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 25, 2014

Stewed Squid and Potatoes

For me cooking dinner is a lot like golf, most shots are okay but every once in a while you really nail one…and I hit the sweet spot with this squid stew. In a large pot sauté a chopped shallot in some olive oil until translucent before adding the zest of a quarter of a lemon, a quarter teaspoon of dried chili flakes, and at least three minced garlic cloves.

While that’s cooking cube six small red potatoes, finely chop a half a bunch of parsley, and open a 28 oz. can of chopped tomatoes. Next, slice a pound of squid into half inch pieces and add to the pot followed by the potatoes, tomatoes, and a bottle of clam juice then simmer for 45 minutes. Add the parsley fifteen minutes before serving along with a great piece of bread.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Chicken Parmesan

Chicken Parmesan is such a satisfying combination of flavors and textures, and this time of year it provides a great excuse to turn on your oven. Preheat your oven to 400 while heating about an 1/8 of an inch of olive oil in a large frying pan. Next, pound your boneless chicken breasts or tenders between a couple of sheets of saran to a ¼ inch thickness then liberally salt and pepper.

For the breading add a cup of flour, three lightly beaten eggs with a splash of milk, and two cups of breadcrumbs or panko to three separate bowls. When your oil is hot individually dredge each piece of chicken in the flour, egg and breadcrumb mixtures in that order and fry on each side until golden, about three or four minutes. Lay them all out in a large baking dish and top with tomato sauce and sliced mozzarella and bake at 350 for fifteen minutes. Serve with pasta, in this case I did an orzo with basil pesto.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Bread with Tomatoes

If it’s this easy to achieve food bliss why try any harder? But if you’re going to get there you can’t skimp on the ingredients: Local tomatoes, local artisan bread, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, and flaky Maldon salt.

It’s important not to slice your bread too thick, right around a 1/4 inch, then toast on medium. Your tomatoes should be sliced even thinner, about an 1/8th of an inch. Once out of the toaster drizzle your bread with olive oil then cut a garlic clove in half and rub each slice with the exposed side of the clove…like an eraser on a chalk board.

After that simply lay on your sliced tomatoes, squish them gently into the bread with the flat side of a chef’s knife, and sprinkle liberally with flaky salt. Chew slowly, they’re only going to be available for a couple more weeks.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Charred Eggplant Dip

This is one of the best ways I’ve found to prepare eggplants for a dip or side veggie. I adapted it from a recipe on one of my favorite foodie web sites, Smitten Kitchen.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Then prick two medium sized eggplants with a fork and char by rotating over a gas flame or under your broiler until there’s no purple visible. Once they’re cool enough to handle take off the stem, cut lengthwise, and place cut side down on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Roast for 35 minutes then let cool to room temperature before scraping the flesh from the skin and chopping coarsely.

In a bowl whisk until smooth two finely mince garlic cloves, a handful of chopped parsley, the juice of one lemon, three tablespoons of tahini, a couple tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and a pinch each of cayenne and ground cumin. Combine with the chopped eggplant, salt to taste, and serve with toasted pita.