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, January 29, 2015

Garlic Chicken and Polenta Soup

This is one of the most comforting soups I've made in a long time and perfect for these sub-zero nights. Begin by making a half cup of polenta as directed on the package making sure not to omit the butter and Parmesan. In the meantime brown four skinless boneless chicken thighs in your soup pot for about five minutes per side then set aside until they’re cool enough to cut into half inch pieces.

To the same pot add a little bit of olive oil and sauté some sliced mushrooms for ten minutes before setting aside. Next into the pot, lightly brown at least twenty peeled garlic cloves before stirring in six to eight cups of chicken stock, preferably Better Than Bouillon. Simmer for fifteen minutes or until the cloves are soft and mash with a potato masher as best you can before returning the chicken, mushrooms, polenta as well as a few chopped scallions to the pot. Stir thoroughly to break up the polenta then salt and pepper to taste.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Spicy Beet Fries

For all you folks that haven’t found the beauty in beets yet these tasty beet fries may provide the enlightenment you’ve been looking for. They’re sweet, spicy, and irresistibly crunchy…not to mention guilt free.

Start by preheating your oven to 450 and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Next, peel your beets and cut into rectangular French fry like pieces before tossing with a little bit of olive oil, kosher salt, and your favorite pepper such as cayenne or Sichuan. If you’re not into spicy you could substitute thyme, mint, or rosemary.

Roast your beets for approximately 50 minutes flipping them halfway through. What you’re looking to do is get them crispy with a little char to bring out all their sugary goodness. Salt to taste before serving.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Kale, Squash, and Pickled Cabbage Tostadas

It’s all about the fried tortillas as you can make tostadas with nearly anything that you find in your pantry or fridge, this time around it was kale, squash, and pickled cabbage. And when I say fried I don’t mean deep fried, these don’t take a lot of oil or make a big mess.

To cut down on the splatter I like to use a pot with just enough vegetable oil to generously cover the bottom. Prep your toppings and immediately before serving get your oil hot but not smoking. With a pair of tongs place a tortilla in the oil making sure the sides don’t curl up and it cooks evenly. After a minute flip, wait another 30 seconds, and then drain on a paper bag.

Once all your tortillas are cooked place a couple on each plate and stack with your warmed toppings, favorite salsa or hot sauce. And you can never go wrong with kosher salt, avocado and cilantro.