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, March 31, 2016

Fried Rice

Fried rice is amazing for lots of reasons - it tastes good, it’s super satisfying as a main or side dish, it’s hard to mess up, you usually have the ingredients on hand, and it’s an easy way to use the leftovers or nearly questionable vegetables hanging out in your fridge. I always include a chopped onion and an egg, after that it’s a free for all.

If you don’t have any two day old cooked rice then prepare a cup and set it aside. Sauté the onion over medium heat in a large pan, pot, or wok with a bit of oil until it begins to brown followed by any other raw vegetables you’re using such as carrots, spinach, mushrooms, peas, celery, or scallions. After a few minutes add a scrambled egg breaking it into smaller pieces as it cooks. Any leftover chicken, beef, pork, or shrimp? Now’s the time to throw it in. Sesame seeds or chili flakes? Throw them in too.

When everything is warmed through add four tablespoons of soy sauce, a splash of water then the cooked rice. Cook for another five to ten minutes mixing occasionally so that the rice absorbs the soy sauce evenly.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Kale and Ricotta Salata

I like to think of ricotta salata as an Italian feta, and whether you’re serving ham or lamb on Easter Sunday this refreshing kale salad will be great with either. And it couldn’t be simpler, in a mason jar combine two minced scallions, a quarter teaspoon of kosher salt, and four parts extra virgin olive oil to one part fresh lemon juice then shake vigorously to emulsify. Crumble the ricotta salata into a large bowl of chopped kale then toss with enough dressing to coat well.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Raw Beet Salad

As far as annual food rituals go corned beef and cabbage on St. Patty’s Day is one of my favorites, but after all that fatty goodness I’m thinking vegetables for the rest of the week. This raw beet salad is more vinegar than oil so it really hits the spot when it comes to clean and crunchy.

Shred or julienne about a pound of peeled raw beets then toss with a minced shallot, a splash of olive oil, twice that of vinegar, a teaspoon of Dijon mustard, and salt and pepper to taste. That’s it. If you’re looking for a bit more flavor try adding some rosemary, thyme, mint, or parsley.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Steak with Hearts of Palm Salad

Hearts of palm sounds old school but when paired with some endive, bitter greens, scallion, and lemon juice it turns an ordinary steak into one of those dinners you don’t want to end. You can use a tenderloin or chuck eye steak, either way cut them in half-length wise and pound lightly until they’re about a quarter inch thick. Then salt and pepper and cook for about a minute per side in a very hot skillet.

For the salad coarsely chop a drained can of hearts of palm, an endive, a large handful of either arugula or watercress, and a few finely chopped scallions. Toss together with extra virgin olive oil, fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste, and serve piled high on top of your steaks.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Braised Fennel

I don’t know why I don’t think of braising my vegetables more often as it’s so easy and flavorful…give it a try with some fennel. Cut the fronds from your fennel bulbs, trim any brown edges from the stem, peel off and discard any bruised outer stalks, and cut in half lengthwise.

Add some extra virgin olive oil to a moderately hot frying pan and brown the cut sides of the bulbs for four to five minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add a cup of chicken or vegetable stock, and cook uncovered for fifteen to twenty minutes or until the bulbs are tender all the way through. Salt and pepper to taste.