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.

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!