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, August 29, 2019

Lamb Chops with Spiced Yogurt Sauce

This yogurt sauce comes together in a few minutes, and it will turn your lamb chops into something you’ll be talking about the next day…the garlic may have a little something to do with it.

Combine the juice from half a lemon with a cup of plain yogurt, two teaspoons of cumin powder, a teaspoon of turmeric, a pinch of cayenne pepper, two cloves of crushed garlic, and a half a teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Salt and pepper your chops, then spoon a healthy tablespoon of the sauce onto each side to coat evenly. Cover with saran and put in the fridge for at least an hour.

Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat and cook the yogurt coated chops to your desired doneness, serve with extra sauce.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Pan Fried Monkfish

It’s always exciting to see a new offering at the fish counter, and monkfish doesn’t take like any other fish you’ve ever had. Many say it has the characteristics of lobster…but come on now…lobster is lobster.

Cut the monkfish into ¼ inch slices and season liberally with salt and pepper, paprika, Old Bay, whatever you’re feeling. Barely cover a large frying pan with some vegetable oil and set on a medium hot stove, wait a few minutes for the pan to get good and hot.

Dredge the monkfish in flour, shake of any excess, and set in the hot oil. Cook for approximately two minutes, or until it is nicely browned. Flip and do the same on the other side. Serve immediately.

I served it over a corn, onion, green bean ratatouille, but almost anything goes. A caper butter, lemon and garlic, or simply sautéed vegetables would all be perfect.

So, if you’ve never tried monkfish, live a little and give it a go.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Spanish Gazpacho

After having the best gazpacho of my life at the new Mercado Little Spain at Hudson Yards in NYC last week, I was determined to figure out how they did it. No surprise, the recipe was all over the web…what a world! And it’s the easiest gazpacho I’ve ever made.

It’s all about getting a really smooth consistency, so cut the following into small chunks and run through the food processor in a couple of batches until finely pureed: a pound of cored local tomatoes, a small peeled cucumber, half a seeded yellow pepper, a third of a Vidalia onion, a small garlic clove, a teaspoon of salt, and a tablespoon of sherry or red wine vinegar.

With the food processor running, drizzle in an 1/8 of a cup of extra virgin olive oil to finish it off. Combine your batches and chill in the fridge for at least a few hours, or if you can, overnight.

Salt to taste and serve with some small croutons and a drizzle of olive oil over the top. Repeat at least once a week until the end of tomato season.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Spanish Quesadilla

Who doesn’t love a crispy gooey quesadilla? This Spanish take comes alive with some pickled onions and Manchego cheese. To pickle your red onion, stir together half a cup of apple cider or white vinegar, a tablespoon of sugar, and just shy of a tablespoon of salt. Thinly slice a peeled red onion, stir into the vinegar, and let sit for at least 45 minutes.

Drain a can of garbanzo beans and mash with a fork until pasty but still chunky. Stir in some smoked paprika, sliced scallion, and salt and pepper to taste. Next, grate the Manchego and chop some fresh cilantro.

Heat a little bit of oil in a non-stick pan over medium heat. Place a large flour tortilla in the pan then cover half with some grated Manchego, a layer of mashed garbanzos, some pickled onions, and chopped cilantro. Fold the other half of the tortilla over until the edges are lined up and cook for a few minutes per side or until the cheese is melted.

For a meatier option, add some cooked and crumbled chorizo sausage.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Escarole and Bean Bruschetta

Bruschetta’s are a perfect summer snack, appetizer, or light meal on a hot night, and the escarole I picked up at the farmer’s market made for a memorable treat that I was sorry to see end. Can’t wait to try it on a pizza.

To prep the escarole, remove the stem, cut the leaves into thirds, and wash thoroughly. In a large pot, quickly sauté five chopped garlic cloves and a generous pour of olive oil. Add a can of drained cannellini beans and a quarter cup of chicken or veggie stock, leave on medium low heat. When the liquid is reduced by half, add a large pinch of red chili flakes, freshly ground pepper, and the washed escarole.

Toss using some tongs or a spoon until the escarole is completely wilted, about five minutes. Stir in some grated parmesan cheese, salt to taste, and serve over a grilled bread slice with a drizzle of your best olive oil and a little more cheese.