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, April 28, 2015

Fried Eggplant with Chickpea Marinara

Everything is better fried, especially eggplants, and paired with a spicy chickpea marinara they make a nice little dinner. Start by slicing one large or two small eggplants, salt both sides, and let sit for an hour or so before wiping any moisture off each slice with a paper towel. Get your sauce going by heating a couple splashes of olive oil in a small sauce pan followed by a quarter teaspoon of red chili flakes, a jar of your favorite marinara, and a can of drained chickpeas. Cover and simmer on low heat.

Generously coat the bottom of your largest frying pan with vegetable oil and heat over medium. Prep three bowls: One with a cup of flour for dusting, another with four loosely scrambled eggs, and a third with two cups of panko or bread crumbs. When the oil is hot enough run your slices through the three bowls then fry for about five minutes per side making sure to adjust the heat for a golden coating.

To serve top your crispy creamy eggplant slices with a couple of spoonful’s of sauce and some grated Parmesan. Definitely ranks on the higher end of the big mess scale but so worth it.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Lamb with Salsa Verde

I have been enlightened to the virtues of Salsa Verde after reading Cal Peternell’s Twelve recipes. I have always served a lot of pestos but sometimes a thinner bolder sauce is a better compliment to what you’re serving as in the case of these lamb shoulder chops.

I concocted this version out of some of my favorite go to ingredients. Finely mince or combine together in a food processor a generous handful of fresh parsley, a large clove of garlic, a couple of anchovy fillets, kosher salt, and a quarter teaspoon of red chili flakes. Then simply whisk in a half a cup of extra virgin olive oil and let sit for an hour at room temperature before serving. Barbeque season is here…be bold!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Garlic Rosti

It’s time for a change from the same old rotation of potato side dishes…it’s time for Rosti…a central European perfectly crispy and moist version of hash browns. Begin by heating a couple generous splashes of olive oil in a large skillet then either julienne or grate two large peeled baking potatoes. Toss in a bowl with some salt, pepper, and minced garlic and after draining as much of the liquid as possible spoon evenly into the skillet over medium high heat.

When it settles into a pancake shape and the bottom is golden, about ten minutes, slide it out onto a large plate, cover with another plate, flip, and slide back into the skillet crispy side up. Preheat your oven to 400 and once the other side is browned put the skillet and all in the oven for about thirty minutes to finish off.

It’s easy enough to jazz it up with rosemary, bacon, or scallions, and a fried egg on top never disappoints.

Friday, April 10, 2015

The Perfect No Hassle Roast Chicken

Over the years I have read many recipes for roast chicken touting the crispiest skin and the juiciest meat but none has been as easy and full proof as this simple preparation. However, there are a couple of things you can’t overlook, first, remove your chicken from the fridge at least an hour before cooking, and second, dry thoroughly after rinsing.

After that preheat your oven to 450, season the bird inside and out with salt and pepper, herbs, or one of the great rubs down at the Bridge Street Butchery, then stick it in the oven in a roasting pan for 45 minutes. Oh yea, one more thing, crank up your exhaust fan. While you will end up with an amazing chicken the higher heat will generate a bit more smoke than you’re probably used to.