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, October 29, 2015

Crispy Squash Pancakes

Peel and seed a small butternut squash then grate into a bowl using the big holes of a box grater. Next, stir in a few chopped scallions, a quarter cup of flour, a teaspoon of baking powder, a lightly beaten egg, and salt and pepper to taste. When you’re ready heat some vegetable oil in a nonstick pan and using the palm of your hand flatten a scoop of the squash mixture into a large spoon then slide the formed mound into the hot oil, repeat until the pan is full but not overcrowded.

Cook until the bottoms are golden then flip and flatten as best you can with a spatula. Continue cooking for another few minutes until equally golden and crispy on both sides then drain on brown paper bags or paper towels and serve with lemon, sour cream, or yogurt. These also work well if you wanted to prepare beforehand and reheat in the oven. And as always, they’ll taste better if you use a locally grown squash.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Bloody Brain

Bloody Brain….well not exactly, but this oven roasted cauliflower will turn some heads with Halloween just around the corner. Preheat your oven to 450 while you trim the core and any leaves from the bottom of a whole head of cauliflower. Over medium heat add a heavy pour of olive oil to a deep ovenproof pot (with lid) followed by a chopped onion, a can of whole anchovies, and three chopped garlic cloves.

Sauté for five minutes or so then add a small can of crushed tomatoes, a quarter cup of chicken stock, and chili flakes and salt to taste. Place the cauliflower in the pot core side down then simmer uncovered for another five minutes while occasionally basting the cauliflower with the tomato sauce. Finally, cover the pot and place in the oven for 45 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender. Serve on a platter with plenty of the tomato chunks over the top. Have fun!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Wheat Berry Edamame Corn and Feta Saute

If wheat berries aren’t already in your regular rotation they will be after you give them a try in this simple sauté, they’re one of the best chews out there…and you know what they say about whole grains.

Bring some salted water to a boil, add your wheat berries then simmer for 50 minutes and drain. You only need a half cup for this dish but you might as well throw in a whole cup as they’re great in soups and salads and last for a couple of weeks in the fridge.

Sauté some shallot and garlic along with a box each of frozen corn and edamame. Once your veggies are cooked through add the wheat berries, chopped mint, crumbled feta, and salt and pepper to taste, then sauté another five minutes and serve.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Caramelized Dates

Need an after school snack, a last minute hors d'oeurve, or just looking to jazz up a salad or a bowl of ice cream? Then you need to try these dates, they’re incredible…and so simple too. Until I made these I couldn’t imagine eating a date in anything but trail mix or a bad fruit cake, but a container of pitted dates is now a staple in our pantry.

Halve dates length wise while you heat a little bit of extra virgin olive oil over medium heat with an optional pinch or two of cayenne pepper. Add the dates to the hot oil making sure not to overcrowd, you want each date to have contact with the bottom of the pan. And don’t look away for too long as they do burn easily, but they won’t take more than a few minutes. Stir occasionally to caramelize both sides then serve warm with flakey or coarse salt.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Mashed Potatoes and Celery Root

If you like the flavor of celery you have to give this mashed potato and celery root combo a try, it’s a quick and easy side dish that can accompany just about anything you’re cooking. The celery root is often sold under the name celeriac.

Wash, peel, and cube twice as much potato than celery root before boiling both in a pot of salted water, the celeriac will need a ten minute head start. When they’re soft enough to pierce with a fork drain thoroughly and return the vegetables to the pot over low heat. Add butter and or olive oil as well a bit of chopped parsley then mash, salt and pepper to taste.