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.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Lima Beans

Around this time each winter I start to look in the frozen food case for something different, something I’ve somehow overlooked in the past, something that would bring a sense of newness to my night’s dinner…you know what I mean…not the same old thing. And while lima beans don’t probably rank very high as far as glamor veggies go I have to say I was pleasantly surprised.

Where lima beans do rank high however is on the easy to make scale. Heat a large pan, add some extra virgin olive oil, then the lima beans. If they’re right out of the freezer start on low heat until they soften then inch it up to medium high to get them lightly browned and crispy. Before serving lower the heat and add some chopped garlic and salt and pepper to taste. I also made them on three other occasions with mushrooms, shallots, and red chili flakes which were all very tasty. Lima beans aren’t just for soups anymore, at least in our house.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Lemony Shrimp Risotto

Valentine’s Day is about doing something special, something you don’t do all the time…like risotto. And with a little bit of planning this shrimp risotto won’t get in the way of the rest of your evening. Here’s the prep list: 

- Grate half a cup of parmesan and a teaspoon of lemon zest.
- Finely chop a shallot and some chives.
- Peel a half pound of large shrimp.
- Ready two cups of quality chicken stock from concentrate (I recommend Better Than Bouillon).

Twenty-five minutes before dinner salt and pepper the shrimp then sauté in a large heavy sauce pan for a few minutes with some extra virgin olive oil, remove and set aside. Next, add two tablespoons of butter along with the chopped shallot and lemon zest and cook until the shallots are soft, three to four minutes. Stir in a half a cup of risotto, sauté for a minute, and then add a half a cup of warm chicken stock. When the liquid is nearly all absorbed add another half cup of stock and repeat until the rice is al dente and creamy stirring occasionally, it shouldn’t be more than twenty minutes. To finish add the shrimp, chives, and parmesan and leave on the heat for a few minutes longer or until the shrimp are cooked through. Salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Flavored Deviled Eggs

If you’ve had your fill of chili, wings, and nachos over the last 20 weeks of football these deviled eggs are a sure crowd pleaser. Cook and peel a dozen hardboiled eggs, cut in half lengthwise, and gently refrigerate the whites. In a bowl mash the yokes with a fork until smooth then stir in two tablespoons each of mayonnaise and sour cream.

At this point there are lots of options, a couple tablespoons of truffle, garlic, or chili oil. How about some lemon and capers, crumbled bacon, or horseradish? You could also try some curry or chipotle powder or smoked paprika. Some minced smoked salmon and chives would be nice, or even some anchovy paste. Whatever you decide remember to salt and pepper to taste before spooning the mixture back into your egg white halves. Happy Super Bowl!