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, September 25, 2019

Thai Beef Noodles

This sounds like a lot of work but it really isn’t, it’s all about prepping everything before you start cooking.

Pulse a half a cup of roasted salted peanuts in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Then, finely chop a seeded jalapeno, mince a teaspoon of fresh ginger, squeeze the juice from three limes, remove the corn from two cobs of shucked corn, and chop a large handful of mint and a half a bunch of scallions. That’s the hard part.

Now, bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a half a pound of angel hair pasta. While that’s cooking, heat some vegetable oil over medium in a large frying pan and sauté the corn, after a few minutes crumble in a pound to a pound and a half of ground beef. When it starts to brown stir in the jalapeno and ginger.

Continue to stir until the meat is cooked through, remove the pan from the heat and add the scallions, mint, peanuts, a few tablespoons of sesame oil, a quarter cup of Asian fish sauce, and the lime juice. Mix well and serve over the drained pasta, or for a gluten free option, some wilted cabbage.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Roast Calamari

Quick and easy, easy, easy…that’s what I like! Preheat your oven to 400 while you cut up about a pound of calamari. Toss quickly with a splash of olive oil as well as a healthy amount of salt and pepper. You could also add some red pepper flakes for some heat.

In a separate bowl, add three minced garlic cloves and a handful of finely chopped parsley to 3/4’s of a cup of breadcrumbs and mix well. Combine with the calamari, and using your hands, toss until it’s well coated.

Spread the calamari on a parchment lined baking sheet, as well as any breadcrumb mixture at the bottom of the bowl, and roast for 8 to 10 minutes. Serve with a squeeze of lemon, and don’t forget to transfer any calamari you’re not serving right away to a cold platter as it will overcook sitting on the hot baking sheet.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Tuscan Bread Salad

I’ve got a serious tomato problem; I just can’t get enough of them…or this salad, known in Italy as Panzanella. To really nail it you’ll need great quality ingredients, and the patience to allow the onions and croutons their required soaking time.

Toss ¾ inch cubes of baguette or sourdough bread in enough olive oil to evenly coat then brown them thoroughly on sheet trays in a 400-degree oven or in a cast iron pan on the stove. Lightly salt and pepper and set aside to cool. Figure at least 8 croutons per person as they’re the best part.

Soak some shaved red onion in a quarter cup of red wine vinegar in a small bowl. After twenty minutes remove the onion from the vinegar and put it in a large bowl with the croutons.

For the dressing, whisk a half cup of olive oil into the vinegar along with a minced garlic clove, a pinch or two each of salt and pepper, and a splash of balsamic vinegar if you have it. Pour over the onions and croutons, toss well, and leave for ten minutes.

To finish, mix the onions, croutons, and dressing together with some chunked tomatoes, a peeled and cut cucumber, fresh basil torn into large pieces, and salt to taste.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Eggplant with Parsley Vinaigrette

Summer isn’t over yet, and whether you grill the eggplant on the barbeque or bake it in the oven, this seasonal side dish is a winner. I also like the fact that you can prepare it ahead of time, even a day or two, and add the vinaigrette just before serving.

For the vinaigrette, go heavier with the vinegar than the oil then you would for a traditional dressing, maybe half and half. Stir in some minced shallot, a dab or two of Dijon mustard, lots of chopped parsley, and salt and pepper to taste.

Cut your eggplant into quarter inch slices, lightly salt both sides, and set aside for five minutes. Wipe the colored droplets away with a paper towel then toss the eggplant with some olive oil and salt.

Set the slices on a medium hot grill, or on parchment in a 375-degree oven. Cook until browned on the outside and creamy through the middle…making sure to flip once or twice. Serve right away, or later at room temperature, with some chunky spoonful’s of the vinaigrette over the top.