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, May 22, 2018

Chili Roasted Swordfish

Wondering what to cook this holiday weekend? This swordfish makes for a special main course, or, appetizer. Preheat your oven to 400 then season your swordfish steaks liberally with salt and chili powder. Heat a teaspoon of oil in an oven proof pan over medium heat then brown the swordfish steaks for about a minute on each side. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook for approximately 8-10 minutes depending on the thickness. Serve with lemon or lime.

And if chili powder isn’t your thing, try using paprika, Old Bay, black pepper, or nearly any other ground spice.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Squash Risotto


With some cool nights in the forecast it still feels right to be stirring up a risotto, and roasting the squash first really brings out the nutty flavor.  Peel, seed, and cube a medium butternut squash, toss with some oil and salt, and roast in a 400 oven for 45 minutes or until it’s tender.
While the squash is cooking, heat up five cups of quality chicken or vegetable stock in a small pot.  In a large pan over medium heat, sauté a large chopped onion in a few tablespoons of butter or olive oil.  Once 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 squash. 
Continue adding the remaining stock in one cup increments until the rice is al dente and creamy…approximately 25 minutes in total.  You may not end up using all of the stock. To finish, stir in another tablespoon of butter, a cup of grated parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper to taste. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Spicy Beef with Cumin

This one is going to change your mind about cooking Chinese at home; it’s as good as the real thing. Put a 1 ¼ to 1 ½ pound flank steak in the freezer for twenty minutes, and then slice it thinly across the grain into two to three inch pieces. Next, peel and halve a large onion and slice into quarter inch wide pieces.

In a large bowl, combine approximately two tablespoons of ground cumin, a tablespoon each of soy sauce and cornstarch, two teaspoons of sesame oil, a teaspoon each of sugar, crushed red pepper flakes, and ground black pepper, half a teaspoon of kosher salt, and three tablespoons of vegetable oil. Add the meat and onion to the bowl and mix together until well coated. Set aside for fifteen minutes.

Put a bit of oil into a hot pan then add the meat and onions. Stir occasionally for about six minutes, and then add a quarter cup of chicken broth and a handful of cilantro leaves. Use a spatula to toss and scrape the bottom of the pan while cooking for another few minutes. Serve immediately.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Lentils and Leeks

When was the last time you made lentils? Exactly my point, I don’t make them nearly enough ether. And as far as last minute side dishes go, they have everything going for them; long shelf life, incredible value, quick and easy to prepare, and they go with nearly everything.

Stir a cup of dry brown lentils into a pot of lightly salted boiling water, simmer for approximately fifteen minutes, or until barely tender. In the meantime, sauté a chopped leak in some butter or oil over medium heat until the edges start to brown. Add three finely chopped garlic cloves, sauté another few minutes, then toss in the drained lentils. Stir occasionally for another five minutes, salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Maple Ginger Glazed Pork Chops

Spring is here and the sap is flowing, support your local sugarmaker and give these pork chops a zesty maple glaze. In a small sauce pan saute a finely chopped shallot in a little bit of olive oil until translucent. Add two tablespoons of minced ginger, a pinch or two of cayenne pepper, give it a minute, then stir in a quarter cup each of soy sauce and maple syrup. Simmer until reduced by a third, or until it’s a syrupy consistency.

Season your pork chops with salt, then broil, bake, or barbeque until the desired doneness. In a large bowl, toss to coat with the glaze, plate, and drizzle the remaining glaze over the chops.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Cabbage Parmesan Roast

I’m loving my roast vegetables these days, and the addition of parmesan not only sharpened the flavor, but also made for an irresistible silky texture. Preheat your oven to 450 and chop a half a head of cabbage, two red onions, and a fennel bulb into medium sized pieces. Toss together with enough olive oil to barely coat the vegetables along with a healthy sprinkling of kosher salt and pepper. Transfer to a large shallow pan and throw in the oven.

After thirty minutes, turn the oven down to 350 and stir in two large handfuls of coarsely chopped kale and four to six minced garlic cloves. Roast for another twenty minutes, then remove from the oven and scrape everything into a large bowl. Toss with a cup of grated parmesan, and salt and pepper to taste. If you’re not planning on serving it right away, use an ovenproof bowl for easy reheating.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Asian Chicken and Mushroom Soup

Embrace the chilly spring temps with this brothy and flavorful combination of chicken, mushrooms, and vegetables. Salt your chicken thighs, and then brown with a little bit of vegetable oil in a large pot over high heat. Cook approximately four minutes per side, and then set aside.

Turn the heat down to medium, add some more oil, then throw in some drained canned baby corn, snow peas, chopped scallions, sliced shitake mushrooms, and a package of enoki mushrooms making sure to separate them into smaller clumps. Let it all cook for a few minutes then stir in a tablespoon of fresh ginger, followed by the cut up chicken thighs.

Add enough chicken stock to the pot to barely cover all of the ingredients, bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for fifteen minutes. Add a quarter cup of soy sauce, two tablespoons of Asian fish sauce, and a teaspoon of sesame oil. Make sure to salt and hot sauce to taste before serving.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Shrimp Carbonara

Spaghetti with bacon, shrimp, and cheese, what could be bad? While you’re boiling a pound of spaghetti in a large pot of salted water peel and devein 18-20 medium shrimp. Salt and pepper the shrimp and cook in a large straight sided skillet with a couple splashes of olive oil over high heat until nearly cooked through, then set aside.

In the same skillet, cut two quarter inch slices of pancetta into small chunks and cook until lightly browned, turn off the heat and leave the pan on the stove. Then, in a large bowl, lightly scramble together two eggs, a cup each of parmesan and pecorino cheese, and a generous grind of black pepper.

Drain your spaghetti making sure to reserve about a cup of the pasta water. Turn the heat up on the pancetta and stir the in the spaghetti followed immediately by the egg and cheese mixture. Quickly toss together while slowly pouring in enough pasta water to create a creamy sauce. When the pasta is completely coated, add the cooked shrimp, salt and black pepper to taste, and toss once more before serving.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Ginger Orange Beets

Add some color and flavor to your holiday table this weekend with these ginger orange beets. Peel and cut your beets into quarter inch slices then steam, roast, or boil until tender. While fresh beets are always better, if you’re short on time you could substitute cooked frozen beets.

For a pound of beets, whisk together a teaspoon of minced ginger, the juice of an orange, a splash of cider vinegar, a drizzle of honey, a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss the beets with the vinaigrette and garnish with some orange zest. They can be served warm, or at room temperature.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Kale, Butternut Squash, Wheat Berry Salad

Happy Spring!  This salad, with its amazing combination of flavors and textures, works just as well as a main course as it does a side dish. Preheat the oven to 400, bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil, then cut a peeled and seeded butternut squash into half inch cubes and toss with a little bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Stir a half a cup of wheat berries into the water and simmer until tender, about forty five minutes, then drain well. Lay the squash cubes out on cookie sheets with parchment paper and roast for approximately thirty minutes…you want them firm, not mushy. For the vinaigrette combine a half cup of olive oil, a quarter cup of red wine or cider vinegar, a minced shallot, a tablespoon of Dijon mustard, and salt and pepper to taste. 

While the wheat berries and squash cool, toss your stemmed and chopped kale in a large bowl with a little bit of the dressing to soften the leaves. When you’re ready to serve, add the other ingredients to the bowl, mix with more dressing, then salt and pepper to taste.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Chipotle Pepper Braised Short Ribs

If you’ve yet to discover the little blue and red can of Mexican made San Marcos chili peppers in adobo sauce at your local market, these short ribs offer the perfect opportunity to try them out. The flavor and heat will blow you away. Preheat your oven to 350, then place your largest, heaviest, pot with a lid, on the stove over medium high heat. Generously salt and pepper eight or so beef short ribs then brown them on all sides.

Set the short ribs aside and add a large chopped red onion to the pot, pour in a little oil if there’s not enough fat left from the ribs. Turn the heat down to medium and sauté the onion for five minutes. Stir in six chopped garlic cloves and two chopped adobo peppers along with a spoonful of the sauce. Saute for another few minutes then add two cups of beef stock, preferably Better Than Bouillon. Return the ribs to the pot, cover, and place the pot in the hot oven.

It’s best to turn the ribs every forty five minutes or so, and check to make sure that the stock level is at least half way up the ribs. If not, just add more beef stock. After an hour and a half, add a can of drained black beans, a box of frozen corn, and a large handful of chopped cilantro. After three hours the meat should be falling off of the bone, although four hours will guarantee it. Salt to taste and serve with rice, or polenta, so you can get every drop.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Dijon Lemon Chicken

My mother used to make this for us as kids; she called it her gourmet chicken. Hey, it was the 70’s, Dijon mustard was pretty fancy back then. I recently made it for the first time in years and you know what? It’s really good.

Preheat the oven to 350 and in a large bowl, stir together about three quarters of a cup of Dijon mustard, a couple minced garlic cloves, a quarter teaspoon each of ground cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Coat a pound and a half of chicken pieces with the mustard mixture then roll them in breadcrumbs until they’re completely covered. Place them side by side in a baking pan and top with a thin slice of lemon.

Baking time will vary depending on whether you’re using white or dark meat, on or off the bone. What you’re looking for is chicken that’s cooked through with a crispy crust, should be about thirty to forty five minutes.