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, November 25, 2013

Potato Latkes

It’s potato latkes for Thanksgiving this year, and not only because it’s Hanukah…but because they’re really good.  While they’re is nothing like a crispy latke right out of the hot oil, because of the logistics of putting out a huge holiday meal it is possible to fry them beforehand and reheat uncovered in the oven before serving.  Start by heating up a quarter inch of vegetable oil in a heavy skillet before peeling six baking potatoes, enough for 20 latkes.  Using a hand grater or Cuisinart coarsely grate the potatoes along with an onion and carrot before stirring together with a third of a cup of flour, three lightly scrambled eggs, a tablespoon of salt, and teaspoon of black pepper.  When your oil is hot take a quarter cup of the mixture with a slotted spoon and squeeze out as much water as you can using the palm of your hand before sliding the flattened mixture into the oil.  Cook two to three minutes per side until golden brown then transfer to a paper bag to drain.  Serve with sour cream.  And one more thing, don’t forget to turn your exhaust fan on high.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Brussel Sprouts with Slivered Almonds

This one is all about the crunch, and perfect for a casual dinner or your Thanksgiving meal.  Start by finely chopping a shallot and a couple of cloves of garlic while you heat up some butter or extra virgin olive oil in a sauté pan.  Shred your brussel sprouts by holding the base of each sprout and carefully cut into 1/8 inch slices.  When you’re well on your way sauté the shallot, garlic, and slivered almonds until they just begin to brown then add the sprouts.  They don’t take long, five minutes tops, and be sure to flip a couple of times while cooking.  Before serving add salt and pepper to taste along with a squeeze of lemon.  You could also serve it as a cold salad but don’t cook the brussel sprouts, skip the shallot and garlic, toast the slivered almonds, and add a bit of shaved parmesan.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Salmon Burger

Salmon is a great go to fish and serving it up as a burger on a perfectly toasted bun is an easy way to change things up.  You can chop everything by hand but it’s much easier to use a Cuisinart.  Start with the green ends of some scallions, fresh ginger, and lemon juice, then run until finely chopped.  Add a pound of cut up skinless salmon and pulse until coarsely ground.  In a bowl combine the salmon mixture with a lightly scrambled egg, a cup of breadcrumbs or panko, and salt and pepper.  Form into patties and cook in a medium hot frying pan with just enough oil to keep them from sticking.  This time around I served them with some grilled onions and cilantro pesto but nearly anything goes, a caper mayonnaise, aioli, some hoisin or Sriracha sauce, or simply lettuce and tomato. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


What I love about a puttanesca sauce, besides being an extraordinary combination of flavors, is that the ingredients are all in the pantry or the fridge…or at least should be.  While you bring your salted pasta pot to a boil sauté four chopped garlic cloves and a healthy pinch of dried chili flakes in some extra virgin olive oil.  When the garlic starts to brown add three to four anchovy filets or a generous squeeze of anchovy paste, and stir until “melted.”  Next, add three tablespoons of capers, some chopped kalamata or cured olives, and after a few minutes, your favorite marinara sauce.  Let simmer, then toss with your drained pasta and top with some grated parmesan and serve.  I highly recommend including the anchovies, but if you’re not willing to give them a chance it’s still pretty good without them.