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.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Curried Squash Soup

It’s a great night to go orange and your local farm stands still has a lot of squash to choose from for this tasty curry soup. Heat a few tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large soup pot before adding two peeled and chopped squash, a chopped onion, and some freshly ground black pepper.

After ten minutes add about six cups of chicken stock or enough to cover your squash, as well as a couple of heaping teaspoons of Thai red curry paste. Bring to a boil, add a can of coconut milk and simmer for at least 30 minutes. Add salt and Sriracha to taste in addition to more curry paste if needed. Puree with a stick blender or food processor, if it’s too thick you can always thin it out with some more chicken stock. Serve topped with crispy spiders.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Couscous with Pistachios and Mint

It doesn't get any easier than couscous and the last of the mint from the garden along with some nearly stale pistachios made for the perfect last minute side dish.

The hardest thing about cooking couscous is measuring; it’s a cup and a half of water for each cup of couscous. Add the water and a tablespoon of butter or oil to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Then remove from the heat, stir in the couscous along with a half a teaspoon of salt, cover, and let sit for at least ten minutes. That’s it.

At this point I stirred in a quarter cup of chopped pistachios, mint, and the juice of half a lime. However the possibilities are endless; herbs, dates, apricots, raisins, olives, pine nuts, fennel, and lemon come immediately to mind. And probably lots more possibilities lingering in the back corners of your fridge or pantry…you just need to have the couscous on hand.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Italian Sausage with Peppers and Onions

Here’s a great one for the world series regardless of your team, Italian sausage with peppers and onions. Heat up a bit of olive oil in a large non-stick pan while slicing half an onion and green pepper for each sausage you’ll be making. Sauté over medium heat with salt, black pepper, and a pinch of chili flakes for at least thirty minutes while stirring frequently. Add a couple of minced garlic cloves ten minutes before serving.

In the end your onions and peppers should be very soft and brown around the edges. There are no shortcuts, better to start early and leave them on a low heat to ensure perfection. Grill or fry your sausages until cooked through and serve. Bun is optional…cold beer is not.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Caramelized Cauliflower Steaks

This preparation is so easy and adaptable it has instantly become part of my veggie repertoire. From a head of cauliflower cut away the green outer leaves and cut into half inch slices, don’t worry if some of the end pieces break apart. Place in a large straight sided pan and add a quarter inch of water, a tablespoon of sugar, a teaspoon of cumin powder, three tablespoons of butter or olive oil, the juice from half a lemon, and salt and pepper to taste.

Cook over high heat for about fifteen minutes or until the water evaporates, once the cauliflower is browned flip and turn the heat down to medium low and brown the other side. Instead of cumin powder you could substitute smoked paprika, garlic powder, chili flakes, ground ginger, or five spice powder depending on what else you’re cooking. You could even top it with grated parmesan cheese. Have fun with it!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Maple Glazed Root Vegetables

There are lots of root vegetables at the farmer’s market these days and this preparation adapted from a David Chang recipe is a fantastic combination of salt and sweet. While you’re preheating your oven to 375 cut approximately two pounds combined of parsnips, carrots, and potatoes into ¾ inch chunks. Add them to some hot oil in a large ovenproof skillet and cook over moderately high heat until lightly browned, about 8 minutes. 

Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Return them to the stove top and add a ¼ cup each of soy sauce and maple syrup and leave on medium heat until the sauce becomes syrupy, approximately ten minutes. Before serving stir in a couple of chopped scallions, a few drops of sesame oil, and a tablespoon of sesame seeds.