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, September 26, 2013

Coffee Spice Rub

Despite the leaves starting to drop here in Vermont there’s still a lot more grilling to be done and adding a bit of espresso to your spice rub adds a richness that you’ll never get with a marinade.  If you have a rub mixture you like simply add a quarter cup of ground espresso.  If not, start by combining four tablespoons of white or brown sugar with two tablespoons of salt in a bowl.  From there add varying tablespoons of the following depending on what it’s in your cupboard, chili powder, paprika, mustard, ginger, black pepper, oregano, cumin, coriander, or granulated garlic…it’s hard to go wrong....don’t forget the espresso.  Rub the mixture into your meat and grill as you would on the barbeque, it also works just as well in a cast iron skillet on high heat for a few minutes a side and then into the oven for five to ten minutes depending on your desired doneness. 


Monday, September 23, 2013

Kale Pesto with Caramelized Onions

The kale pesto would have been amazing enough on its own, but combining it with the sweetness of the caramelized onions put it over the top.  To start, slice a couple of onions and sauté on medium high heat with some butter or oil, and a teaspoon of sugar.  Stir the onions occasionally so they brown evenly. In the meantime heat a large pot of salted water while you’re deveining your kale, I like to use the same water for both blanching the kale and cooking the pasta.  Blanch the kale for a minute then scoop it into a colander and drain thoroughly by squeezing it like a sponge once it has cooled down a bit. 

While your pasta is cooking start the pesto in the Cuisinart with two cloves of garlic, some kosher salt, and a handful of pine nuts.  Once minced add your drained kale and with the motor going drizzle in your extra virgin olive oil until you get the desired consistency.  Grate in some fresh parmesan, salt and pepper to taste, one final pulse, and you’re ready to combine all of your ingredients for the perfect late summer pasta.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Pickled Onions

Pickled onions are great to have around as they’re adaptable to so many dishes and last for weeks in the fridge, and without a lot of fuss you can be eating them in just a few days.  For this quick pickling method you need only add two tablespoons of sugar and a teaspoon of salt to a bowl of malt, cider, or white vinegar, and stir until dissolved.  I often add a pinch of cayenne or dried chili flakes for a bit of spice.  Slice an onion, stuff it into a mason jar, then fill to the top with your vinegar mixture, seal, and refrigerate.  They’re okay after a few days, and better after a couple of weeks.  Try them on a burger, in a tomato or beet salad, with pork, salmon, tacos, or on a grilled ham and cheese sandwich….they’re not so bad with vodka either.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Potato Corn Vichyssoise

Vichyssoise sounds fancy but in reality it’s just cold potato soup, and a great way to take advantage of the local harvest this time of year.   While you simmer your cubed potatoes in salted water sauté some leeks, scallions, or shallots, in a little butter or oil.  Then cut your corn from the cob and add to the sauté, after five minutes or so add three cups of chicken stock and bring to a boil, turn down and simmer until your veggies are tender.  Your potatoes should be tender at this point, drain and add them to the veggies, season with salt and pepper, and blend until smooth.  Chill for at least a few hours and before serving stir in some sour cream or heavy cream, and garnish with some scallions and, or, some fresh corn.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Clams and Chorizo

I’ve recently discovered the magic of Vermont Salumi’s chorizo, it’s got such great flavor that you really don’t need to add much else to create some very tasty offerings.  For this clam and chorizo pasta begin by sautéing some chopped shallot and garlic in a little bit of oil.  Then take your chorizo and slice them top to bottom to peel off the casing, add to your shallots and garlic and lightly break apart with the side of a spoon.  While that’s cooking bring a half inch of clam stock to a boil in a separate pot, add you clams, cover, lower heat to medium, and cook until your clams open, approximately five minutes.  Spoon the chorizo mixture into the clam pot, stir, let sit for a minute, and serve over pasta or alone with a sliced baguette.  I used clams this time around but it would have been equally amazing with mussels.  Garnish either with some chopped chives, the green tips of some scallions, or parsley.