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, August 16, 2012

Cucumber Avocado Soup

The chilled soup season in Vermont is a short one, and this is it, I took advantage of it this week with some local cucumbers and mint.  In a Cuisinart, start with a generous handful of mint, half a clove of chopped garlic, a little chopped onion or white end of a scallion, and some kosher salt.  Pulse until finely chopped.  Skin and seed several cucumbers and an avocado then add to the mix.  With your Cuisinart running drizzle in about a quarter cup of extra virgin olive oil like you would for a pesto so the oil emulsifies.  Add the juice of a lime, a couple shakes of Tabasco hot sauce, pulse, then salt and white pepper to taste.  It’s best to chill for at least a couple of hours before serving.  Last week using this same approach I wowed the family with a fruit soup using a couple of ripe cantaloupes along with some basil, lemon, and honey….no olive oil on this one.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Anchovy Rubbed Lamb Chops

When barbequing meats I often use a salt and garlic rub right before grilling but decided to give anchovies a try after seeing them used this way on a menu in New York at a recent trade show.  While my lamb chops were warming to room temperature I mashed together eight anchovy fillets with a couple of cloves of minced garlic and a little bit of kosher salt.  A half hour before grilling I rubbed the anchovy paste onto both sides of my lamb chops and grilled them until medium rare.  Wow, the flavor was fantastic, salty but not fishy, really nice with the lamb.  A great change of pace, can’t wait to try it on some grilled fish.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Asian Chop Salad

You can’t really go wrong with any combination of fresh vegetables this time of year but this Asian chop salad was made especially amazing by some local Napa cabbage and shitake mushrooms I was excited to find at the farmer’s market.  Before chopping I started my vinaigrette by grating some ginger into a bowl of lemon juice, rice vinegar, and soy, with a few splashes of chili, sesame, and olive oil.  While it sat I husked the corn and sliced off the kernels into my salad bowl followed by the cabbage and mushrooms. I then chopped my cucumber, green pepper, cilantro, and jalapeno, followed by some grated carrot. I added some barbequed teriyaki marinated chicken breasts but definitely not necessary. I rarely use dried Chinese noodles but they make for a great Asian crunch, make sure to wait and add them at the end so they don’t get soggy along with kosher salt and pepper to taste.