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.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Shaved Asparagus with a Lemon Shallot Vinaigrette

I think the most difficult part of putting out a holiday meal is the timing; everything has to be hot but not overcooked. So spare yourself the shame of mushy asparagus this holiday weekend and give this shaved salad a try.

Start a day ahead of time with the vinaigrette by mixing together some extra virgin olive oil, fresh lemon juice, champagne vinegar, minced shallot, and salt and pepper. For the asparagus use your vegetable peeler to shave each spear individually into long thin shavings then set aside in a bowl. This part doesn't go very quickly, a glass of wine helps.

Before serving toss the shavings together with the vinaigrette then salt and pepper to taste. And depending on what else you’re having some toasted pine nuts or shaved Parmesan are nice additions.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Cod and Caramelized Onion Quesadillas

When I told the family we were having fish quesadillas for dinner I didn’t exactly get an enthusiastic reaction, but once they bit into them I didn’t hear any complaints. Like any Mexican dish they take a bit of prep but they’re well worth the effort.

Start by caramelizing a sliced red onion in a large pan with butter, olive oil and a half teaspoon each of kosher salt and sugar. In another pan heat up some vegetable oil then dredge your salt and peppered cod pieces in breadcrumbs. When the oil is hot pan fry the cod until golden brown on both sides then set them aside while you clean, dry, and reheat the pan.

When you’re ready to go place a large flour tortilla in the clean hot pan and spread some grated cheese over half of it along with the caramelized onions, cod, and some chopped cilantro. Fold the tortilla in half, brown a few minutes on each side, then slice and serve with some fresh avocado and your favorite salsa.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Fennel Tomato Risotto

This is a great risotto to make when you’re in the mood for red sauce but pasta just isn’t doing it for you. I find it easiest to start by making four cups of chicken stock from concentrate and leaving it in a pot on the stove over very low heat. 

Thinly slice a large fennel bulb and shallot and sauté with a generous amount of butter and extra virgin olive oil in a large pan. When they start to brown stir in two minced garlic cloves and a cup of risotto making sure to coat evenly before adding a half a cup of dry white wine.  Simmer until the wine is nearly absorbed then add a cup of your favorite marinara and stir well. 

For the next thirty minutes or so add a half a cup of chicken stock at a time stirring a bit each time until the liquid is absorbed then repeat until the rice is al dente…you may not have to use all of the stock. While still on the stove add at least a half cup of grated parmesan, a little chopped parsley, and salt and pepper to taste, let sit for a couple of minutes then serve.

Monday, March 2, 2015

No Fuss Chicken Marsala

No pounding for this adaption, and if you don’t have any Marsala you could use white wine and lemon juice instead. Heat some butter or olive oil in a large pan and sauté a dozen sliced mushrooms and a shallot until they begin to brown. Stir in a minced garlic clove and a little chopped parsley before transferring to a bowl and set aside.

Add some more oil to your pan and while that’s heating dredge one inch pieces of chicken breast in flour. Brown your chicken for a couple of minutes on each side then put them in the bowl with the mushrooms.

Next add a half cup of Marsala, or, white wine and lemon to the pan as well as a cup of chicken stock. Bring to a low boil making sure to scrape off all the good bits from the bottom and sides. Once it is reduced by half pour in the mushrooms, chicken, and any juices from the bowl before turning down the heat and simmering until the chicken is cooked through. Season with salt and pepper, add a spot of heavy cream if you’re feeling it, and serve.