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, April 7, 2020

Roast Asparagus

The asparagus is looking mighty fine these days, and just in time for Easter. Whether you’re planning an intimate meal with your fellow self-isolationists, or a larger virtual one, no need to fuss over the veggie. One of my favorite ways to make asparagus is also one of the easiest.

Pre-heat your oven to 400, and cut off the coarse bottom ends from the asparagus spears. Place in a large shallow Pyrex, or on some parchment lined cookie sheets.

Drizzle with a little bit of olive oil then toss until it’s well coated. Generously salt and pepper and roast for approximately 10-15 minutes depending on the thickness. I like it best when it just starting to char at the tips.

You can stop there without feeling like an underachiever, it’s delicious as is right out of the oven or at room temperature. But, if you're looking for a bit more, a big squeeze of fresh lemon juice, or some grated Manchego or parmesan work well.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Mushroom Cacio e Pepe

I know many of you have a cabinet full of pasta because there’s hardly any left at the market….so a pasta recipe seems appropriate this week. Cacio e Pepe is one of my favorites, a perfectly simple Roman dish whose main ingredients are spaghetti, pecorino, and black pepper. I added some sautéed mushrooms to make it more of a one dish meal, sautéed spinach would work too.

Thinly slice and sauté some mushrooms in a little bit of olive oil until soft, salt and pepper then set aside. Boil a pound of spaghetti until el dente making sure to save a cup of the pasta water just before draining.

Drain the noodles and slide them back into the pot. Stir in a teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper, the reserved pasta water, and a cup and a half of parmesan, pecorino, or a combination of both. Mix together until the pasta is completed coated, stir in the mushrooms, then salt to taste and serve immediately.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Spiced Roast Chicken

Here’s how to make a perfect roast chicken with just ten minutes of prep time.

Rinse and dry your chicken thoroughly, the drier the skin the crispier it will be. If you’re not pressed for time, it would be even better to leave it uncovered in the fridge for at least an hour.

Once it’s dry, season liberally with kosher salt and whatever dry spice you’re in the mood for. You could try some smoked or sweet paprika, cumin, curry, or chili powder, Korean chili pepper, harissa, garlic powder, or black pepper. Old Bay would even work.

Place in a shallow roasting pan and pop it into a preheated 500 degree oven for approximately 35 to 50 minutes depending on the size of your chicken. But at this heat, it doesn’t take as long as you think.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Parmesan Roast Cabbage

Preheat your oven to 500 while you mix up a dressing of extra virgin olive oil, two minced garlic cloves, and the juice and zest from half a lemon.

Cut a small to medium size cabbage into 8 equal wedges, core and all. Coat a non-stick, or parchment lined baking sheet with some olive oil then space the wedges out evenly. Brush the exposed surfaces with some olive oil, and salt and pepper liberally. Roast until you start to see some char on the edges, approximately ten minutes.

Flip the cabbage wedges onto the other side, roast for another five minutes, then remove and lightly cover with some freshly grated parmesan. Roast for another few minutes and drizzle with the dressing before serving.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Peanut Noodles

Your food processor is the secret to easy peanut sauce. Throw in all the ingredients, hit the button, and done. For more of a workout, whisk everything together in a large bowl.

Combine a quarter cup each of peanut butter and soy sauce, a teaspoon of sesame oil, two tablespoons each of rice wine vinegar and honey, three minced garlic cloves, and a tablespoon of finely minced fresh ginger. Process or whisk until smooth, then add some Sriracha to taste.

In a large bowl, toss the sauce with a package of cooked lo mein, soba, or half a pound of thin spaghetti, a couple of grated carrots, half a chopped red pepper, two thinly sliced scallions, and some chopped cilantro. Cooked chicken or tofu are also good options.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Skirt Steak with Stewed Lima Beans

Skirt steak is one of my favorite cuts! It’s super flavorful simply broiled or grilled with some salt and pepper, and these stewed lima beans made for a great side dish.

In a large straight sided pan or pot sauté a minced shallot in olive oil until translucent. Drain a half a can of anchovies and add to the pot along with several finely chopped garlic cloves. After a minute, break up the anchovies with a wooden spoon then pour in a small can of crushed tomatoes, stir well, and continue to simmer for another ten minutes or so.

Add about 12 oz. of defrosted lima beans, cover, and continue to simmer for at least another ten minutes. Salt and pepper to taste and you’re ready to go.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Potato Cheddar Bacon Soup

Potatoes, cheddar, bacon, what could be bad? And this soup doesn’t take much more than frying some bacon and boiling some potatoes.

Cook six to eight slices of bacon in the bottom of a large soup pot until crisp. Remove the bacon and set aside to cool and crumble, but leave the fat in the pot.

Stir in two chopped onions and six minced garlic cloves and sauté over medium heat for six or seven minutes. Once the onion is translucent, add three cubed unpeeled baking potatoes, a teaspoon of kosher salt, a half teaspoon of black pepper, and a couple of quarts of chicken stock.

Bring to a boil then simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 30 to 40 minutes. Puree until smooth with a stick blender, or transfer in batches to a blender or food processor. Then, with the soup back in the pot and the heat on low, stir in at least 8 ounces of shredded sharp cheddar and the crumbled bacon. Salt and pepper to taste.

Double up on this one so you’ll have plenty left over for the freezer, there’s a lot of winter ahead of us.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Honey Roasted Carrots and Feta

Honey and feta are an awesome combination of sweet and salty, and even tastier paired with some sweet roasted carrots.

Preheat the oven to 450 while you toss your carrots with salt, pepper, and a couple of small splashes of olive oil. If you’re looking to spice up your Valentine’s Day, try adding a bit of cayenne pepper as well. Transfer to a large shallow baking dish and roast until they start to caramelize around the edges…about 45 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven and toss with a few healthy drizzles of honey until well coated, followed by the crumbled feta.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Shelled Edamame

I always have a bag of shelled edamame in the freezer for last minute soups, salads, side dishes and more. I’m a huge fan! Anything a lima bean does, an edamame can do better.

Having a soup, throw them in. Salad, throw them in. Stir fry or pasta, throw them in. You can even substitute them for garbanzo beans in your hummus.

As far as side dishes go, if you’re cooking Asian, saute them with some ginger, scallions, and a splash of soy sauce or sesame oil. Italian, saute with some minced garlic then toss with grated parmesan.

And if you’re turning on the oven anyway, you can toss them with vinegar and salt and roast for thirty minutes. Even easier, boil or steam them quickly then toss with your favorite salsa, sauce, or condiment.

And if you’re having one of those, I can’t bear to cook, kind of days, you can even eat them raw. Just defrost them quickly in a strainer under some tepid running water. But tossing them with some olive oil, salt, and pepper or chili flakes doesn’t take much, and I think you’ll find it much more satisfying.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Cheesy Baked Pasta

This cheesy, crusty, super flavorful pasta is the ultimate mid-January satisfier. And, you could easily add some cooked cauliflower or broccoli if you want to balance it out.

Preheat the oven to 400, then boil and drain half a pound of short pasta, cooked al dente. Rinse with cold water to keep it from cooking further.

In a large straight sided pan or pot, sauté a chopped red onion until translucent. Turn the heat down to low and add a couple of cloves of minced garlic, half a tin of chopped anchovies, a couple tablespoons of capers, half a cup of milk, the optional chopped vegetables, and a large pinch of red chili flakes. Cook for two minutes then remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.

Thirty minutes before you want to serve, add a cup of shredded Mixed Italian or Mozzarella cheese, the cooked pasta, and a healthy grind of black pepper. Mix well and spoon into a baking dish. Top with a mixture of half a cup each of bread crumbs and grated pecorino or parmesan. Bake for 25 minutes.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Celery Root Remoulade

It’s root vegetable season and they don’t all have to be boiled, baked, or steamed. This classic French bistro salad is served cold, and packed with flavor.

For the sauce, mix together a half cup of mayonnaise, a tablespoon of Dijon mustard, two tablespoons each of chopped capers and relish, a healthy squeeze of fresh lemon juice, and some chopped parsley. Salt and pepper to taste.

Shortly before serving, add about a pound and a half of peeled and shredded celery root and mix well.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Pickled Pepper Sauce

This is my kind of sauce, easy, tasty, and adaptable…I didn’t change a thing from a Sam Sifton recipe I found in NYT Cooking. I served it on pork chops, but could have also been chicken or beef.

In a small sauce pot, sauté a few sliced garlic cloves in a splash of olive oil. Once translucent, add the brine from a jar of hot pickled red peppers, the halved and seeded peppers, and a cup of white wine. For even more heat, add a pinch or two of chili flakes. Cook on medium heat until the liquid is reduced by half then set aside.

Salt the pork chops and cook over medium-high heat in a large frying pan. Once the meat is browned on both sides and cooked to your desired doneness, remove from the pan.

Turn down the heat to medium-low then pour the reduced sauce into the pan along with a couple tablespoons of butter. Stir until the butter melts and forms a velvety consistency. Salt and pepper to taste, then serve over the chops.