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, April 16, 2012

Asparagus Lemon Pesto

Asparagus means spring...and an asparagus, lemon pesto.  Using your Cuisinart start with a handful of pine nuts, blend, add kosher salt and a couple of garlic cloves, then blend again.  Cut off and discard the lower inch of your asparagus spears then remove the top third closest to the tips and save for later.  Chop the remaining lengths into one inch pieces and add them to the Cuisinart with some lemon zest.  Start the Cuisinart and add a slow drizzle of extra virgin olive oil into the top opening until you end up with a creamy, not coarse, consistency.  Add the juice from about a third of a lemon as well as a half a cup of grated parmesan, pulse, salt to taste, pulse, done.  While your pasta is cooking sauté the asparagus tips in a little bit of olive oil and toss together with your cooked pasta and pesto, garnish with some more grated parmesan before serving.  BTW, tried some whole wheat spaghetti noodles for this dish and they were really good…give ‘em a try.

Fennel, Potato, Arugula Salad

I’m a long time fennelholic, and I don’t consider it a problem at all.  I love it plain, roasted, braised, or most often in a salad.  To prepare I find it easiest to first cut away any fronds from the top of the bulb, slice in half the long way, peel away the course outer layer, then slice thinly.  This time I around I tossed it with some chopped arugula, left over roasted potato slices, and a lemon vinaigrette.  Most often however I simply serve it with some shaved parmesan, extra virgin olive oil, and kosher salt.  And as summer is not far off, it’s also great combined with a sliced plum.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Guacamole Chicken

Guacamole isn’t just for chips or nachos, as a condiment it makes for an easy way to change up your grilled chicken, pork, or steak.  I prefer my guacamole clean with chopped jalapeno, kosher salt, white pepper, and lime juice.  However, a few tablespoons of your favorite jarred salsa works in a pinch.  Last night I dusted my chicken thighs with chili powder and salt before grilling.  It doesn’t get any easier to avert a boring dinner when you aren’t up for making much of an effort.