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, January 31, 2019

Magic Sauce

It won’t get you very high, but it sure will make nearly everything you put it on taste exponentially better…like magic. This adaption of Melissa Clark’s Peruvian roast chicken sauce is one of the best things I’ve come across in a long time, and it’s just a matter of throwing everything into your food processor and pushing the button.

The ingredients include a bunch of cilantro including the stems, a quarter cup of crumbled feta cheese, two seeded jalapenos, a garlic clove, the juice from half a lime, half a teaspoon of Dijon mustard, a teaspoon of chili garlic paste, half a teaspoon of honey, half a teaspoon of ground cumin, and ¾ of a teaspoon of fine salt. No worries, there are lots of room for errors if you measure like I do.

Chop everything up into small pieces, put in the processor, then drizzle in a half a cup of olive oil while it’s running until you get a smooth sauce. Quickly smother your chicken, pork, beef, fish, veggies, or grains with lots of it.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Lo Mein

Like me, I’m sure you’re preoccupied with what to cook for Chinese New Year…the year of the pig. Let me tell you, there’s lots to love about this lo mein, not only is it quick and easy, but you can include pork, chicken, or just about any vegetables you happen to have in the fridge. And it’s really flavorful.

For the sauce, stir together a third of a cup of fish sauce, a quarter cup of maple syrup, a splash of vegetable oil, three minced garlic cloves, a tablespoon of Sriracha, and a few shakes of salt and black pepper. If you’re including meat, slice thinly and toss with a couple of tablespoons of the sauce in a separate bowl.

While you boil your lo mein noodles, or thin spaghetti, heat a large pan over high heat and cook the meat for a few of minutes until barely cooked through, then set aside. In the same pan, saute some sliced carrots, scallions, bok choy, kale, mushrooms, or any other veggies of your choice, add more vegetable oil if necessary.

Once tender, scrape them into a large bowl along with the sauce, the juice of two limes, the drained noodles, and the cooked meat. Toss well, and serve with Sriracha.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Crispy Cheddar Bacon Potato Melt

Crispy is the key word here, top and bottom. Pierce some baking potatoes with a fork, place in a roasting dish, and bake at 450 until they’re soft in the middle. Figure about one to one and a half potatoes per person. While they’re cooking, dice up some sliced bacon and fry until barely crisp in a large pan over medium heat, then set aside.

Once soft, smash the potatoes flat in the roasting dish with a potato masher then liberally drizzle them with extra virgin olive oil and a generous topping of kosher salt. Turn the oven up to 500 and cook for another twenty to thirty minutes, you want them starting to brown on the top and crispy on the bottom, without burning.

For the final step, turn down the oven to 350 and smother the potatoes with shredded cheddar. Top with the cooked bacon and cook for another fifteen minutes or until the cheese has melted completely.

Give ‘em a try for this weekend’s NFL playoff games, then again for Super Bowl…they’re that good.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Creamed Scallops on Toast

Why procrastinate any long on giving up your New Year’s resolutions? Do it now, and bring on the heavy cream, you won’t regret it…this scallop toast is well worth it. In a hot pan, quickly sear some bay, or quartered sea scallops, then set aside. Turn down the heat to medium, add some butter along with some sliced mushrooms, a large diced shallot, some minced garlic, and an overly generous amount of black pepper. Sauté for about five minutes, or until the mushrooms are soft and the shallots translucent.

After getting your toast started, add enough heavy cream to the pan, and a bit of clam stock if you have it, to barely cover the mushrooms. Cook until the liquid is reduced by half. Stir in the scallops, leave on the heat for another minute, salt to taste, then serve over the toast with some chopped parsley.