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.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Quick Tomato Soup

Saw this tomato soup recipe in my most recent issue of Saveur, it epitomizes my mantra…less time at the stove, more time at the table.  Core and quarter four tomatoes and place in a large bowl along with half a chopped onion, a smashed garlic clove, a third of a baguette cut into large chunks, and a tablespoon and a half of kosher salt.   Bring your kettle to a boil and fill the bowl with enough hot water to submerge everything.  After an hour, squeeze the liquid out of the bread and put  it into a Cuisinart with the drained vegetables, a tablespoon of sherry or red wine vinegar, and a cup of the reserved liquid.  While running the Cuisinart drizzle in a cup of your best olive oil to create some thickness to your mixture, salt and pepper to taste.  Serve at room temperature or chilled, either way with a chopped hard boiled egg….some prosciutto too if you have it.  Amazing!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Roasted Tomatoes

I love the crisp days and cool nights but it’s sad to think that tomato season is coming to an end.  And while the tomatoes may not be as incredible as they were a couple of weeks ago I find roasting them coaxes out the last of that peak summer flavor.  Simply rinse, halve, and gently toss your tomatoes with a little bit of extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Place them cut side up in a baking dish or cookie sheet and roast for an hour at 350, then toss with some fresh basil and an extra drizzle of olive oil.  They’re great hot as a side dish, or cold on a sandwich or piece of fish later in the week.  Enjoy them while they last!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Sweet Corn

I can’t get enough corn these days…it’s been an incredibly sweet year.  So to prolong the season I spent an hour shucking and bagging thirty ears so I could savor it all winter.  To start I got a large pot of water boiling and after husking in batches of six I dropped the ears into the simmering pot for two minutes then quickly into a waiting ice bath.  Then it was just a matter of cutting the kernels from the cobs and spooning them in freezer bags.  But don’t throw out those cobs. Break them in half and put them back in the pot and boil for about three hours or until the liquid is reduced by at least three quarters.  It helps to rotate the cobs half way through.  What you end up with is a concentrated corn stock that’s unmatched for soups, risotto, or pasta sauce.  Try a corn and potato vichyssoise, or roast corn and leek risotto, only this time of year will they taste this good.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Pickled Beets...and Greens

I usually don’t think of pickled beets until mid-winter when I dig into that first jar I stored in the pantry several months before, but why wait?  Peel , halve and cut your beets into eighth inch slices then lightly boil in salted water for five minutes or so…they’re best when they still have a crunch.  When they’ve hit the desired crunchiness run them under some cold water to stop them from cooking any further.  Then it’s as easy as combining them in a Tupperware with some white vinegar for a couple of days, a thinly sliced onion or a pinch of cayenne pepper are great options.   And don’t discard those beet greens, they are so satisfying sautéed with some sliced garlic and extra virgin olive oil. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Tomato Mozzarella Salad

For tomato fans in Vermont it doesn’t get any better than right now, it’s a short season but so worth the wait.  This is a twist on a classic, I call it my Milanese Caprese Salad.  Let a thick slice, about a half inch, of mozzarella sit out until it reaches room temperature.  Toss your tomatoes, fresh basil, extra virgin olive oil, and a generous amount of kosher salt in a bowl and serve over the mozzarella.  Serve with a knife, fork, and fresh baguette…it can only be described as heavenly.