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, December 31, 2018

Salmon Sashimi with Jalapeno

You probably haven’t considered serving salmon sashimi, but you should. It makes any gathering a bit more special, and it comes together very quickly. The key is obviously to buy the freshest salmon you can find, and you want a piece that’s closer to the belly end of the fillet then the tail. Also, have your fishmonger take the skin off for you, a quarter pound will be plenty for two to three people.

With a long sharp knife, slice the entire piece in half along the spine, then into 1/8” to ¼” thick slices. For the jalapeno, slice the thinnest slices possible from the center of the pepper. I also like to serve them with a little sauce, either puddled on the plate or on the side. For that, simple stir some freshly grated ginger into some soy sauce.

To serve, gently place a single slice of jalapeno on each piece of salmon. If you’re adverse to jalapeno, you can also layer the salmon in a small dish with a splash of your very best extra virgin olive oil and some flakey salt. No need for soy sauce in this case.

Happy 2019!

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Shrimp and Prosciutto

Prosciutto wrapped shrimp is one of those things I think of as a wedding or catered party appetizer. But why bother to wrap them, it’s a pain in the butt. And, while it’s a great combination, especially for the holidays, when you cook them wrapped neither the prosciutto or the shrimp comes out perfect. Let’s do it the easy way, cook them right, and make it the main course.

Tear the prosciutto slices into bite sized pieces and sauté over medium heat with a little bit of olive oil. If you like them crispy, let them go longer, if not, pull them after a couple of minutes and set aside. Add some more olive oil to the pan and stir in some chopped scallions and peeled shrimp.

Toss frequently until the shrimp are nearly cooked through, then stir in the cooked prosciutto and a minced garlic clove. Leave on the heat for another minute, hit it with a healthy squeeze of fresh lemon juice, then slide onto a serving dish. Garnish with some grated parmesan, chopped basil, and serve immediately.

Friday, December 7, 2018


It’s world latke week, and what’s a latke without applesauce and sour cream. So, as long as you’re making the effort to grate all those potatoes and onions, you might as well throw a few apples in a pot to make your own applesauce.

In keeping with my philosophy of less time at the stove and more time at the table, as far as I can tell, there’s no need to peel the apples. Simply cube four apples, any variety works fine, and combine in a small pot with a half a cup of apple cider, a half a teaspoon of cinnamon, and the juice from a third of a lemon. No need for any added sugar, the cider does it all.

Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for twenty minutes stirring occasionally. Add more cider if necessary. Happy Latkes!

Garlic Arugula Bean Dip

Friends dropping by in twenty minutes? No worries, your food processor will do all the work. Peel a couple of garlic cloves and process until minced along with a dash or two of salt. Add a can of drained white beans and a large handful of arugula, then pulse until smooth with enough extra virgin olive oil to reach the desired consistency.

If you don’t have any arugula, substitute a few anchovy fillets, or some kalamata olives. Smoked paprika, rosemary, or hot sauce would also make for a tasty dip. And if you have more than twenty minutes, serve with some grilled slices of a local baguette.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Cod in Ginger Broth

After Thanksgiving, and before the holiday party season starts, give this delicate poached cod a try for a bit of a cleanse. Heat some vegetable oil in a small pot or straight sided sauté pan over medium heat, add a finely chopped onion and cook for a few minutes. Turn the heat to low and add a couple of teaspoons of freshly grated ginger, and a minced garlic clove.

After a couple of minutes, add three cups of miso or vegetable stock and a splash of soy sauce. Once it starts to simmer, add some thinly sliced shitake mushrooms, chopped spinach or bok choy, and scallion. After a couple of minutes, carefully lower the cod fillets into the broth, cover, and cook until the fish is cooked through, seven to ten minutes depending on their thickness.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Crispy Turnips

There’s so much I love about these turnips, and best of all, they can be pre-cooked the day before…perfect for freeing up your oven for that Thanksgiving turkey. Peel and cube your turnips and toss with enough olive oil to lightly coat. Salt, and roast in a 350 oven until barely fork tender. If you’re preparing the day before, cool, and store in an airtight container in the fridge.

About twenty minutes before serving, heat some turkey fat in a heavy pan over medium high heat and stir in the cubed turnips. Toss every few minutes or so, you don’t want them to burn, but you want them crispy on as many sides as possible. When you’re ready to serve, spoon them into a bowl and toss with some thyme, sage, or parsley, and salt to taste.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 12, 2018

Cauliflower with Mint, lemon, and Chili

When thinking about Thanksgiving dinner, there are certain things you can’t mess with, like the turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and gravy. But when it comes to the vegetables, I say, the heck with tradition….is creamed spinach really necessary?

This cauliflower dish is not only refreshingly cleansing, but it doesn’t take up any space in the oven. And you can prep it the day before by breaking the cauliflower up into small florettes, chopping the mint, squeezing the lemon juice, and storing them separately in Tupperware in the fridge.

Ten minutes before you’re going to sit down, steam the cauliflower until fork tender. Immediately drain, then toss in a large bowl with some extra virgin olive, lemon juice, chopped mint, and some red pepper flakes. Salt to taste.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Potato Celeriac Soup

November! It’s a tough month to embrace, but there isn’t a better time for potatoes, celeriac, apples, or soup. The quantities aren’t critical, but more or less equal quantities of potatoes and celeriac are a safe bet. Peel and cube the celeriac, then cube the potatoes, no need to peel them.

Sauté some chopped onion, shallots, or leeks in a large soup pot for five minutes. Add the celeriac and potatoes along with a cut up unpeeled apple, and a few chopped garlic cloves. Stir together, then after a couple of minutes add enough chicken or vegetable stock to cover the vegetables by at least an inch.

Bring to a boil then simmer for forty five minutes to an hour, or until the celeriac is very tender. Once cool enough puree with a stick blender, or in batches in a food processor, until smooth. Return to the pot, reheat, then salt and pepper to taste.

If you’re pondering your Thanksgiving menu, this one should be in the running.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Japanese Vegetable Pancakes

Since having an Okonomiyak, or vegetable pancake, from a Japanese street vendor in New York last year I finally had a chance to make them at home. Good stuff!

For the sauce simply stir together 4 tablespoons of ketchup, 3 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce, 2 tablespoons of oyster sauce, and a spoonful of honey.

For the pancakes, thinly slice a quarter cabbage, two kale leaves, and two scallions, then combine in a large bowl with two grated carrots. Mix thoroughly with a quarter cup of flour, a half teaspoon of kosher salt, and three lightly beaten eggs.

To cook, heat just enough vegetable oil to cover the bottom of a large heavy skillet, then spoon a pile of the vegetable mixture into the skillet and flatten with a spatula. Cook three to four minutes per side, or until they’re brown around the edges. Drain on a paper bag and serve immediately with the sauce.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Chinese Pork and Black Bean Stew

Chinese Black Bean and Garlic Sauce is one of those condiments that miraculously turns an ordinary pork shoulder into a stew that you’ll hardly believe you made yourself. It’s a great Sunday meal as you need three to four hours of cooking time for the pork to get super tender, or any night of the week if you have a crock or instant pot.

Cut a boneless pork shoulder into one inch cubes and season liberally with salt. Over high heat, brown the cubes in a heavy soup pot with a little bit of vegetable oil, about five minutes. Turn down the heat to medium and add a couple dozen sliced white or cremini mushrooms along with four to five large cloves of chopped garlic. Stir occasionally until the mushrooms soften up.

Add water to cover the pork by at least an inch, bring to a slow boil, then add the appropriate amount of concentrated beef stock and a few heaping tablespoons of the Black Bean and Garlic sauce. Cover and leave over low heat, or put in a preheated 250 degree oven. After an hour, taste, and add more beef stock and bean sauce as needed. After two hours, ladle out two cups of the broth into a bowl and set aside.

Once the pork is tender add four tablespoons of cornstarch to the warmish bowl of broth and stir with a fork until smooth, then add to the pot of pork. Bring to a light boil for a minute, stirring as the sauce thickens. Turn off the heat and serve with a side of rice.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Spiced Brussel Sprouts and Cashews

This dish is all about what you decide to add for flavor. While a heavy handful of minced garlic would suffice, some smoked paprika, cumin, curry, chili flakes, cayenne, or chipotle pepper would be way more exciting.

To shred the Brussel sprouts, hold them by the stem end and slice thinly with a sharp knife. Figure about five or six per person. Next, heat a large sauté pan over medium heat and add a couple handfuls of cashew pieces. Toss frequently to keep them from burning. Once you start to smell them roasting, slide them into a glass bowl and set aside.

Immediately add some olive oil to the pan and sauté a minced shallot or small onion until translucent. Stir in a teaspoon or more of your chosen spice along with the cashews, cook for half a minute. To finish, stir in the shredded Brussel sprouts and sauté until the sprouts are warm and wilted, but not soggy. It only takes a few minutes.

And as always, salt to taste.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Potato Crusted Pork Cutlet

It doesn’t happen very often, but this one is a wow! I mean what could be bad about fried potato crusted pork? I can’t believe I’ve lived this many years without it.

If you don’t have them already, get yourself some dehydrated potato flakes, aka, instant mashed potatoes. Prep three bowls for crusting your pork, one each for flour, lightly beaten eggs, and potato flakes.

Liberally season the thinly sliced pork cutlets with salt and pepper. Ten minutes before dinner, cover the bottom of a large frying pan with a thin layer of vegetable oil and heat over medium heat. Once hot, individually dust the cutlets with flour, dip into the egg, and then press each side into the potato flakes so they’re well coated. Cook for about two minutes per side, making adjustments to the heat so they’re golden but not burnt, and add more oil between batches as needed.

Drain on a brown paper bag, serve hot with a squeeze of lemon…and savor every bite.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Roasted Red Pepper with Basil Ricotta

Perfect as an appetizer, veggie side, or doubled up for a main course, this tasty combo comes together a lot faster than you would think. Preheat your oven to 400, halve and remove the seeds and stems from your red peppers, then rub them with olive oil and salt and place them skin side down in a large roasting dish.

In a small bowl mix together some minced anchovy, one fillet per half pepper, minced garlic, and enough olive oil to form a mustard-like consistency. Spoon the mixture into the red pepper halves, and use a basting brush to spread it around. Roast for about 40 minutes, or until the peppers start to brown on the edges.

While the peppers are cooking, stir together some ricotta, chopped basil, extra virgin olive oil, and coarse salt to taste. Serve the peppers either right out of oven, or at room temperature, with a generous dollop of the ricotta mixture.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Roast Potato and Cucumber Salad

This time of year it’s all about going local, keeping it simple, and letting the flavors speak for themselves. And roasting versus boiling your potatoes will really bring out their September goodness.

Cut your fingerlings in half and toss with a little bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper. You can use another potato variety; just make sure to stick with one that will hold its shape like a red potato. Roast until well browned and cooked through, and then set aside to cool.

Cut an equal amount of cucumber into half inch chunks, along with some sliced scallion and chopped parsley. Toss them together with the potatoes, olive oil, red wine vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Simplicity at its best!

Friday, September 7, 2018

Tomato Almond Pesto

The extended summer weather means the tomatoes keep coming and coming, here’s an interesting pesto that will be ready long before your pasta is even cooked.

Throw a handful of slivered almonds in a food processor with a couple of peeled garlic cloves and half a teaspoon of salt, run until it forms a paste. Add a cup and a half of fresh cherry, or chopped tomatoes, and a half a cup of fresh basil. Pulse until it’s a chunky puree, adding some olive oil if it needs to be thinned out. Before tossing with your cooked pasta, salt to taste, and serve with grated parmesan.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Shrimp Curry

Just because it comes in a can, doesn’t mean it can’t be as good as a restaurant. Maesri curry paste from Thailand is the real deal, and if they have it in Warren, VT they must have it at your local market.

The dish comes together quickly, so it’s best to prep everything first. Start by coarsely chopping a medium sweet onion and a large handful of cilantro, peel the shrimp, shuck and cut the corn from the cob, open up a can each of red curry paste and coconut milk, and get some salted water boiling for the rice noodles.

Here we go, in a large heavy pot, saute the onion until translucent, then add the corn. After a few minutes add the coconut milk and red curry paste, then simmer for another five minutes. If it isn’t spicy enough, add some Sriracha to taste.

Next, throw your rice noodles into the boiling water, shut the heat, and let stand until they’re tender and drain. While the noodles are cooking, add the shrimp and cilantro to the curry sauce and continue to simmer until the shrimp are cooked though…it doesn’t take long. Throw some tomatoes in too if you have them, it is the season.

Serve over the noodles with plenty of sauce.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Barley Salad

With all the local vegetables available now, there’s no better time for a barley salad. Whether you use tomatoes, cucumbers, corn, zucchini, carrots, onions, mushrooms, eggplant, peppers, or green beans, the general technique is the same.

Boil a cup of barley in some lightly salted water for about 25 minutes, or until tender, then drain. Make the dressing by whisking together about a half a cup of olive oil with fresh lemon juice, lemon zest, a couple splashes of red wine vinegar, a minced garlic clove, and salt and pepper.

Prep your vegetables by cutting up the ones that can be eaten raw, and sautéing the others until cooked through. You can serve it warm, room temperature, or right out of the fridge the next day, simply combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and toss with a generous handful of chopped parsley. Feta, parmesan, or toasted nuts never hurt if you happen to have some around.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Lebanese Tarator Sauce

I read about this tahini based sauce a few months ago and have since served it over lamb, fish, chicken, and vegetables….I love it! And it lasts in the fridge for up to 10 days, so make lots.

In a food processor combine a ½ cup of tahini, a 1/3 of a cup of water, the juice of two lemons, three chopped garlic cloves, a half a teaspoon of salt, and a pinch or two of cayenne. Run until very smooth, about a minute. Add a generous handful of chopped parsley and quickly pulse two or three times. Use liberally.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Tomatoes, Basil, and Ricotta

The hot days of summer are here, as are the tomatoes. They’re so good you really don’t need anything more than some extra virgin olive oil, basil, and salt. But give yourself a treat, and next time throw on a big spoonful of Maplebrook, or any local ricotta. Tomato season is a short one, don’t let a day go by without some.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Coconut Rice

Being pretty much all white, it’s hard to make coconut rice look good in a photo on its own, so here it is under some fried swordfish. But whatever you put it under, it rocks! And the spicier the dish, the better it tastes  with the rice. I can’t believe I had never made it before, super easy too.

It works best to make at least a cup and a half of rice so you use a full can of coconut milk. Measure out the coconut milk, then add enough water for a total of 3 cups of liquid. Pour it into a small pot and bring to a boil. Add a cup and a half of white rice and stir. Once it starts to boil, cover, turn down the heat, then simmer for approximately twenty minutes. Once all the water is absorbed, stir in a generous handful of shredded coconut, turn off the heat, and let sit covered for another five minutes.

Any leftover rice will last a week in the fridge, and cooked up with some pineapple and veggies, makes a great summer fried rice.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Wilted Scallop and Spinach Salad

I’m on a wilted salad kick these days, they’re summery, easy, and I love the mix of warm and cold. Cut some red potatoes into half inch chunks and simmer in a pot of salted water until just tender. Drain and set aside.

Slice up some bacon and cook over medium heat in a large skillet with a little bit of olive oil. Next, add a minced shallot along with some sweet red pepper. When the bacon starts to brown stir in some bay scallops and minced garlic then cook until the scallops are cooked through. It doesn’t take long.

Immediately transfer the hot mixture, along with the potatoes, into a large bowl of raw spinach and toss with olive oil, lemon, and salt and pepper to taste.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Grilled Plums

Ice cream is a guaranteed crowd pleaser when it comes to dessert on a hot summer night, but if you’re looking to take it up a notch, serve it over some grilled plums. Slice into a firm plum with a chef’s knife until you feel the side of the pit, then continue around the entire diameter so you end up back where you started. With two hands, twist the plum apart at the cut and dig out the pit with a small paring knife.

Lightly oil the plum halves and dust them with a few pinches of cinnamon or cayenne pepper. Place them on a hot grill cut side up for a couple minutes, then flip and continue for another five. You want them caramelized on the outside and soft all the way through without being mushy. Serve immediately with ice cream.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Sweet Onion and Grapefruit Salsa

This salsa will make it feel more like summer than it already does.

Finely mince half of a large sweet onion, juice two limes, then stir the two together and let sit for at least twenty minutes. In the meantime, peel, seed, and cut a grapefruit into one inch chunks doing your best to preserve the juice, and chop a large handful each of mint and cilantro.

At least fifteen minutes before serving stir it all together, salt and pepper to taste, and pour it over some grilled fish or chicken.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Spinach Bacon Bean Dip

Bacon makes everything better, especially in July. Start by coarsely chopping a couple slices of thick cut smoked bacon and cook in a frying pan until crisp, remove and set on a paper bag to drain.

Using the same pan with the bacon fat, sauté a chopped shallot and four cloves of garlic. After a few minutes, stir in two cans of drained cannellini beans and cook for another five minutes over medium heat. Transfer the hot bean mixture to a large bowl and toss together with a bag of baby spinach.

Once it’s cooled down scrape the mixture into a food processor with half the bacon bits, a large pinch of red pepper flakes, or, a couple of shakes of your favorite hot sauce. While processing, stream in approximately a third of a cup of extra virgin olive oil until smooth. Then, salt and pepper to taste, garnish with the remaining bacon bits, and serve with crackers, a sliced baguette, or some toasted pita chips.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Radish Leaves

I’m loving the radishes at the Farmer’s market these days, and the leaves too. No need to let them go to waste, here are a few great things to do with them. But before trying any of them wash and dry the leaves well in cold water to remove any dirt.

The easiest option is to add them to a salad. This time of year the leaves are small and delicate and will make for a delicious peppery accent to most greens. As they get larger, coarser, and bitterer, it’s better to sauté them with olive oil and garlic until tender. Use them right away or stick them in the fridge for another time, they’ll keep for at least a week. They’re delicious as a room temperature side dish, or added to scrambled eggs, soup, or stew.

If you’re feeling more adventurous, try a radish leaf pesto, it’s definitely for lovers of all things bitter. For a less bitter pesto, use half radish and half spinach leaves. Happy summer!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Mint Chive Yogurt Sauce

Mint and chives are the best! Year after year they’re the first to reappear in the garden…with no effort required. I like to combine them with cucumber, garlic, and yogurt for a flavorful sauce that works on pork, lamb, chicken, or as a dip with toasted pita.

Peel a cucumber, cut it in half the long way, and then scrape the seeds from each half with a spoon. Finely chop the cucumber halves and combine in a bowl with a handful each of chopped mint and chives, two minced garlic cloves, one to two cups of plain yogurt, a splash of olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.

For optimal flavor it’s best to prepare at least a few hours before serving. And don’t be shy about making lots, it’s great to have around, and will last for at least a week covered in the fridge.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Honey Butter Corn

Honey, butter, and corn…so good, so right. How could I not have thought of this combination before? In a small bowl blend together equal parts honey and softened butter with a fork, about a tablespoon of each per two ears of corn. Scrape the mixture from the bowl with a spatula and schmear it on the bottom of a large glass dish and set aside.

Husk your corn, then boil or barbeque to your liking. Once cooked, immediately roll the cobs in the butter mixture until generously coated, then salt and serve. For even more flavor, you could also add some garlic powder or a pinch of cayenne to the butter mixture.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Thai Bean Sprout Salad

I’ve been seeing bean sprouts regularly at the market these days, and they make for a refreshingly light and tasty salad. Peel, seed, and cube a medium cucumber and combine in a large bowl with a bag of bean sprouts, two chopped scallions, half a thinly sliced serrano pepper, some chopped peanuts, and a small handful of coarsely chopped cilantro leaves.

For the dressing, whisk the juice of a lime with two tablespoons of rice wine vinegar, a small splash of vegetable oil, a teaspoon of honey, and salt to taste. Because the bean sprouts will get soggy fast, gently toss the dressing into the salad immediately before serving.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Chili Roasted Swordfish

Wondering what to cook this holiday weekend? This swordfish makes for a special main course, or, appetizer. Preheat your oven to 400 then season your swordfish steaks liberally with salt and chili powder. Heat a teaspoon of oil in an oven proof pan over medium heat then brown the swordfish steaks for about a minute on each side. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook for approximately 8-10 minutes depending on the thickness. Serve with lemon or lime.

And if chili powder isn’t your thing, try using paprika, Old Bay, black pepper, or nearly any other ground spice.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Squash Risotto

With some cool nights in the forecast it still feels right to be stirring up a risotto, and roasting the squash first really brings out the nutty flavor.  Peel, seed, and cube a medium butternut squash, toss with some oil and salt, and roast in a 400 oven for 45 minutes or until it’s tender.
While the squash is cooking, heat up five cups of quality chicken or vegetable stock in a small pot.  In a large pan over medium heat, sauté a large chopped onion in a few tablespoons of butter or olive oil.  Once translucent, stir in a cup and a half of rice, and cook for another few minutes.  Next, add a cup of your stock, stirring occasionally, until completely absorbed.  Repeat with another cup of stock, after that’s absorbed, stir in the squash. 
Continue adding the remaining stock in one cup increments until the rice is al dente and creamy…approximately 25 minutes in total.  You may not end up using all of the stock. To finish, stir in another tablespoon of butter, a cup of grated parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper to taste. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Spicy Beef with Cumin

This one is going to change your mind about cooking Chinese at home; it’s as good as the real thing. Put a 1 ¼ to 1 ½ pound flank steak in the freezer for twenty minutes, and then slice it thinly across the grain into two to three inch pieces. Next, peel and halve a large onion and slice into quarter inch wide pieces.

In a large bowl, combine approximately two tablespoons of ground cumin, a tablespoon each of soy sauce and cornstarch, two teaspoons of sesame oil, a teaspoon each of sugar, crushed red pepper flakes, and ground black pepper, half a teaspoon of kosher salt, and three tablespoons of vegetable oil. Add the meat and onion to the bowl and mix together until well coated. Set aside for fifteen minutes.

Put a bit of oil into a hot pan then add the meat and onions. Stir occasionally for about six minutes, and then add a quarter cup of chicken broth and a handful of cilantro leaves. Use a spatula to toss and scrape the bottom of the pan while cooking for another few minutes. Serve immediately.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Lentils and Leeks

When was the last time you made lentils? Exactly my point, I don’t make them nearly enough ether. And as far as last minute side dishes go, they have everything going for them; long shelf life, incredible value, quick and easy to prepare, and they go with nearly everything.

Stir a cup of dry brown lentils into a pot of lightly salted boiling water, simmer for approximately fifteen minutes, or until barely tender. In the meantime, sauté a chopped leak in some butter or oil over medium heat until the edges start to brown. Add three finely chopped garlic cloves, sauté another few minutes, then toss in the drained lentils. Stir occasionally for another five minutes, salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Maple Ginger Glazed Pork Chops

Spring is here and the sap is flowing, support your local sugarmaker and give these pork chops a zesty maple glaze. In a small sauce pan saute a finely chopped shallot in a little bit of olive oil until translucent. Add two tablespoons of minced ginger, a pinch or two of cayenne pepper, give it a minute, then stir in a quarter cup each of soy sauce and maple syrup. Simmer until reduced by a third, or until it’s a syrupy consistency.

Season your pork chops with salt, then broil, bake, or barbeque until the desired doneness. In a large bowl, toss to coat with the glaze, plate, and drizzle the remaining glaze over the chops.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Cabbage Parmesan Roast

I’m loving my roast vegetables these days, and the addition of parmesan not only sharpened the flavor, but also made for an irresistible silky texture. Preheat your oven to 450 and chop a half a head of cabbage, two red onions, and a fennel bulb into medium sized pieces. Toss together with enough olive oil to barely coat the vegetables along with a healthy sprinkling of kosher salt and pepper. Transfer to a large shallow pan and throw in the oven.

After thirty minutes, turn the oven down to 350 and stir in two large handfuls of coarsely chopped kale and four to six minced garlic cloves. Roast for another twenty minutes, then remove from the oven and scrape everything into a large bowl. Toss with a cup of grated parmesan, and salt and pepper to taste. If you’re not planning on serving it right away, use an ovenproof bowl for easy reheating.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Asian Chicken and Mushroom Soup

Embrace the chilly spring temps with this brothy and flavorful combination of chicken, mushrooms, and vegetables. Salt your chicken thighs, and then brown with a little bit of vegetable oil in a large pot over high heat. Cook approximately four minutes per side, and then set aside.

Turn the heat down to medium, add some more oil, then throw in some drained canned baby corn, snow peas, chopped scallions, sliced shitake mushrooms, and a package of enoki mushrooms making sure to separate them into smaller clumps. Let it all cook for a few minutes then stir in a tablespoon of fresh ginger, followed by the cut up chicken thighs.

Add enough chicken stock to the pot to barely cover all of the ingredients, bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for fifteen minutes. Add a quarter cup of soy sauce, two tablespoons of Asian fish sauce, and a teaspoon of sesame oil. Make sure to salt and hot sauce to taste before serving.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Shrimp Carbonara

Spaghetti with bacon, shrimp, and cheese, what could be bad? While you’re boiling a pound of spaghetti in a large pot of salted water peel and devein 18-20 medium shrimp. Salt and pepper the shrimp and cook in a large straight sided skillet with a couple splashes of olive oil over high heat until nearly cooked through, then set aside.

In the same skillet, cut two quarter inch slices of pancetta into small chunks and cook until lightly browned, turn off the heat and leave the pan on the stove. Then, in a large bowl, lightly scramble together two eggs, a cup each of parmesan and pecorino cheese, and a generous grind of black pepper.

Drain your spaghetti making sure to reserve about a cup of the pasta water. Turn the heat up on the pancetta and stir the in the spaghetti followed immediately by the egg and cheese mixture. Quickly toss together while slowly pouring in enough pasta water to create a creamy sauce. When the pasta is completely coated, add the cooked shrimp, salt and black pepper to taste, and toss once more before serving.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Ginger Orange Beets

Add some color and flavor to your holiday table this weekend with these ginger orange beets. Peel and cut your beets into quarter inch slices then steam, roast, or boil until tender. While fresh beets are always better, if you’re short on time you could substitute cooked frozen beets.

For a pound of beets, whisk together a teaspoon of minced ginger, the juice of an orange, a splash of cider vinegar, a drizzle of honey, a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss the beets with the vinaigrette and garnish with some orange zest. They can be served warm, or at room temperature.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Kale, Butternut Squash, Wheat Berry Salad

Happy Spring!  This salad, with its amazing combination of flavors and textures, works just as well as a main course as it does a side dish. Preheat the oven to 400, bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil, then cut a peeled and seeded butternut squash into half inch cubes and toss with a little bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Stir a half a cup of wheat berries into the water and simmer until tender, about forty five minutes, then drain well. Lay the squash cubes out on cookie sheets with parchment paper and roast for approximately thirty minutes…you want them firm, not mushy. For the vinaigrette combine a half cup of olive oil, a quarter cup of red wine or cider vinegar, a minced shallot, a tablespoon of Dijon mustard, and salt and pepper to taste. 

While the wheat berries and squash cool, toss your stemmed and chopped kale in a large bowl with a little bit of the dressing to soften the leaves. When you’re ready to serve, add the other ingredients to the bowl, mix with more dressing, then salt and pepper to taste.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Chipotle Pepper Braised Short Ribs

If you’ve yet to discover the little blue and red can of Mexican made San Marcos chili peppers in adobo sauce at your local market, these short ribs offer the perfect opportunity to try them out. The flavor and heat will blow you away. Preheat your oven to 350, then place your largest, heaviest, pot with a lid, on the stove over medium high heat. Generously salt and pepper eight or so beef short ribs then brown them on all sides.

Set the short ribs aside and add a large chopped red onion to the pot, pour in a little oil if there’s not enough fat left from the ribs. Turn the heat down to medium and sauté the onion for five minutes. Stir in six chopped garlic cloves and two chopped adobo peppers along with a spoonful of the sauce. Saute for another few minutes then add two cups of beef stock, preferably Better Than Bouillon. Return the ribs to the pot, cover, and place the pot in the hot oven.

It’s best to turn the ribs every forty five minutes or so, and check to make sure that the stock level is at least half way up the ribs. If not, just add more beef stock. After an hour and a half, add a can of drained black beans, a box of frozen corn, and a large handful of chopped cilantro. After three hours the meat should be falling off of the bone, although four hours will guarantee it. Salt to taste and serve with rice, or polenta, so you can get every drop.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Dijon Lemon Chicken

My mother used to make this for us as kids; she called it her gourmet chicken. Hey, it was the 70’s, Dijon mustard was pretty fancy back then. I recently made it for the first time in years and you know what? It’s really good.

Preheat the oven to 350 and in a large bowl, stir together about three quarters of a cup of Dijon mustard, a couple minced garlic cloves, a quarter teaspoon each of ground cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Coat a pound and a half of chicken pieces with the mustard mixture then roll them in breadcrumbs until they’re completely covered. Place them side by side in a baking pan and top with a thin slice of lemon.

Baking time will vary depending on whether you’re using white or dark meat, on or off the bone. What you’re looking for is chicken that’s cooked through with a crispy crust, should be about thirty to forty five minutes.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Peas and Shitake Mushrooms

It’s that time of year when we’re craving something green that’s more like spring than winter. Ironically, frozen peas are one of my favorite options…and it doesn’t take much to jazz them up a bit. If you haven’t defrosted the peas overnight in the fridge, run them under some cool water in a strainer and then let them drain for half an hour.

In a large pan, heat up some oil over medium heat and sauté some shitake and sliced scallions until they just start to brown. Add two cloves of chopped garlic and the peas, then cook for another five minutes stirring occasionally. Salt and pepper to taste before serving. For more of an Asian feel you could stir in some soy or oyster sauce, or sesame oil.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Fennel Fish Stew

Stew, soup, or chowder? I’m not sure what to call it, but it was really good…and super simple to make. In a large pot with a bit of olive oil, sauté a chopped fennel and a minced shallot until soft. Add three minced garlic cloves, a quarter teaspoon of black pepper, and half a pound of small red potatoes cut into ¼” slices. 

Stir for a couple of minutes, add two cups of fish or clam stock, then bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are tender. Add a quarter cup of crème fraiche or heavy cream and a pound and a half of flounder, cod, or haddock, cut into one inch pieces. Turn the heat to low, cover, and then simmer for a five minutes until the fish is cooked through. Salt and garnish with chopped parsley or dill.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Sausage with Peppers and Onions

You can’t go wrong with chili, nachos, or wings for Super Bowl Sunday, but you won’t get any complaints about these sausages either. Start by prepping several cloves of chopped garlic and some sliced onions and peppers. Then, in a large pan over high heat, brown your sausages and set aside.

Add the onions and peppers to the pan along with a bit of olive oil, stir frequently for five minutes before turning the heat down to medium. As the onions start to caramelize, add the garlic, a jar of your favorite marinara, and enough chili flakes to satisfy your heat tolerance. Bring to a boil, return the sausages to the pan, cover, and simmer on low heat for about thirty minutes or until the sausages are cooked through.

Salt and pepper to taste, then serve with some grated parmesan, or on a toasted bun with a slice of Provolone. You could also make these the day before and then reheat before the game. Cheers to a close game…and a 6th Pats Super Bowl victory!

Friday, January 26, 2018

Maple Glazed Vegetables

You can never eat enough maple syrup, and combined with some soy sauce it makes for a satisfying winter veggie side or main dish. The earthiness of root vegetables work well with the sweet of the syrup: parsnips, carrots, potatoes, beets, and onions. I also added some broccoli.

Preheat your oven to 400, then add a couple splashes of vegetable oil to an oven proof pan and place over medium high heat. Add your cut up vegetables and stir frequently until browned, about ten minutes. Transfer to the oven for about fifteen to twenty minutes, or until tender.

Put the pan back on the stove and add enough of a 50/50 mixture of maple syrup and soy sauce to generously cover the bottom of the pan. With the heat on medium, cook until the vegetables are glazed, approximately five minutes. Toss with some sesame oil, or sesame seeds.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Mashed Rutabaga

I have a confession to make, this was my first rutabaga. I don’t know what made me do it? I picked it up and put in my shopping cart without the slightest idea of what I might do with it….crazy! Live every day like your last, right?

I got home and googled a bit only to learn I had lots of options: roasting, mashing, grating, buttering, spicing, scalloping, and French frying. I had been craving creamy, and happened to have some crème fraiche in the fridge, so creamy it was.

After cutting the rutabaga in half I peeled it with a knife, cut it into one inch cubes, and steamed them until they were fork tender. While they were draining, I heated up a bit of butter in a pot and sautéed some chopped garlic and scallions. Once the garlic was translucent I added the rutabaga and mashed it all together with a small container of crème fraiche, and salt and pepper to taste. That won’t be my last rutabaga.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Roast Mushrooms

I’ve been looking for any excuse to turn on my oven the last couple of weeks, and these mushrooms will heat up your kitchen and make any meal a bit more memorable. Preheat your oven to 450 and brush the dirt from approximately two dozen mushrooms. I recommend using at least two dozen as you’ll eat more than you think, and they’ll last for days in the fridge.

In a large bowl toss the mushrooms with some salt and pepper and just enough olive oil to coat lightly. Slide them into a roasting pan, then into the oven for 30 minutes. At this point anything goes, smoked paprika, garlic and parsley, thyme, rosemary, chili flakes, fresh lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, butter, whatever works best with whatever else you’re cooking. Toss and return to the oven for another 15 minutes then salt and pepper to taste.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Lamb, eggplant, and potato stew

Stew season is here, and the ground lamb I picked up at a local farm put this one over the top. In a large heavy soup pot start by sautéing two finely chopped onions and a couple celery stalks in some olive oil until translucent. Cut a medium eggplant into half inch cubes, a potato into quarter inch cubes, and then add both to the pot along with half a dozen chopped garlic cloves. Stir occasionally for 10 minutes over medium heat.

Stir in a teaspoon each of cumin and paprika, a ¼ teaspoon of dried oregano or zataar, a couple pinches of cayenne pepper and then the ground lamb. As the lamb cooks, break it into small pieces with a spoon while stirring it together with the other ingredients. When it’s nearly cooked through add a small can of tomato paste and some chicken stock. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for approximately 20 minutes or until the eggplant is cooked through. Salt and pepper to taste. Stay warm!