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 28, 2014

Zesty Zucchini and Pasta

Wondering what to do with all those zucchinis? Here’s a zesty way to use four of them. Finely chop a red onion and sauté over medium heat with some extra virgin olive oil. While that’s cooking mince five cloves of garlic then on the coarse side of a box grater shred four cucumber sized zucchinis.

Add the garlic to the pot with the onion along with a can of anchovies and a tablespoon of capers. Once the anchovies have dissolved stir in your shredded zucchini along with some black pepper.

What’s going to make this sauce great is to let the zucchini cook down and sporadically scrape the bottom of the pot with a spatula to work the caramelized bits into the sauce. Let it go for about fifteen minutes but make sure the heat isn’t so high that you burn it. Before serving over pasta add an eighth of a cup of your best olive oil and salt to taste…alongside a tomato salad. It is August after all.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Quinoa Tabouli

There’s no better time of year to make tabouli and while it’s traditionally made with barley, quinoa is both quicker and lighter for a summer meal. Start by cooking a cup of quinoa in 1 ¼ cups of water with a bit of salt in a covered saucepan, after ten minutes remove from the heat and leave covered.

While your quinoa rests mince a garlic clove and combine with the juice of half a lemon in a small bowl. After that, fluff up your quinoa with a fork and place it in a large bowl to cool. Now it’s all about chopping. Into a separate large bowl chop up a couple medium tomatoes, a large cucumber, a full bunch of parsley, a handful of mint, and half a red onion. I had some green beans around so I chopped those up and threw them in as well.

When you’re ready to serve combine all of your chopped veggies and herbs with the cooled quinoa then toss with the lemon juice, half a cup of extra virgin olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. This is the bounty of summer at its best.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Steak with Shallots and Garlic

Next time you throw a steak on the barbecue take a few minutes extra to make it into a restaurant worthy meal with some shallots, garlic, and butter. Fifteen minutes before you start grilling your steak peel, halve, and cut six shallots into 1/8 inch slices and sauté with some extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Give them a stir every few minutes until they’re translucent and just starting to brown.

At this point turn the heat to low and add a couple of minced garlic cloves and a ¼ inch piece of butter…or two.  It will be ready to go once the butter has melted but if you're not going to serve it immediately turn the heat down to simmer so you don’t brown it. Onions of any kind would substitute nicely but shallots really stand up to the meat.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Scallop Carpaccio with Lemon Chive Oil

This refreshing summer appetizer is a special treat and brings the taste of the ocean to your table. The key is starting with the freshest and largest sea scallops you can find and a sharp knife, and as long as they’re fairly large you only need to buy one per person.

Before you begin put your plates in the fridge to chill, one for each person. Next, gently heat some extra virgin olive oil in a small pot and add a couple tablespoons of lemon zest and some minced chives. Immediately remove from the heat and let sit for at least an hour or even overnight.

To serve, slice each scallop as thinly as possible and lay the slices out on your chilled plates making sure they barely overlap. Then simply spoon enough of your infused oil mixture over the top to coat each slice and top with a generous sprinkle of coarse salt.

Use any leftover oil for steamed veggies or a salad dressing.