these mussels… lots of flavor with a little bit of zip. Start by mincing a two inch length of the chorizo and sauté for two minutes in a large pot with a generous pour of olive oil. Stir in a finely chopped shallot, and three minutes later, four to six minced garlic cloves.

When the shallot is translucent add a cup or two of clam stock depending on how many pounds of mussels you’re cooking. After bringing to a simmer add salt and pepper to taste. When you’re ready to go, turn up the heat to medium, add the mussels to the pot, cover, and cook until they’re firm all the way though, less than five minutes. Spoon into bowls with plenty of broth and garnish with chopped cilantro or as pictured here, caper aioli.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Crispy Fried Zucchini

I will warn you, these things are addictive. Tender, crispy, juicy, and full of the flavor of summer…make them while the zucchini is still local. Slice the zucchini or summer squash length wise into 1/8th inch strips, dust both sides with salt and pepper then set aside. Cover the bottom of a large frying pan with vegetable oil and set over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Next, prep a large bowl with a couple of scrambled egss, and another with flour, salt, pepper, and if you’re the herby type, oregano, parsley, or tarragon.

When everything is ready to go dip the zucchini slices in the egg, dredge in the flour, and then place in the hot oil. Repeat until you cover the bottom of the pan, making sure to leave a bit of room between each slice. Cook for a few minutes per side or until browned then transfer to paper towels or a brown paper bag. You may need to scrape your pan clean with a spatula between batches.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Chicken with Ratatouille

Not only is ratatouille great for making an ordinary meal extra ordinary, but this is the best time of year to make one given the availability of local vegetables. In a large pot sauté a chopped onion in a bit of oil until translucent, then add four minced garlic cloves and a cubed eggplant and cook for another ten minutes stirring occasionally.

Next into the pot goes a chopped zucchini, bell pepper, and a generous squeeze of anchovy paste for a burst of umami, continue cooking for another ten minutes. Following, stir in either a few chopped or premium canned tomatoes and a large handful of chopped basil and cook until the vegetables are tender. Salt and pepper to taste before serving over a grilled chicken breast, steak, pork chop, or lamb shoulder.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Cucumbers with Whipped Feta

I used cucumbers this time around but it could just as easily have been tomatoes, blanched green beans, or gilled zucchini…this whipped feta will make for a tasty appetizer or side dish. Puree 8 oz. of crumbled feta in a food processor for a few seconds to break up the larger chunks. Add a couple tablespoons of cream cheese or Greek yogurt, the juice from half a lemon, a peeled garlic clove, and a quarter cup of extra virgin olive oil. Run until smooth then salt and pepper to taste.

Cube your cucumber and toss with some olive, lemon juice, and salt. A few minutes before serving give each salad plate a good schmear of the feta spread then spoon the cucumber over the top. If you’re thinking appetizers, serve it as a dip with some pita chips, or on a watermelon and basil bruschetta.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Corn, Tomato, Basil Risotto

August is the time for this fresh and creamy risotto, stick with local ingredients and you can’t go wrong. Get started by heating up six cups of chicken or vegetable stock and shucking and cutting the kernels from three ears of corn.

In a large pan over medium heat, add a bit of butter and, or, olive oil and sauté a large chopped onion until translucent. Stir in a cup and a half of rice and cook for another few minutes. Next, add a cup of your stock, stirring occasionally, until completely absorbed. Repeat with another cup of stock, after that’s absorbed, stir in the corn. Continue adding the remaining stock until the rice is al dente and creamy…approximately 25 minutes in total.

To finish, stir in some chopped tomato, chopped basil, a cup of grated parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper to taste. For an extra creamy risotto, add a couple more slices of butter. August at it’s best!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Poke Bowl

I just made my first Poke Bowl and I’m hooked, can’t believe it took me this long to discover one of Hawaii’s favorite foods. And what makes it so amazing for the home cook is that after the fish and rice, nearly anything goes. This time around I used salmon and scallops, but tuna would also be a great option, the fresher the better.

In a large bowl stir up a fish marinade of equal parts soy sauce and rice wine vinegar with a pinch of red chili flakes. Cut your skinless fish into chunks, about a third of a pound person, then toss with the marinade and refrigerate. Next, get a quarter cup of white or brown rice per person cooking in some salted water.

When choosing your other toppings think about varied textures and flavors, possibilities include but aren’t limited to: avocado, radish, seeds, nuts, seaweed, greens, cucumber, edamame, scallions, chills, ginger, garlic, tomatoes, mushrooms, and pickled vegetables. Combine your ingredients and mix with some rice wine vinegar, fresh lime juice, and salt and pepper to taste.

To serve, divide your cooked rice among the bowls while it’s still hot and top with the fish and other ingredients along with the excess marinade and dressing. Hit it with a bit of hot sauce and get ready for your next favorite meal. If sashimi isn’t your thing, you could also try substituting out the raw fish with some cooked shrimp, tofu, or chicken…or just lots of veggies.