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, April 25, 2013

Red Clam Sauce

This dish may be a lot quicker and easier than you would think, and if you use fresh clams it’s sure to become one of your go to favorites.  While bringing your pasta water to a boil finely chop a medium shallot and a clove or two of garlic.  Heat some olive oil in a pot and sauté both along with a sprinkling of red pepper flakes.  Before the shallots and garlic begin to brown add a half a cup of dry white wine if you happen to have a bottle open and reduce on medium heat for several minutes followed by a cup of clam juice.  If you’re not using wine then just use a cup and a half of clam juice, I prefer either the Better than Bullion concentrate or a couple of bottles of the Snow’s clam juice.  Next comes the Marinara sauce, 8 to 12 ounces of your favorite brand is all it takes….and the Rao’s is worth the extra couple of bucks.  When your linguine or spaghetti is nearly ready to drain add a quart of fresh chopped clams and a tablespoon of chopped Italian parsley to your sauce making sure the heat is fairly low so as not to let the clams get rubbery.  Once drained let the noodles bathe in the sauce for a few minutes, stir in some grated parmesan, salt and pepper to taste, and serve with some more parmesan over the top.  Bread is definitely required.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Parsnip "Fettuccine"

Here’s a great twist on parsnips , “Parsnip Fettuccine.”   To start, get some salted water on the stove for blanching and wash your parsnips thoroughly.   Next, hold the top of each parsnip and run a vegetable peeler from one end to the other to create a long ribbon.  Turn and repeat until you’re down to the tough woody core which you can compost or snack on if you’re looking for a quick fiber fix.   Place the parsnip ribbons in the simmering water for 45 seconds, drain into a colander, and rinse with cold water.  Before serving make sure your ribbons are fairly dry, patting with a towel if necessary, then simply toss with extra virgin olive oil, chopped garlic, parsley, and kosher salt.  I’ve also sautéed the ribbons with garlic and thyme instead of blanching, carrots work too.  Try it soon, won’t be long before we have some fresh greens to work with.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Tuna Sashimi

I’ve never attempted to make sushi, too many components to get just right.  But sashimi, that’s another story…as long as you have super fresh fish.  Last Friday I picked up some sushi grade tuna, and while the price per pound sounds like a lot it doesn’t take much to serve up a perfect little appetizer.  This time around I stirred together just enough soy sauce, ginger, and rice vinegar to create a small puddle of sauce on the plate, you don’t want to overwhelm the tuna.  I then topped each piece with the thinnest slice of fresh jalapeno I could manage for the perfect amount of zip.  You could keep it even cleaner and serve simply with your best extra virgin olive oil and dash of coarse salt, or try salmon instead of tuna.  Anyway you do it it’s a real treat.