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.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Pea and Bacon Risotto

Defrost a box of frozen peas and bring in spring with the help of some creamy bacon goodness. In a small pot boil approximately six cups of chicken stock then turn the heat down to very low. Next, chop a quarter pound of bacon or pancetta into small pieces and sauté in a large pan over medium heat with a bit of oil until crisp, then scoop out the bacon and set aside.

Add two finely chopped garlic cloves and a shallot to the bacon fat and cook for a minute before stirring in a cup and a half of Arborio rice. When the rice is coated completely, pour in a half cup of the chicken stock and simmer briskly until the broth is absorbed. Stir well, then pour in another half cup of stock and repeat the process until the rice is al dente, about twenty minutes. In the end you may not have to use all of the stock.

While still on the heat stir in the peas, wait a few minutes, then mix well with the bacon, a cup of parmesan, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately with some parmesan garnish.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Chicken with Tzatziki Sauce

Two cups of tzatziki is probably more than you’ll need but it keeps for at least a week and works equally well with lamb, roast veggies, or as a snack on some toasted pita. Peel and dice half an English cucumber and combine with two cups of Greek yogurt, four minced garlic cloves, the juice from half a lemon, a splash of extra virgin olive oil, a teaspoon of kosher salt and pepper to taste. For maximum flavor its best if you give it at least two hours before serving spooned over your grilled chicken. You could also mix things up with some chopped mint or dill.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Broccoli Rabe with Garlic and Lemon

I'm loving that broccoli rabe is so much easier to find these days, it’s so good in pastas, risotto, or as a tasty side dish. Most often though I simply sauté it with garlic, lemon, and chili flakes.  To start trim about an inch from the stocks then cut the remaining bunch into thirds. Heat a generous pour of extra virgin olive oil in a wide pot over medium heat. Add a quarter teaspoon of hot red chili flakes followed by the broccoli rabe and stir frequently for several minutes. 

Turn the heat to low and cover for ten minutes or until the stocks are tender. Increase the heat to medium, stir in three chopped garlic cloves and some more oil if necessary. Cook for another few minutes uncovered then squeeze half a lemon over the top and serve.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Soy Braised Short Ribs

If you’re looking for some Korean inspiration check out The Good Fork cookbook, that’s where I found this one. Salt and pepper four pounds of short ribs then brown over high heat with some oil in a large heavy pot before setting aside. Turn down the heat to medium and stir in a chopped onion, three chopped garlic cloves, and a two inch piece of peeled ginger sliced thin. Cook for five minutes.

Pour in two cups of dry red wine and reduce by half. Add two cups of chicken stock, ¾ cup of soy sauce, ½ a cup of mirin or rice vinegar, ½ a cup of brown sugar, ½ a cup of kimchi, and the cooked ribs along with their juices. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for a couple of hours or until the ribs are tender. Serve with rice and a bit of the sauce poured over the top.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Grilled Halloumi

You may be familiar with Halloumi, on Greek restaurant menus it’s called saganaki.  It's a salty semi-hard cheese that because of its unusually high melting point is amazing for grilling. There’s nothing quite like its warm, chewy goodness.

Place a large pan over medium high heat then halve the square of cheese diagonally. Once your pan is hot add a small splash of olive oil followed by the two triangles of cheese and cook until well browned on both sides. You could also grill it on the barbeque, either way, turning occasionally it will take about ten minutes.

As an appetizer you can simply serve it with a drizzle of your best olive oil, lemon juice, a bit of chopped mint, sautéed garlic, or some caramelized dates or apricots. It’s also a delicious addition to a warm or cold salad. And because it freezes well you can always have one on hand for a spontaneous halloumi fix.